kindle vs tablet

I’ve been debating about whether to get some sort of e-reader for a long time. This summer, I borrowed my sister’s Ipad, and after using the Kindle app and realising that I could borrow e-books from the library, make notes in them, and that my notes would then be saved on my Amazon account (ready and waiting for the eventuality of me deciding to rent the book again or even buy it), I was sold. Time is money, and being able to refer to your copy of a text (with all the passages that you highlighted etc.) is much better than having to reread the whole thing again at some later date or putting your faith in unreliable internet sources.

I had gone to the electronics store with the idea of making a modest purchase of some necessities for my trip (like spare batteries and SD cards) and simply browsing the e-readers, but while I was there, a pleasant young man appeared and started explaining to me that I could have an actual tablet, with all the apps etc, for just a teensy bit more. He made a good case for his product (he worked for Samsung and was really good at his job), so I decided to try it out.

When I got home, I played with my new toy for hours, not going out with friends as I had planned, which is my first reason for not keeping this item. An e-reader would be better for me because an e-reader is just books, with none of the extra apps that devour your time. The other thing was that I will be doing a lot of writing in Honduras, as I will be managing emails, e-vites, and press releases (not to mention updating this blog), so taking my netbook makes  a lot more sense than taking something that is a little awkward to type on. Also (and maybe most importantly), I just don’t have $200 to splurge on something that is not essential to me at the moment, as I will probably be receiving my next pay check in March (2014).

Maybe I can store my laptop with someone in Costa Rica while I backpack for 3 weeks, or maybe I can just sell it. If there is one thing that my nomadic lifestyle of the past three years has taught me, it is this:

Everything is rented.

If something costs 120 “whatevers” (dollars, euros, or pounds), and you are able to use it for 12 months, then you have really rented it for 10 “whatevers” a month. Nothing lasts forever; things break, or you upgrade and sell them, or give them away when you move house. Clinging to possessions will just mean you’ll have to pay another “overweight” fee at the airport.