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Kindle Versus the Hilo Public Library

November 20, 2010

I love books. Or maybe, these days, what I really should say is  “I love to read.”

Over the last two weeks, I’ve used Kindle to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (on my laptop) and Pride and Prejudice (on my Droid…it was Sunday, I was sick and it was free).

I opted to read Hornets’ Nest on my computer because I got impatient and didn’t want to wait for it to arrive at the library. (I did try reserving it…a couple of months ago, I think. Hence the stop at the library today:  to cancel the request after they finally emailed that it had arrived). I also think it’s wasteful to buy a book I know I won’t keep around the house long–it’s easier to justify the $9.99 price on Kindle because there’s no “waste” or “wasted space” to deal with once I’ve finished a book.

Hilo Public Library

Cloudy day at the Hilo Public Library

Caring for Books in East Hawaii

It’s not that I haven’t purchased plenty of books since moving to the Big Island, but in Hawaii, especially in East Hawaii, caring for books is more of a chore than you might expect. Tropical climate. Humidity. The rainiest city on earth. You can imagine.

When I do buy books, I generally buy paperback and try pass them on as soon as I find an opportunity to share. But, over the years, especially the “Hilo years,” I’ve found that the public library is still a very good alternative when I want to read a book that I know I won’t keep or don’t expect to reread.

Land and Power in Hawaii: The Democratic Years

Since I had to stop by the Hilo library today to cancel the hold on the other book, I decided it was the right time to pick up Land and Power in Hawaii. This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for about five years now (but don’t plan to buy–it’s $65 new on Amazon).

I waited until after finishing at UH-Hilo to take on the task. Land and Power is  a 500+ page of examination of land issues and politics in Hawaii from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s. It has been a while since I’ve had time for a non-fiction book like this (Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton and Titan: The Life of John D Rockefeller were the last two).

I’m looking forward to curling up with a cup of hot tea and delving into Land and Power tonight. If you want to read the first 165 pages with me, you can find them here. I doubt my book club will be taking this one on any time soon, so I’ll have to fit in The Law of Dreams (the next book club book selection) next weekend. I’ll probably “Kindle” that one.

Do you have a favorite e-book reader? What books have you read recently on a wireless reading device?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2010 6:05 pm

    I love to read, but I also like to hold a book in my hand when I read…. My sister and assortment of nieces, etc,….all have Kindle…I don’t think I will ever break down to get one…. I’m not buying as many books in the last few years as I did in the past due to the same reasons you mention – I live on the Hilo or wet side of the island…but I will buy books I consider special if I want them bad enough…I am getting rid of lots of books though.. The Hilo library is a godsend to me…Love that place!

    • November 20, 2010 6:10 pm

      Sonia- the library was having one of their book sales today, I noticed. Puako General Store has a shelf for neighborhood book exchange. Ideas like that are great for the Big Island! I’m with you…sometimes there’s no substitute for a cozy evening with a good book!

      • November 20, 2010 6:18 pm

        I was in the library on Thursday and had to put blinders on so I would not be tempted to buy any more books !….I need to get rid of some more before I get any… I gave a whole bunch to the library – some they put on the shelves and others were earmarked for the sale.

        There are a couple of stores in Hilo that also have inexpensive books for sale – paperbacks and sometimes hardbacks – one is the Sally Store and the other is the little antique shop on the same block. They usually have boxes of books outside the store you can go through!

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