This one is LONG overdue…

#35 on my 40 Before 40 list is to buy an e-Reader. All along I thought that I’d be buying a Kindle, especially after my husband got one this past Christmas and really liked it. In the first couple of months of 2011, I read a few books on it and loved it.

However, when the second generation iPad was released, we both got one of those. So as well as having a new e-Reader, I also have a tablet computer that I use for almost everything! I remember talking pretty casually about buying the iPad 2 at some point, but when Brock called me on March 11, at 4:00 p.m. and asked me if I wanted to meet him at Best Buy to stand in line for when they released the tablet, I was surprised and suddenly nervous all at once. What if we weren’t close enough to the front of the line!?! What if we didn’t get one!? Something that had been a casual topic of conversation–just a “at some point, maybe we ought to think about getting a couple of iPads”, had all of a sudden become an urgent point; something we had to do–right then. …at least, that was my response. My cool-headed husband was just fine, as always.

I threw on a lightweight jacket, got Ollie his Kong–filled with peanut butter–and hurried over to our local Best Buy–sure that when I got there (at 4:25) the line would be very long (we do have an Apple Store here in Lexington, but we both knew it was foolish to even try that route). But when I pulled up, I saw a line of maybe 15 people. I guessed the rest of them were inside. It was still a little cool to wait outside, but we did–eager to get our hands on “the prize”. And in a situation like that, we all started talking with the people in front of and behind us. I learned that no one was waiting inside, so this was awesome news. I also learned what iPad 2 models those around me were vying for. I remember counting the people in front of me to find that I was number 17. Of course, as we waited, a few people came and stood with friends who were already in line. I couldn’t complain though, because Brock was on his way to do the same. But there was no way of knowing how many iPads each person in front of me would buy. And there was also no way of knowing how many iPads Best Buy had in stock.

Finally, 5:00 came and they let us in. I was so relieved to see that we all remained in line and that things were done in SUCH an orderly way. As we wound our way to the checkout, we were greeted by employees who asked us what model we wanted and handed us a piece of paper with those specifications. When those pieces of paper ran out, you were either out of luck or had to choose a different model. Brock chose a 16G, 3G model; I chose a 32G, WiFi model–both in black. The white ones went really quickly. So did the Verizon models. Thankfully we wanted black, and AT&T for Brock’s 3G.

As a tablet, the iPad is awesome. It does everything I could want it to–except that it doesn’t play Flash Video. That’s honestly my one and only complaint. It’s user-friendly and so intuitive. But in my opinion, that’s Apple for you–in all things. I’ve used Apple computers since the late 90’s and as long as I can help it, I hope I never have to go back to a PC.

As an e-Reader, I love it! I love that it looks like I’m reading an actual book, without it being an actual book. The iBooks app is probably my favorite, versus the Kindle and Nook apps. But I like that I can use all three of them on the iPad. I really like that as soon as I’m done reading a book I can go directly to the store and download another one (which you can do with other e-Readers, I’m sure), and that I can keep track of what I want to read in the future by downloading samples of books. So not only can I read a few pages (in some cases, a chapter or two) before I buy, but I can also download samples of those books that I’m sure I want to read at some point, and not have to try and remember them or keep a list somewhere.

Since this purchase (and because of our move), I’ve actually been making headway on #34 on my 40 Before 40 list too (at least in terms of lightening our book load). Which is awesome! It’s definitely not the only reason we bought this e-Reader/tablet, but it certainly helps!