Friday, November 20, 2009

KINDLE

I know just about everyone reading this is a "reader" or you would not have picked blogging as a pastime. Books, magazines,search engines, and blogs are wonderful fun, escapes and research tools. I love my books and use them for vicarious adventure, learning, therapy and for clearing the mind right before bedtime. Reading is a tool we are all exposed to if we have ever been to school. Some of us never forget our first love.

My dearest memories of my Mother are when my brother Jim and I would be spanky clean from baths, warm in our Dr. Dentons (jammies with the feet in them) and plopped in bed, one on each side of her as she read wonderful stories to us. Gulliver's Travels, Robin Hood, Grimm's Fairy Tales (yikes), Black Beauty (sob), and the countless other books for children.


Her voice took us on journeys that TV today can't touch. We had to use our imaginations to envision the pictures the words painted. Reading is interactive where TV only requires that your eyes are open and you ears tuned. The mind is free to doze off.

One of my greatest joys as a youngster was the discovery of the Book Mobile. Wow what a wonderful invention. A mobile library bringing books almost to your house. Am not sure if they still operate today but they should. When you see the success of Harry Potter and the Twilight series, you can see that even today, kids are hungry to read.

Don't want you to get the impression that reading was all I did. I was a very active child and loved the outdoors with a passion. Horseback riding, swimming, team sports, and biking were constant but there were quiet times when the weather was bad that my books let me stay active in a relaxed manner. I have always needed time to myself and books provided that. If you want to see "Happy" cranky, take all her books away.

Since I can't afford to buy the number of books I read (sorry Mr. or Mrs. Author trying to make a living) I am a bit of a library hound and yard sale book hunter. Recently I got a call from my sister saying a surprise package was coming and to be on the look out for it. She has sent me Dolphin or Marlin gear in the past that she stumbles across at yard sales, so I was totally expecting something on that order.

When I opened the package and saw a hot off the presses Kindle, I was floored, speechless and thrilled. I had always secretly wanted one but could not justify paying the price. Retirement really makes you sharpen the line between "want" and "need."

I thanked my sister within an inch of her life making sure the Kindle was my gift " forever." I would no longer accept even a piece of gum from her as a gift. She just covered me for LIFE. One more time, thank you Jan for totally spoiling me.

If you are unfamiliar with Kindle, let me fill you in. Kindle is an electronic reader. It is thin, lightweight and slightly smaller than a regular book and weighs about as much as a paperback.



Picture of Kindle on top of a regular book

You can download books into your Kindle (it will hold up to 1500 books at one time) and the average books takes from 25 seconds to one minute to load. Anywhere you have a good cell signal, you can have a book dropped into this small miracle.

The prices of the e-books are much cheaper than book store prices. A new best seller is $9.99 (why don't they just say $10.00). Many books are much less. A few authors do not authorize Kindle versions but so far I have not been denied a choice. Some authors will just delay the electronic reader access by a month or so to give the eager the chance to buy the hard copies.

Very soon, all ready in some areas, you will be able to check out library books with your Kindle for the price of a membership and from the comfort of your home. The books that can be downloaded to your reader won't be yours to keep and will disappear from your reader in the usual 3 weeks. This I can't wait for.




The screen is just like looking at a page in a book. There is no glowing screen to contend with so you do need a light source. However, you can read it in bright sunlight easily. The size of the type is adjustable for those of us with weakening eyesight.




There are no download fees so what ever the price is, that is all you pay. I find it easier to read in bed now. I was always fighting with a hard cover book in bed and could never get really comfortable. You can one hand Kindle and with a caress of your thumb, turn the page. When you shut it off, it marks you place for the next time.

Now one thing I was unaware of was the large number of free books that are available. Many of the completely free books are classics (I do enjoy classics so that is a bonus) but sometimes well known current authors will offer one of their older books briefly for free on Kindle to entice readers to try their other books. The hunt is fun.

There was a time I would have argued that I liked the heft and feel of a hardcover book. Once you have held a Kindle, that argument fizzles. Also, I do not miss the coffee stains and chocolate thumb prints often found in library or used books. Why do people think they can read and eat at the same time? That rarely works out.

