Sunday, January 4, 2009


My husband bought me an Amazon Kindle for Christmas for several reasons: because he knows I love to read, because we recently uploaded my ABA mystery Dressed to Keel to Kindle ourselves (and had no way to read it), because Amazon reduced the (still spendy) Kindle price from last year . . . but mostly because he is Techno Man. And, no matter how you feel about e-books: this is cutting edge technology. We're talking 200,000 books available for wireless delivery (and immediate reading) in mere seconds. I'm still boggled by the possibilities. And becoming (short of kissing the gizmo like that woman in the photo) rapidly enamored. But strangely guilty, too. Almost like I've cheated. On bookstores, libraries . . . paper itself. And, trust me, there are plenty of people who will point and say, "Uh huh, you are."

Not Oprah Winfrey. She called Kindle her "new favorite thing."

But many book lovers are torn. Some refuse to consider reading in a digital format, some are interested and put off by the price (359 dollars at this point--and sold out), most are curious. And asking questions. So, though I'm a newbie, let me tell you what I've found so far:

1) The Kindle in its carry case is about just around the size and weight of a trade paperback.

2) Comfortable to hold.

3) Has easy to read print (like a book, not like a computer) with adustable fonts.

4) Easy to use: I am NOT a Techno Woman. But zapped a book from Amazon into my Kindle with a quick tap. Chapter One in front of me before I could blink.

5) Amazon offers free sample chapters before you download a book.

6) Easy to "turn" pages, bookmark your spot.

7) Has built in dictionary and other links (like Wikipedia)

8) Holds 200 books, which would be tough to carry along on vacation.

Daily newspapers, magazines, and plenty of printed books (including new and bestselling) are available via Kindle. Cost is a few dollars less than retail. No shipping.

Things you miss:

1) Smell and feel of the paper (though Kindle's cover does smell like leather which appeals to my equestrian spirit)

2) Ambience of bookstore, company of fellow browsers--friendly bookstore staff!

3) Ditto for library perks.

4) And biggest missing element: no books to put on your shelves and NO PLACE for authors to SIGN.

Will Kindles replace books? I can't imagine that. But more and more publishers are offering e-books as an option for readers--my publisher, Tyndale House, does.

Will I now read exclusively on Kindle? No way.

But am I having fun with it? Sure.

And will it be very convenient when I travel? Oh yes.

I've heard that the Kindle 2 will launch in February. Could be a rumor. But then, maybe they've figured out a few new things . . . like how to make it smell like paper.

How about you? Can you picture yourself Kindled?


Mocha with Linda said...

Angela Hunt has talked on her blog about how much she loves hers. I've been tempted to use my hoarded birthday money.

The only downside I've heard is from my computer BIL who says the way the books are stored on a server could be a problem - if that particular place that owns the server goes out of business, you've lost all your books.

And yeah, I'm a book smeller!

CandaceCalvert said...

Yeah, hubby wondered about that storage too. Although there are very few books that I re-read, in truth. But still . . . if I paid for it, I'd love to be able to donate it to the library. Or give it to a friend.
Your BIL has a point. Especially in these times when even favorite department stores are going out of business. Ack!
Still . . . (she says, heart fluttering with the blush of new love) Kindle is pretty cool. ;-)

CandaceCalvert said...


Angela Hunt's opinon . . . has to resonate. That woman rocks! :-)

Eileen said...

Can't wait to actually SEE one, though I doubt I'll own one. But it would save me soooo much shelf space in my tiny digs. hmmmm

CandaceCalvert said...

Eileen--will be honored to let you play with my Kindle. Hope to make the ACFW meeting on Saturday.

Janna said...

I don't like ebooks and something about the Kindle just doesn't sit right with me. I like having the cover to look at, a book to cuddle up with, and to loan to a friend - and honestly - I like having my overflowing bookshelves... and how would I use Paperback Swap if I didn't have actual books :-)

I have to say that I have been curious, but never enough to really consider it...