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A journey with e-Books
One of the major pieces of luggage that weighs very heavy on my shoulders (pun intended) is my books. They have accumulated in shape, size and number over the years. Although I have a large number of books that I have read once and I am unlikely to read them a second time, it is quite a chore to separate out the wheat from the chaff, so I carry them along from place to place and house to house.

For some years now, I was aware of devices like Kindle and e-book readers but the device itself as the concept of e-books was alien and unfamiliar. No one I knew read e-books and the number of titles was few and most of my friends grew misty eyed at the thought of ever having to give up the familiar smell of paper and the ritual of folding the page where one had stopped reading or perhaps inserting a bookmark.  

What really turned me around was the sheer volume of books that I had to transport from Bangalore to Delhi about a year ago. Some of the cartons stuffed with books are still unopened and will probably remain so in the foreseeable future.

So first I tried out libraries. Delhi is not a great place for libraries but I found a few online ones. But their repertoire was minimal and the whole business of ordering a book and then waiting for it to be delivered by courier was time consuming. The experience left me largely dissatisfied and wondering if there were other options.

Along the way, fascinated by gadgets, I bought myself a Tablet and entered the world of Apps. And among the many apps I discovered Amazon’s Kindle was something of a standalone piece of hardware, though expensive, given the limited utility it had. But now that the Kindle was there on my Tablet and it was free, I began to explore the Kindle store and discovered that the repertoire of the e- book genre had expanded impressively since the last time I took a look. Even now, not every book was available in its e form, but quite a large chunk was, and the price of the books in their electronic format was far cheaper than the printed book.

Besides, of course, there was no question of courier delays or storage space- even the books in their digital format need not be kept on your Tablet. They could be safely stored on Amazon’s servers and downloaded again and again as needed. One best kept secret which I unearthed was that Kindle book store sold a certain number of random books which were other priced for free for a 24-hour period and if one could crack which they were giving away free, then one could read lots of books for free. Ever since I discovered the trick, I don’t recall ever actually paying for a book on Kindle. Some books are mediocre and some are just great, but since I am paying nothing for them, it doesn’t really matter.

I was recalling this journey with Amazon, as I opened my mail this morning and discovered that has finally arrived in India …. And although for now, the shelves look a bit bare, I am pretty sure, they will fill up soon!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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