Friday, May 20, 2011

ME AND MY KINDLE

OK—I’ve finally taken the plunge and acquired a Kindle. This is a very big deal for me, because I’m a librarian and really love the printed word and the feel of real books. That said—I love my Kindle!

What’s a Kindle? It’s an ebook reader produced by Amazon.com. I bought one called the Kindle with Special Offers.

Kindle with Special Offers

Special Offers refers to sponsored screensavers that are resident on this Kindle. You save $25 if you agree to this special deal. I read a review of this Kindle in which the author noted how much he actually likes the sponsored screensavers, and I must agree: they’re really very attractive and quite appropriate for an eReader:

Review of Kindle with Special Offers

My Kindle has built-in WiFi that theoretically should allow me to download ebooks directly from Amazon.com. So far, I haven’t been able to connect to Amazon.com. You might think that’s a big problem, but no, it’s not.

I earlier downloaded the Kindle for PC application that Amazon.com offers for free on its website:

Kindle for PC

Kindle for PC installs on your desktop or laptop. I have not had any trouble downloading ebooks from Amazon.com and other sources into my Kindle for PC. I also have discovered that it’s a simple matter to transfer free ebooks via a mini-USB cable (furnished with my Kindle with Special Offers) from Kindle for PC to my Kindle handheld device.

I bought my handheld Kindle mainly because there are some classic works of literature and other public domain titles that I’ve been meaning to read, not because I have plans to sit in cyber cafes and download ebooks onto my handheld Kindle. Therefore, I don't mind acquiring ebooks via Kindle for PC and then downloading them to my Kindle handheld. Sure, I’ll work out the WiFi problem eventually, but I’m in no hurry to do so (although if you know an easy way to solve my WiFi dilemma, let me know).

Now, because I’m acquiring mainly classics of literature and other public domain books for my handheld, I haven’t actually bought an ebook as yet: they’ve all been free. You can easily access thousands on free ebooks via the Amazon.com website, but you can also find thousands of free Kindle titles (some illustrated) at Project Gutenberg:

Free Ebooks for Amazon.com Kindle

Another great source of free ebooks:

391 Places for Free Ebooks Online

The bottom line on my handheld Kindle:

1. the display is as good as they claim—-bright and easy to read, even in varying light sources.
2. controls are really easy to learn and use.
3. easy to increase/decrease font size.
4. holding handheld actually easier than holding a paperback.
5. my handheld can hold several thousand ebooks.

Disclaimer: Amazon.com is not paying me a single dime for this plug, although I would not turn down a gift certificate or free deluxe case for my Kindle…

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