I went to load up Warbreaker earlier in the week to start reading for the Warbreaker Group Read Amanda and I are hosting. I had trouble finding it on my Kindle, apparently because I hadn’t purchased it. Uh Oh.

Riiiight before getting a Kindle, perhaps 14 months ago, I had purchased a whole slew of Brandon Sanderson’s novels in paperback.

I had brought up the Warbreaker page in the ‘experimental’ Kindle browser, and was hovering a thumb over the button to confirm purchase of the Kindle edition when it occurred to me that this was a fairly difficult purchase to justify when I had the book sitting on a shelf in the hallway not more than a few meters away.

Note: Representation of an actual book, like, with pages and things.

Still, I hesitated. Reading, what, like, a thing with physical pages? People still do that? Then I sighed, hit the Home button to navigate away from the purchase page, climbed out of bed and found the book where I’d left it on the shelf more than a year ago. Blowing off the dust, I regarded it warily. This probably wasn’t going to be a whole lot of fun.

Funny thing is, ended up taking to it a lot more naturally than I would have suspected. Bit like riding a bike, I suspect. You never quite unlearn all the ways to handle a book to make it do what you want without breaking it completely.

Still… This is not to say there were no niggles.

What do you mean I have to hold it open?

I had clearly totally taken for granted the ability to just lay the Kindle down and have it behave.

Try that with a paperback and it is totally going to flip shut on you unless you’re willing to engage in a daring round of chicken with the bending-without-breaking point of the spine.

Even if you are so inclined, it will undoubtedly still flip a few pages at you as if they were the proverbial middle finger.

To you too, book, to you too!

I noticed this first while trying to eat and read at the same time. Then in almost any other task where I would prefer to have two hands available and also read. Such as cleaning the dishes. Chores just became a 100x more chore-like. Let me tell you, the outside cover of Warbreaker has been the recipient of a fair number of surly stares lately.

It’s dark, let me just flip the light out- Oh.

Ok, Ok. I admit this one is actually the case rather than the Kindle directly. But it is a permanent fixture of my Kindle and the Kindle powers it, so I’m going to count it.

Walking back to my car in the evening and reading in bed are the two main places I noticed this lack. Guys, at home, I actually had to turn a lamp on. What’s with that?

Walking to the car was a little more difficult, I played fun games of ‘shift-the-angle-of-the-book-to-catch-the-most-light-possible-from-the-closest-street-lamp’ all the way.

That’s a neat quote, where’s my highlighter?

It’s true, I never used the highlight / note taking features of the Kindle until the recent Mistborn group read, but I am now exceptionally fond of the ability.

I’ve had to start ripping up bits of paper — don’t worry, not from this or any other book — to use as bookmarks for anything I need to find again when question time rolls around.

It works, of course. So would a notebook or something similar to note the page numbers or quotes directly. Still… Can’t help but to pine after the Kindle method at least a little.

Those are the big three for me.

The only other one I can even think of right now is moot due to issue one, of the book refusing to stay open unattended. I enjoyed the ability to resize the font on the Kindle. Super small for less page flips in normal reading conditions, but able to set it up larger so I could put it down further away and do work.

I’ll survive though. For my hand has naturally recalled the single-hand-book-clip-grip of thumb and little finger on either page, other three fingers behind the book. Combined this braces it open and you can eat- provided you only need one hand for whatever it is you’re eating at the time! Only tricky part then is flipping pages.

Anyone else had a similar experience lately of switching from Kindle (or other eReader) to physical book? Or vice versa perhaps and have some experiences to share?