Thursday, December 9, 2010

I <3 My Kindle

Finishing my Christmas shopping last Friday, my thoughts dwelt on how convenient Amazon's Kindle would be for me at home apart from its being a travel accessory.

1. Although I've enjoyed reading free ebooks on my laptop courtesy of the free Kindle for PC application, reading at bedtime makes my laptop magically grow progressively larger and heavier as I get sleepier, shrinking back to its regular size and weight before I awake. Being able to switch from my laptop at any point in a book to the much smaller and lighter Kindle would enable me to continue reading until I'm ready to nod off.

2. Checking Amazon for five books I bought this year, I saw that Kindle editions are available for all of them at a lesser price, one for free. Not only would it save me money, it would greatly decrease the amount of space I need for storing books at home. Sure, I'm a great fan of public libraries even while traveling, but there are books I just have to own. Of course, I can store more ebooks on my laptop, but see #1 above.

3. The Kindle has a Text-to-Speech feature that, depending on a publisher's allowing it to be enabled which may be determined on Amazon's description for the book, allows me to listen to an ebook when I want to rest my eyes like being read a bedtime story as a child. This feature is not available in the PC app. For road trips, I can plug my cassette adapter into the headphone jack, insert the adapter into my car's cassette player, and by turning Text-to-Speech on, listen to a book as I drive as if it's an audio book.

4. Another feature not available with the PC app is the ability to organize ebooks into folders, called Collections. Kindle for PC sorts by author, title, most recent, or by file size making quite a list for me to go through to find what I want out of the already 99 ebooks in my library. Being able to go to a Collection will greatly relieve me of the annoyance of not being able to quickly find something I know I have. Because ebooks may be categorized in more than one Collection, there's less chance of my not being able to find what I want due to forgetting in which Collection I categorized it.

As a result, after reading the 1-star and 2-star negative reviews on Amazon that did not put me off in the slightest, I ordered a Kindle last Friday, Dec. 4, at nearly 6 P.M. ET along with a neoprene case by Belkin. Assured they would be delivered Dec. 10-14, continuing to read on my magical laptop (see #1 above), I found waiting to be as hard on me as waiting for Christmas Day when I was a child.

Amazon and United Parcel Service must have really gotten their acts together for the holiday season. Despite my ordering after normal business hours on a Friday, considering the weekend and that I selected free shipping which usually takes a few days longer than the paid-for standard shipping, my Kindle arrived on Tuesday morning, shipped from Lexington, Kentucky. Remembering one Amazon shipment originating in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas that drove me crazy watching it spend three days going from one UPS distribution center to another before it left the state of TX, I was determined to not monitor the tracking status for my Kindle during the six to ten days it was supposed to take to arrive. Surprised by the fast delivery, I was jumping in joy.

Having read the PDF User's Guide through the Kindle for PC app over the weekend, I unpacked the box and plugged in my Kindle to charge.

Noticing the indicator light changed from orange to green two to three hours later, I eagerly turned it on, registered it to my Amazon account, downloaded and synchronized my library, then tried out a few features before organizing my ebooks into Collections.

(The instructions said I wouldn't have to register it if I bought it through my Amazon account, which I did, because it would already be registered, which it wasn't. No matter. Registration was fast and easy, taking only a moment.)

I'm not reading ebooks on my laptop, anymore.

Imagine reading that's much easier on your eyes than using a backlit screen.

Imagine electronic paper and ink technology that's easier to read than paperback and some hardback books.

Imagine having nearly a hundred books, with room for up to 3,500 books, in a device that can be held in one hand, either hand, that's thinner and weighs less than two ounces more than a giant (6.8 oz/192 g) bar of Hershey's red Symphony chocolate.

Imagine being able to access any of your ebooks at any time with only a few clicks of a thumb or finger without having to move from your chair.

Imagine being able to turn pages with a slight movement of your thumb on the same hand holding the Kindle.

(Picture how not having to lift a finger to turn a page, much less an arm or hand, deepens the meaning of the term "couch potato.")

Since it arrived Tuesday morning, I've spent about ten hours reading on it and I love my Kindle. I really love it!

Praise the Lord!

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