When it concerns serious reading, I am pretty old fashioned. I love the feel and smell of a book and enjoy annotating in the margins. Because of my training as a literary scholar, I cannot read a book without highlighting and commenting on the text. Because of these traditional reading habits, I never seriously considered reading on Kindle or on the Kindle app on my phone.

A few years back, however, I started traveling a lot for my work. And since my travel was mostly international and involved summer stays in Pakistan, and as I could not carry many of my books, I decided to give Kindle Books a try.

I realized that while I may not be able to enjoy reading serious scholarly books on my kindle, I could give fiction, especially popular fiction, a try. So, at first I started using the Kindle app on my phone. I love fantasy and science fiction, so my first few Kindle purchases included a couple of books by Robert Jordan and then Ursula Ke Le Guin’s Earth Sea novels. needless to say, I enjoyed having access to these books while traveling.

Pretty soon, I realized that I could enjoy this more if I had a larger tablet. So, after a little bit of research I decided on a Kindle Fire. It was the perfect choice for me, especially since I only needed it for reading and not for any other fancy stuff, even though I have occasionally watched movies on it.

The tablet cost me less than $30 because Amazon had some promotion going on, but even now a later version of Kindle Fire is still available for less than $50. 00. My Fire now has more than a hundred books and I have even added a lot of PDF articles and documents that I can access even when I am away from my office library.

Now that I have also learned  to use the digital annotating tools and know that I can actually look up words while reading from within the tablet/ app reading is no longer just for pleasure but also an educational experience. In fact, I now also have quite a few free downloads of political and philosophy books, through several websites and apps that allow free downloads, and and am often switching between a work of fiction and a book on philosophy or politics!

On the whole, I am happy to share that I have learned to love reading on Kindle and while digital books will never really replace the material paper books for me, I will Always be carrying a small digital library on my Kindle Fire.