Now I agree there is nothing cooler looking than shelves lined with books. That view seems to impart pleasure, comfort, warmth, safety and just a bit of class. However when you down size your life, space for books is at a premium. And no, you can't get your Kindle signed by the author. I imagine if you showed up at a book signing with one, you would receive cold stares from the author and the purists.

For older persons who can't get out easily, it is a boon. You can select your books from your easy chair and there is nothing to dust. Yes they are initially expensive. But Christmas is coming and if you don't have a rich child, perhaps the family can get together and pitch in on the purchase. Then shopping for your presents in the future will be a breeze. All they have to do is buy you gift cards to purchase new books.


I know it sounds like I work for Kindle but I am just a fan. Of course if Kindle wants to send me some book credits, that is OK :)) Sony makes a fine e-reader and the Nook that Barnes and Nobel has is new to the market. I can only speak for the Kindle.



Let it rain
Let it snow
Patti's Kindle
Is good to go



Would love to hear your views on electronic readers.

31 comments :

  1. I love to read and a Kindle is high on my 'Wish List'.
    I appreciate reading your opinion, it sounds right up my alley!
    Sunny :)

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  2. I don't have one, but you make a compelling argument for getting it! I really like the feel of books and
    holding a large hardback hasn't been a problem as of yet.

    Your sister is a gem to get that for you - too bad I don't have a sister...LOL

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  3. What a great device! Wonderful to read in bed. Some books are too big to handle while reading in bed!. Great gift!

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  4. I don't have a Kindle, but I've thought it would be neat to have one...my daughter works at our library and supplies me with books, so I never got around to buying one. Didn't realize one may download from a library eventually. It sounds very convenient, easier to hold, print size choices, no books to return or find room for, but it doesn't sound good for the bookmark makers!

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  5. I am all over this like stink on a skunk.....Sister Fleta is checking this out for Sister Patsy....she can not afford to buy books but i wonder if the free ones would be worth it to her plus I belong to a very large lib. I wonder if they are downloading Kindle books yet...My sister Fleta is checking on this...

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  6. Sounds like you are ready to cozy up with Mighty, Minnie, and Mickey on the cold winter days to come and enjoy a good read. Very thoughtful of your sister!

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  7. You do make a good argument for having a Kindle, but real books are still my favorite. My knitting group trades books from time to time and the other day while I was at the Y for a workout they were having a book swap. Boxes of books were there for the taking. I didn't because I have a bunch of books right now. I buy a lot of books at Half Price books and from time to time sell them back to Half Price. They don't pay beans for used books unless you have some really good new books.

    When I feel guilty enough to save more trees, I guess the kindle will be in my future. I just love the feel of books and I don't buy the yucky ones.

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  8. It seems I am the Odd Man Out here.
    NO KINDLE FOR ME ! I'm an old fashioned girl and I want to hold that book in my hands and smell it.
    I want to have it signed by the Author if we meet! I want to put it on my shelves if I really enjoyed it. I want it to pass to my grandchildren so they can say my Nana held and read this book!
    I am book collector so no Kindle for me! :)

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  9. I don't have a kindle, but your description makes me want to get one. I am also a library hound, but I've noticed lately that the books I want are not available locally. The library will order new books on inter-library loan for me, but they charge for it. It's free if I wait six months for them to get the copies for their own shelves. So, I wait.

    What a fantastic gift from your sister. That's the best gift from the heart for an avid reader.

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  10. Sunny,
    I really think you would love it. I can find no fault.

    kenju,
    If you and the Mr. ever down size, you will see the worth. I love a large hardcover, just not trying to read it bed.

    Reader Wil
    My sentiments exactly wil. I never seemed to get quite comfortable. The Kindle is a snap.

    Wanda
    Actually it may be wonderful for the publishers for the expense of printing , transporting and displaying is gone. The ten bucks is almost pure profit.

    4th Sister
    There are books for one cent, up to the 9.99 for best sellers. You don't need a computer to order but you do need one to sift through the mass of books available. The library thing is my goal.

