Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Kindle experience

A lot of things have been happening in the world of e-publishing. John Locke made his millionth sale,
Joe Konrath is now making a living e-publishing his own books, oh, and my wife now owns a kindle.

I don't use or own a Kindle but I did buy my wife one for Christmas. She is now converted to eReaders and loves her Kindle.

She had the opportunity to see a friend's last year and have him explain how it worked and why he liked it. He recommended the plush leather bound cover with the built in LCD light... It was almost half the price of the Kindle on its own but does protect the investment.

Having been assured that my wife really did want one, we ordered it and on arrival the Kindle experience began. Amazon really went to town on this, everything, even down to the packaging was perfect. I could write a blog post simply on the packaging: the lack of waste, the efficiency, the economy of fully recyclable packing material...

The Kindle itself appeared to be on. An image displayed on the screen - of course - e-ink! None of this blank screen on arrival and charge for 24 hours or even worse: a peel off plastic image that adds to the ever increasing mountains of waste. Yes, it did have to be charged but my wife was able to begin reading one of the pre-loaded free books almost immediately.

Having used a Kindle for six months now, she said last week that she now prefers reading books on the Kindle. It is lighter than a paper book, cheaper - especially as she avoids the over-priced mainstream market - and it is actually easier to read! She can 'turn' the pages one handed as the controls are perfectly placed.

I've downloaded a Kindle app to allow me to download books but an LCD screen has too much glare. The Kindle screen is just like paper and can easily be read inside or outside without straining my eyes.

A month ago my wife got me to send her one of my Open University assignments so she could read it on her Kindle. I asked, 'how do I do that?'

'Just send it to my Kindle email account as a word doc.'

So I did and less than five minutes later I was looking at a my OU assignment (a draft of the first chapter of my novel) on the Kindle, now that was cool!

She has frequently downloaded a chapter for free and if she liked the chapter, bought and downloaded the book in a couple of minutes and carried on reading.

If you don't have a Kindle or other eReader then find a friend who does and get them to show you how it works. Kindles are still very expensive but the price keeps dropping and they are clever, highly usable and enjoyable enhancements to reading.

1 comment:

  1. I also got a Kindle for Christmas. as a chartered librarian i was naturally suspicious of e-readers, i love books and have spent years promoting them, but i love my Kindle too. I had tried out a few others like the Sony but didn't like the backlighting or scrolling that you had to do on some. Amazon have really thought about how we read books, the black ink on a white paperlike page is great and the one click is very easy and I like having 100s of books in my handbag. I even wrote a very bad alliterative poem about it for A215 which I will now put on my blog.