Kindle: Oh, I Believe!



It all started as a result of getting regularly dissed by my local Borders.

 Let me count the ways:  Their complete lack of interest in shelving romance anywhere even remotely close to the lay down date, the whiff of condescension coming from employees (hello, Red Suspenders guy!), and the rolling eyes and sighs if you dared to ask them to search the infamous “back room” for books that weren’t on the shelf even though their own computer system said they were in store.

So, why did I rely on such an unreliable bookstore?  Color me naïve, but I live in a major city and I don’t think I should have to pay shipping and handling for mass market books.  And Amazon Prime?  That’s still paying.

I’ve thought about e-readers before, but…well, it just seemed like too much of a project to try to figure out which one was best – not to even mention the whole Mac compatibility issue.  So, I shoved the whole thing aside and continued to get pissed off every time I went to Borders.

Then came Kindle.  I waited.  Then I started reading the buzz on AAR’s message boards and getting great reports from happy readers, not the least of whom was my sister.  It sounded ridiculously easy to use.  And, best of all, no Borders!

To make a long story short, Kindle works exactly as advertised:  It’s fast, you can get most books, and it’s lightweight and easy to use.  (I particularly love hands-free reading.  Who knew you could pet the cat while catching up on the latest Elizabeth Hoyt?) 

Getting manuscripts on Kindle is also a breeze – and, for someone who’s always found it difficult (if not impossible) to read on a computer, that’s a big bonus.  I’m told by a published author friend that editors and agents love Kindle and that makes complete sense to me.   I dream of a world – believe me, I dream – in which ARCs would be delivered wirelessly to Kindle.

The downside?  There are surprising – and annoying – gaps in available books, though Amazon seems to be doing a good job of working through that.  A Kindle is far from cheap.  And, on a larger scale, who wants Amazon controlling the whole ebook thing?   (That just can’t be good.)

Still, the good news is that as technology advances, devices get even easier to use.  I’m sure that somebody somewhere somehow will improve on Kindle (maybe Amazon, who knows?) but for now, they’ve cracked it. And I am one passionate convert.

And, geez, no Borders.  Believe me, I’m not going to miss Red Suspenders guy.

-Sandy AAR


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13 Responses to Kindle: Oh, I Believe!

  1. Karen Ranney says:

    I love my Kindle! I’ve had mine for about 5 months now, and I’ve become an absolute convert.

    What’s really neat is being able to buy hardback only releases for $9.99.

    I use my computer in conjunction with the Kindle, finding it easier to actually locate books I want using my computer. I think the locate function on Kindle is good, just not as fast as a computer. Also, although I’ve always been a fast reader, my reading speed has increased – now I can race through a book whether it’s in print or on the Kindle.

  2. AAR Sandy says:

    You make an excellent point, Karen. I think I’m reading faster, too. It took me a while (maybe a few days) to adjust to that screen flash-y thing you get when you turn a page, but now I hardly notice it.

    One thing I noticed: Some publishers are being really smart about Kindle. My sister pointed out a hardback recently that was more than $9.99 (okay, she was a little disgruntled about it) and a few days later the price was down to the $9.99 price point. That was a quick reaction.

  3. AAR Heather says:

    I want one so badly, but the price makes me feel guilty even thinking about buying one right now. I have to drive at least 30 minutes to the larger books stores, so maybe I can use the excuse that in the long run I will save on gas expenses. I could also use the storage space argument. Hmmm…..

  4. Rae Lori says:

    Reading on an ereader is seriously addicting! I love hearing new converts to the devices be they Kindle, Sony or Blackberry (like me!). I heard some readers get so used to reading on it that when they pick up a paperback and it’s so weird to read! I can attest to that!

    I also agree about reading faster. Somehow I breeze through books like nothing when I e-read them while paper takes me a while. I wonder if it’s a psychological thing? Hmm.

  5. Lavinia says:

    Somebody just told me that publisher’s weekly posted a rumor that they’ll be a second generation Kindle available the first quarter of 2009.

    I really want to get one, but always seem to buy things right before something better comes out — decisions, decisions.

  6. Evangeline says:

    I want one, but a new laptop takes priority at the moment.

  7. Jean says:

    I’ve had my Kindle for a few months and adore it. I use it not only for books but have the NY Times delivered every a.m. at half the usual price – and actually end up reading more of the paper since it’s actually easier to read on the Kindle. I also love that hardcovers are just $9.99, but today when I went to buy a couple of the latest Avon historical releases (by Eloisa James and Edith Layton) I discovered that they were charging $9.99 for each, a $5.00 discound from the “Digital List Price” of $14.99! The paperback version is $5.99. Anyone know what this is about? Is it a new (and awful) Avon pricing plan?

  8. AAR Sandy says:

    Heather: A 30 minute ride to the bookstore is a definite factor. As is the fact that ebooks require no trees. (In my case, it would be a 30 minute drive to a bookstore that didn’t have what I wanted when I got there.)

    Rae Lori: ah, yes, the passion of the newly converted!

    Lavinia: The waiting for the next generation thing is an evil trap. I googled and found reports that there is a new one out there, but that it’s the same size and basic design — and some reports are saying it’s a step backward in design from this one. Who knows?

    Evangeline: I hear you. Fortunately, I’m okay computer-wise right now.

    Jean: My sister does the NYT thing, too. And what? Eloisa James and Edith Layton are paperback originals, so that just had to be some kind of Amazon mistake. If this is new Avon policy, I don’t think it will last very long.

  9. Anne Marble says:

    I’m afraid to say that some of us have cross-platform addictions. I have an eBookwise but still like going to Borders (and B&N). Then again, I can’t get a frozen Cookie with Oreo from my eBookwise. ;) And those coupons and discount programs are sooo tempting (although nothing beats a Fictionwise 100% Micropay rebate). Luckily, my bookstores seem to have more polite staff members.

  10. Anne says:

    Have you seen the photos of the new Kindle on Media Bistro? It’s a long URL, so here is the tinyurl version:

    Here is a link to a bigger picture:

    How does it compare to the current Kindle?

  11. AAR Sandy says:

    Thanks for the link, Anne. It does seem to be a bit longer, but thinner — according to the article. It also doesn’t seem to be much different. Honestly, even though I am such an enthusiastic Kindle convert that I can’t see upgrading to this one because it isn’t different enough. As Kindle gets better in the years ahead, you bet I will.

  12. LinnieGayl says:

    I do dearly love my Kindle, but have one minor problem with it. Nearly every time I take it out of it’s holder thing, the back panel pops off, and I have to put it back on. Does anyone else have that problem?

  13. Interesting Post, really enjoyed reading it

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