    Jewels,
    That is truely one of my best gifts ever. At my age, you usually
    seem to get a lot of things that just need dusting.

    Anber Star,
    I always recycled my used books by giving them to the library for their book sales to raise money for new books. It is good when you have a group to swap with.

    Carol,
    Clap, clap, clap---that is the writers of the world giving you a standing ovation. I knew exactly how you would stand on this and probably could have written your comment for you. You are a true lover of books and I was where you are now, not too many years ago.
    When you run out of shelf space and are seeking simplicity, that is when Kindle becomes very attractive. I love mine.
    Got the feeling you would just have the Mr. build you more shelves.

    robin,
    I will probably still use the library for some books. We have a good library here that gets all the new books and never charges extra.
    When I can access their files with my Kindle, then I will be a totally happy camper.
    Yep, it was the perfect gift.

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  11. I have a KINDLE and love it. I'm now an apartment dweller and moving books is no fun. Space is also an issue. With the KKINDLE I don't have to dust shelves of books.

    I can downloa KINDLE books on my iPone and read them there. I do that a lot.

    My KINDLE was a gift from my daughter. The gift of a KINDLE is truly a gift from the heart from someone who knows you and loves you very much.

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  12. I've been going through books frm the library like mad. Gary wanted to get the new Stephen King book but it was $35 - it was a thousand pages, but yikes, most book cost dollars are way too much especially since once you read it, it is then worthless to you and you can't sell it for what you paid for it. So the library is just the ticket for me. Kindle sounds good especially since you can enlarge the print which I have begun to like that section at the library but then there is the want and need and the needs have to outweight the wants for sure.

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  13. HOw exciting. Glad to read of some one who has one.

    If it is the size of a normal book and weigh so little I may buy one and load the Bible on it, because I dislike lugging a large print Bible to church and keeping up with it. I'm sure that will be possible.

    I have a Bible loaded on a PDA but people around me in church would be watching me when I used it--probably to see if I was playing games in church--instead of listening to the speaker.

    I was tempted to load a game one Sunday as I was tired of being stared at, but then tongues would wag that old lady Coward was playing Free Cell or Solitaire in church last Sunday". Fortunately the devil didn't make me do it that Sunday. I just quit carrying it.

    My PDA is expensive and would be easy to "shoplift" if left unattended for even a short time.

    I am so glad you have one as I have been thinking about it for awhile myself.

    Like you I hate to have collections of books to dust, even if I could afford all of them.

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  14. Thanks for the Kindle info. I've been wondering about it for a while now, and you have pretty much answered all my questions.
    The only downside I can see for me, is my "need" to read hardcovers to the grankids. Can't quite see us snuggling up with a Kindle. That said it sounds like fun.
    Have you ever tried: www.bookcrossing.com

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  15. What a fantastic gift for a reader with little space to store books. You sound like you have a wonderful sister. You're all set for cold and nasty weather when you can't get out. Happy reading and have a great week-end.

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  16. I've heard of Kindles, Patti---but not until I started blogging. Blog friend Jayne (Journey through Grace) loves her kindle.. If you want her blog address, let me know and I'll email it to you. She reads alot just like you.

    I'm not much of a reader --since I'm a visual person and would rather be on the computer or watching TV, so I'll pass on the kindle.. BUT--I know that you will LOVE it....

    Thanks for your sister for such a wonderful gift... She is a very special person!!!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. Linda,
    Ah, you have a lovely daughter. It really is the perfect gift for a reader isn't it?

    Linda Star
    Totally under stand those wants and needs. If it hadn't been given to me, I would never have gotten it. Stephen Kings will be available Dec.24 on Kindle for
    $9.99. I am anxious for the library function which will be darn near free.

    Nitwit,
    That is funny about people thinnking you were playing e-cards in church.
    You can get many versions of the bible on kindle, from 99 cents to 9.90.

    Brighid,
    Well for the kids, pictures would be nice and I can see the advantage of the hard copy. Thanks for the link. I have friends who can use that.

    Patty,
    You bet. The battery lasts for 10 days so even if I get snow bound, I'm good. She is a dandy sis all right.

