Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rekindling an old flame

I used to be a newspaper lover. Now I can be one again, thanks to my recent purchase of a Kindle.

I'm not going to get into the "it's just wrong to read a book on one of those devices" debate; I'll save that for another post.

To me, the biggest advantage of my Kindle so far has been rediscovering the joy of reading the Sunday paper over a cup of coffee.

Of course, the same readers who will argue that a Kindle desecrates books might say the same about a Kindle and newspapers. But I can hear your arguments already, and I think I can shoot them all down.

1.) You live in France and are fluent in French; you should just read the French Sunday paper.

Been there, done that. I even subscribed to La Nouvelle République when we lived in Tours and I could get morning delivery. But I'm not interested in a daily paper anymore -- plus we can't get morning delivery where we live. So the Sunday paper is what I want, and for some reason -- maybe someone can tell me why -- French journaux de dimanche just aren't the same.

2.) Reading a newspaper on a Kindle doesn't compare to touching newsprint

Are you saying this like newsprint is a good thing? I can buy this type of argument for books, but I was never a big fan of unwieldy newspapers and newsprinty fingers to begin with. It's much easier for me to read a paper on the couch with my Kindle than to manage newspaper pages.

3.) It's stupid to pay a buck or two for a newspaper issue when you can read it free on the Internet.

It is rather interesting to be in the position of paying to get LESS information, but that's partly what it's all about for me.

I really can't bear newspaper websites. Besides the overwhelming barrage of information they toss out, they give me way too many extraneous choices.

A glance at today's New York Times already has my head spinning. Should I switch to the global edition? What is Times Reader 2.0? Would my life improve if I tried the New Times Skimmer? And why haven't I gotten around to personalizing my weather?

All that and I haven't even read a headline yet...
which I may well never do because there's an intriguing video called "Stepping Out With the U.S. Men's Curling Team." That's worth a look. Should I tweet it? (No.) Use it in class? (Maybe, but it doesn't really fit into my schedule next week.) What would? Should I click over to the BBC?

Oh, and on the right there's something about The New York Times Wine Club. Sounds interesting. Forget the headlines. Maybe I should join the club...or drink a glass of wine...

In other words, I could spend hours on the New York Times website and, well, never really catch up with the news.

As for the price, I'm one of those old-fashioned types who feels newspaper-lovers need to chip in if we want to keep on reading quality journalism.

In conclusion, I think a Kindle is a nice investment for expats in particular, but you should be aware that for some reason, you will not get images with your purchases made outside the USA. But that's not a problem for my image-overloaded brain.


Tinsie said...

My husband has a similar device to which he downloads books to take with him when we're on holiday. He loves it, but so far I've not been tempted.

I can see it can be handy for reading the Sunday paper long-distance. Much less fiddly than a broadsheet too.

P.S. I love the photo that comes with this post :-)

Betty C. said...

Actually the photo wasn't mine, but didn't appear to be copyrighted -- I'd better give credit though if it's that attractive!

Alison said...

I've thought my Kindle would be nice for buying French newspapers! :)

missincognegro said...

Betty, I agree with your points. Makes me want to buy a Kindle. :)

The Pliers said...

I am SOOOOOO envious.

I have accosted people on Kindles in airplanes and cafés but I have been afraid of "wasting" my money because I do not fully understand whether or not, if I buy the K in the USA from, I will be able to use it to buy books from France in English and read them in France.

One of my accostees, trapped in a seat on the plane next to me, told me that he loved his and that it was possible to download the books from USA via one's computer and then moving it over to the K.

Newprint ink on my hands, and the smell, are both disagreable to me so I wouldn't mind reading a paper at all.

Betty, would you please do a review of your Kindle, how you use it, how you get books, etc., in France? I would love to read such a review from someone who works in words!

I'm so happy you wrote about this subject!


Betty C. said...

Pliers -- I'm not sure how soon I'll be writing a further review but let me just answer your biggest question. You can indeed get books and periodicals IN France with your US Kindle, provided (and this is very important) that you live in an area with 3G Wireless coverage. However, for some reason, you will not get the images...which I mentioned but which doesn't really bother me.

The Amazon site gives very clear information about the use of the Kindle in international locales.

I will probably write more about it at some point, but that's what I can tell you for now.

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the subject.

Loulou said...

This was really interesting to read.
I saw several people with them on this last trip to the States and chatted with a couple of them who both said that they love the Kindle.
I can definitely see the advantage of having one for reading foreign newspapers. I've always hated newsprint on my hands.
Glad you like yours!

Linda said...

I love the New York Times. I read it online all of the time. I want to buy a Kindle because I read so much and my house is being overrun with paperbacks. Maybe for my birthday...

Sara Louise said...

I miss my Sunday papers! You've just inspired me, kindle is going on my wish list =)

meredith said...

Hmmm. I don't like handling big newspapers, either. I do like holding a book, but it's hard to turn pages and hold/drink a cup of coffee at the same time. That fact could tempt me into trying... :)

Tinsie said...

No worries. I only like it because it compliments your post so well, not that there's anything fabulously artistic about it.

Paulita said...

From a former journalist whose husband still works as an editor, thanks for paying for your news. I have kindle-envy too. Maybe someday.