My husband got me the Amazon Kindle for Christmas. I was wary at first. Technology has not always been my strong point, and I didn’t use it much at first because I felt I was betraying my old friends sitting on my nightstand. I didn’t want them to think I had forgotten them. I have always loved the feel of the page and the smell of paper. Does it even really smell? Let me check. I guess it doesn’t.
Still, there is something so romantic about a book. It’s hard to replace it with something that has to be plugged in, but I’m slowly becoming converted to this electronic vixen. Here are some of the Kindle’s perks.
1. The dictionary. If I come across a word I don’t know, I just move the cursor in front of the word, and the definition pops up immediately. This has especially helped my son, who has had to read a difficult book for school. Any time he comes across word he doesn’t know, (about every fifteen seconds), he moves the cursor and gets the definition. I gave him a notebook and told him I’d pay him 25 cents for every definition he wrote down. He just told me he’s earned $7.25. Perhaps this feature will be expensive.
2. Free classics. Any book that is over 100 years old no longer gets copyright protection so I can download these gems for free. I recently downloaded a Shakespeare play, two of P.D. Wodehouse’s hilarious books, and Thomas Hardy all for free.
3. Free samples. When I’m interested in a book, but not quite sure I want to buy it yet, I can download the first two chapters of the book for free. It’s been a very handy tool because I often decide not to buy the book after reading the first few chapters, and I don’t have to worry about returning it.
4. Ease of use. The Kindle is simply easier to use. It’s easier to read when I’m lying down, and I don’t have to use two hands to hold back pages. My husband bought me a nice red case (which makes it easier to find) and a built-in light (so I can read it in the dark).
5. Automatic bookmark. I used to spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I had left off in my reading. The Amazon remembers for me. I don’t have to remember to save my spot or even turn off the device. When I’m ready to read again, I just open the Kindle, and I’m exactly on the same pages I was on when I got distracted.
6. Change of Text Size. I can change the text size to make it much larger than a normal size book. This will be helpful when teaching my children to read.
7. Easy storage and access. I don’t spend nearly as much time putting away books or looking for books. They are all in one place. The Kindle is especially handy when traveling. I don’t have to pack a bunch of books, but I can just slip my Kindle in my purse.
8. Can download other media such as blogs and periodicals. As a blogger, this is a great feature for me because I will be able to download blogs while I’m at the park with my kids or waiting at a doctor’s office.
9. You can download a book immediately. You don’t have to wait to get to a library or a bookstore to get access to a book. Once you want to read it, you can have it in two minutes. When my husband and I were on vacation, I had a sudden desire to read a book by an author who intrigued me. We were a half hour from the nearest town. I had his book on my Kindle in minutes, and it was even free. It was a delight to read during our vacation.
10. The User Guide. I just discovered this feature today. The User Guide is right on the kindle so I can refer to it when ever I need it. Apparently, this Kindle has a lot more capability than I realize.
There are a few challenges I still face with the Kindle. It has to be plugged in, although unlike a cellphone, it only needs to be plugged in about once a month. I also find that I tend to read it faster than I do a regular book and so I might miss things that I otherwise would not. Still, I’m reading more with my Kindle than I did before, and I am never limited to the books in my house. If you want to know how the Kindle is changing the way people read and purchase books, read this fascinating blog.
Want ideas on how to read more?
Do you own a Kindle? If so, how have you like it?