    Betsy,
    Thanks for the heads up. I found Jayne. Wasn't that bluebird shot of hers awesome?
    Reading is not for everyone. You take marvelous pictures which comes from being visual.

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  18. My daughter has a Kindle and absolutely loves it. I haven't tried it yet myself but am seriously thinking about it. Have fun with you new gift.

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  19. I love my Kindle! It's so easy and convenient. I have one of the first models. The newer ones are much cheaper, but have great features.

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  20. oklhdan,
    You are lucky, you can play with your daughter's to see if you like it. One thing I failed to mention is with most books, if you get tired of reading, push a key and it will read it for you in either a male or female voice. Are we getting lazy or what?

    Janie B
    I'll bet you jumped on the band wagon when I was just thinking about it. So glad to meet another Kindleite.

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  21. I have been thinking of getting one and now you have me convinced!! thanks so much for all this wonderful information and for the photo
    All the research I did about the Kindle was no where near as good as this post

    enjoy your reading

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  22. I was with you until you mentioned the book mobile. Now I am too old to have enjoyed the book mobile and I think you have a slight edge on me in counting years. Are you sure your memory hasn’t taken on one of your grandchildren’s?
    I know little to nothing of the reading contraptions but I laughed out loud reading your excitement. You do get excited.
    Thanks for sharing and as always delightful.

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  23. Hey! Thanks for that post - I didn't know about these, and it will be a lovely present for one of my girls too. Must check them out and hope they're available over here.

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  24. Dianne,
    Thanks, I am glad it helped. If you are like me, I really don't trust corporate advertising nor the "reviews" for I don't know who wrote them. Could have been their employees.

    Grayquill,
    How funny. Yes I do have years on you, yes we did have book mobiles and yep, I am excited.
    At one point in Ohio when I was around twelve, we lived on a private lake miles from anywhere. In the summers the bookmobile came to the club house for half a day and we could choose from what they had. The selection was only huge to a child.
    One summer I went through the entire Walter Farley's, "Black Stallion" series available at that time.
    The bookmobile furthered my love of books and Walter Farley furthered my love of horses.
    I really hope they still have the bookmobiles.
    Hum, wonder if I can get "Black Stallion" on Kindle ??

    LiZZie
    I do hope they are available in the UK. I know you can get them through Amazon.com.
    I've nothing bad to say about them and they would be a wonderful gift.

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  25. Oh, Patti, I'm so jealous.....I think. I do like my pages. LOL

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  26. Thank you so much for this post. I am ashamed to say I never heard of this but now this has to be on my wish list. I love to read myself and do in bed before I turn out the lights. You are so right trying to handle a big book sometimes is a problem.
    Great post
    Maggie

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  27. SMB
    Ah, but we can have both can't we? I know I will still snuggle up to a real book on occasion.

    GYH
    That is when I appreciate it the most. It is soooo easy to read then.
    Good luck.

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  28. Heard about Kindle! Your childhood was exactly like mine. I can't really remember a time when I didn't know to read or haven't been surrounded by books! :-) Loved your post.

    I'm hoping some kind soul gifts me a Kindle too .. Heeehee.. :-) ENjoy reading! I know you might say 'grapes are sour' but I feel the satisfaction of reading books cannot be replaced by Kindle! Ah well, Im a bibliophile nearly! :-)

    So what're you reading now?

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  29. lostworld,
    Like I told SMB, no reason we can't enjoy both forms. I will still curl up to a hardcover when it is available at the library.
    Glad to find another book lover. Right now I am just starting
    "1000 White Women" by Jim Fergus which is about a sad chapter in the history of the US.

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  30. I must say you have convinced me that the Kindle is a lot better than I had thought. I Sooo appreciate your explaination, my dear....I am thinking seriously of possibly getting one based on your review here...So, I thank you very very much!

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  31. OOLOH
    I don't think you will be disappointed. I totally love mine.
    One thing I don't think I mentioned is that it will read the book for you with the punch of a key. It is a mechanical voice but it has a slight problem with dialogue.
    It is best to read along with the mechanical voice. I would probably only use that if the lights were off and had to rely on dim battery lighting as often happens in ice storms here. Good luck.

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