So, what was it for, really?
I wasn't getting any real use out of it. I admit to occasionally buying ebooks that were written by friends, but after a solid year of reading self-published novels that ALL (yes, every single one of them) turned out to be utter shit, there was no way that I was ever going to use the Kindle for buying such trash again. Why was I keeping it?
Yeah, it makes for a half-assed decent tablet for Internet content if I can find wifi service while on the road.
But was that it?
Finally, after having the damned thing for a couple of years, I did discover a good use for it, and one for which the form is uniquely suited:
Classic literature and otherwise out of print books. I have now downloaded many hundreds of such texts. Essays, novels, old news items, political tracts from the past, and such. And--I mentioned this long ago--it's a good way for authors who have regained ownership of older novels to get works back into circulation once their lives with traditional publishers are over. There is a tremendous amount of great work now easily at hand that I would otherwise be unable to locate or only find after months or years of searching in second-hand bookshops and library sales.
So, for that, the ebook format is good. I still don't prefer it as a method of reading, but I will take it to get my hands on Turgenev, or M.R. James, or some of Mark Twain's forgotten essays, amusing science fiction from past decades, and the list is vast and growing.
Best of all, this stuff all seems to be completely free. All I have to do is locate it online in the correct format and push a button. Zing! It's mine.
But, to paraphrase a now-famous article, 'No, I will not read your fucking self-published novel'.
(And, yes, I produce this expression when someone asks me to read their fucking self-published novel.)