May 23, 2012 Update from Barbara:
This was a landmark day for me as an author, inasmuch as I published my first Kindle book on this date, choosing, of course, to make my 2010 memoir, THE DRUMMER DRIVES! my first eBook.
First Impressions of the Kindle in 2011:
After getting my new Kindle charged, I took it out on the patio to get acquainted with it. I was truly surprised to find that I could access the Internet with the free 3G wireless that came with the $139 model I'd ordered (the "Kindle Keyboard 3G"). And when my first eBook arrived within seconds of clicking the BUY button, I was even more surprised. Delighted, in fact.
I do my personal reading in the evening, and I will always prefer to curl up in bed with a real book when I'm reading my favorite fiction or a memoir. But I quickly saw that the Kindle was going to be the perfect "book" for me when I was traveling, waiting in a doctor's office, or spending time on my patio. (Unlike the Nook, the Kindle LOVES bright light.)
I just wish now that I'd waited a bit to buy a Kindle, since I would have gladly spent a bit more to get the "Kindle Fire" model, which was released shortly after I bought mine.
Read Kindle books anywhere!
Amazon Free Kindle
UNTIL I GOT INVOLVED in the creation of eBooks for my author clients and myself, I didn't realize how much I would love the free Kindle for PC application. This is not only an essential tool for any eBook author, editor, or publisher, but it's much better than the hand-held Kindle for how-to books of all kinds. The screen is larger and brighter and, more important to me, I can quickly copy and paste selected parts of a book (things I would normally highlight in a print book) to a Word document and print out the specific sections I want for desk reference.
You don't need to own a Kindle to read Kindle eBooks, but if you have one, you can sync your Kindle library to both the Kindle device and the free computer application. It doesn't get much better than this!
"At some point, even print curmudgeons have to acknowledge that the ability to search for, buy, download and read a book from your chaise lounge at the pool is pretty damn cool. And the ability to take along 100 or so books when you travel is pretty nice, too." - from a blog post on TribalAuthor.com
ARTICLES OF INTEREST:
Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet—The Battle Between Low-Priced Tablets
Iggy the Kitten Investigates the iPad (a delightful YouTube video that has been viewed by more than eight million cat lovers—clearly this is the ultimate cat toy!)
Copyright © 2000-2013
Why I Love the Kindle
by Mollie Wakeman
"Kindle Addiction" Introduction by Barbara Brabec
PERHAPS YOU THINK A KINDLE is the last thing you want or need, but as I've been learning from conversations with friends and family, once a Kindle falls into one's hands, using it quickly becomes addictive. (See my initial thoughts about the Kindle here.)
My sister Mollie is a good example. She stumbled into her love affair with the Kindle when she decided to give one to her husband upon his retirement. When she had her second carpal tunnel surgery on her dominant hand and remembered the struggle of holding and turning the pages of a "real book," she asked to borrow her husband’s Kindle. After downloading a few inexpensive books and discovering a Sudoku download that enabled her to one-handedly do a daily Sudoku, she was hooked! Six books and three weeks later as the hand continued recovering, there was a problem in that the Kindle could not be pried from Mollie's hands.
On the event of their cat’s upcoming twelfth birthday, Mollie’s husband told her that he thought they ought to buy the cat a Kindle as a birthday present, and perhaps Mollie should choose the Kindle cover the cat would like, possibly pink? After all, the cat was frequently in her lap as she read on the Kindle, so maybe then she could borrow the cat’s Kindle and he could have his back.
There are several thousand reviews on Amazon's site for the Kindle, but just one review from a family member or close friend carries far more weight than comments from a bunch of strangers. At the time I bought my Kindle (August 2011), I was in the process of trying to learn how to publish Kindle editions of my books (and my first one is showcased at left), but it was my sister's enthusiastic review of the Kindle below that changed my perception of how useful I might find the Kindle for personal use. - Barbara
Photo by Mollie Wakeman, on the beach of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. She writes:
What I Especially Like about the Kindle:
when I finish reading (or fall asleep reading), the Kindle will hibernate, and with a click at the bottom I am returned to the very page I was reading—no bookmark needed;
being able to look up a word in the dictionary and then return to my page;
the speed at which I can read because I can turn a page with a quick click;
the ability to make notes and highlight, enabling me to share key points of the book with others (especially for a book club). With a print book I would mark things with a small post-it note, then have to go back to the computer to make notes. Now I can highlight, add a reference word, and access it quickly during the book discussion.
I also like:
the ability to do a Sudoku puzzle (billions free online at WebSudoku.com), or just do a keyword search;
the speed at which you can download;
the portability for visits to doctor’s offices or anywhere you may have to wait;
being able to have two books going at once and easily switching from one to the other;
being able to download audio books.
In fact, I cannot find anything to dislike. At this point in my life, anything that simplifies it and creates less clutter is good. So far, I have downloaded only free or 99-cent books. As I continue reading, there will be books I want at a greater cost, but I will have the benefit of not having to store more books or return library books.
I have always loved books and have a great regard for beautifully bound books, and I treasure the many old family books in my bookcases, but I embrace this new-to-me technology. As to the future, a friend who organizes our book club suggests that libraries may be offering more eBooks than real books in the future,* allowing us to download and then automatically removing them from the device after a period of time.
I wonder if perhaps in the future libraries will become more like museums where we will visit to look at and enjoy the beauty of physical books while having the benefit of technology for reading them.
TIP: If you buy a Kindle, read the descriptors carefully as the less expensive one ($114) may allow pop up advertising across the bottom of the screen. The up-front savings of about $20 (up to $50 on the more expensive version) may not be worth all the aggravation of pop ups you will experience later. Unless you want promotional offers and advertisements to distract your reading, I recommend the one for $139. (Editor's note: Mollie ended up buying the Kindle Fire in 2014 and now she is really addicted to this multi-function device.)
* Editor's note: Yes, this is entirely possible, given that trade book publishers today are jumping on the eBook bandwagon in droves, publishing eBook editions of whole lines of books. My literary agent tells me that, in the not-too-distant future, book publishers may be writing book contracts for the eBook edition first, with the royalties for print editions being moved to the Subsidiary Rights area of the author-publisher contract where eBook editions used to be. In some of the author-publisher contracts I've critiqued recently, I've seen clauses confirming that book publishers now plan to use print-on-demand technology to print books that do not justify a second printing for inventory.
READER FEEDBACK - (Send yours to Barbara)
"Barbara, I love my Kindle! I have had one since the very beginning, and just upgraded to the Kindle 3 for the better contrast it provides. I absolutely love that I can buy a book, read it, and not have to store it on my jammed bookshelves.
"However, it will never replace physical books for anything that I want to save and revisit . . . art books, how-to books, and the like. I use it for everything else, though. I've become legally blind due to Iritis, so the ability to enlarge the text has been a godsend. I read one or two books a week on it." - Charlene Anderson, jewelry and textile artist, writer, designer