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Kindle Me!

I am a book nut. Really! I love books; the smell of a fresh off the press book, printer’s ink, the smell of a leather binding, crisp pages and glossy covers with artwork that is fresh and presents the theme of the book to entice the reader even further than the “back of the book” blurb.

I also hate books; old yellow brittle pages on a book barely 10 years old, peeling laminate on paperback covers or dust jackets that can’t handle use and rip easily. Dust on library shelves that, once disturbed, can send you into a coughing seizure. The “snap” of a binding that breaks on a paperback and a few months later the pages are falling out of the book. And the typeface in paperbacks seems to be getting smaller every ear.

All of my classic Sci-Fi novels from when I was a teen that I stored and that traveled with me as I moved from the city to the country are now so much fire starter. Yellowed, cracking pages, cracked bindings … they are now lost to me. A flood ruined a cardboard box of my books, so I transferred them to plastic which the mice thought were choice digs.

So, while I love books, surround myself with them, read compulsively and have a collection that I never dreamed possible, I hate them and have been slowly culling them, getting down to a level where they might be manageable.

Enter the Kindle. Ok, besides books, I also collect tech toys, gadgets and all sorts of technology. I have an IPod which goes great with a comfortable chair and a good book. But the Kindle, well, I pondered this for a long time. It is a reading tool. It houses electronic books, or eBooks.

I was originally not impressed with the tool. It didn’t hold many books, it was expensive, I didn’t have a wireless connection for a while (didn’t need one) and I am in love with real books.

So, it was a while before I finally decided to give the Kindle a shot. Eyes are not what they used to be, and the feature of being able to adjust the type size was attractive. But it’s black and white. No color. Magazines would be lost but books… I can see that books would benefit from this medium. No yellowing of pages, Amazon will keep your list of purchases forever (so they say) so you can’t lose any of them, and my library. Kindle holds 3,500 books! That is more than I can store in my little library. You can search the books. Big bonus!!! Books are cheaper and there is no shipping fee! Yea, I got wireless (laptops need wireless). So, Kindle easily hooked into my wireless and downloads are fast!

Larger typeface is a big bonus. The Kindle reads PDF’s. OK, this is their weak point. While the PDF’s are readable, they are not format able. They are stuck in their PDF state, and if you enlarge, you have to move the screen back and forth (in page format) to read. I can read the PDF’s better on my laptop.

But searchable! OK, take a geek text book, load it in Kindle and you can find your hardware or software issue without having to reference index. Every reference comes up. Big time saver!

We also have text to speech. Kindle reads to you! If the book is formatted for text to speech, those long drives to work locations are now filled with your favorite book! BTW, Audible books also work in the Kindle, and they are cool!!! Books read to you, and the readings are very well done in the books I’ve tried.

The battery life is also very good, does not need to be recharged as often as some of my other toys and the charger will plug into my car charger should it start to run low on juice.

Finally: acquiring books. I thought, oh, geez, I’m going to have to buy lots of my books over again to have them stored in my Kindle. Well, surprise, surprise, Amazon Kindle store has FREE BOOKS for Kindle download. And there are $.99 and $1.99 books. Not junk!!! Lots of early classics! Weathering Heights, lots of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe – older classics, pre-copyright. But have you actually sat down and READ these books? I am going thru the original Dracula, which I never actually read. Way cool, better than the movie. I’ve gotten to read the latest installment of a Yasmine Galenorn series, and just downloaded M. R. Sellars latest book to read. And even if I do end up purchasing my “can’t live without” books again, it will be the last time.

So, that leaves us with that age old question – if you were going to be left on a deserted island, what three books/records would you take with you? Well, ok, we now have to ask – what three things would you take with you? I would take my iPod, my Kindle, and I need for these laptop manufacturers to make a solar laptop. Replace the cover with a solar panel and a battery that recharges on solar. Recharging it on a deserted island would be a snap. Palm trees and bright sun? How come no one has thought of this yet? Sorry, I’m off on a tangent.

Kindle – yes, I am very happy with my Kindle. I read, therefore I Kindle.

Boudica Foster