Monday, December 27, 2010

me and my kindle

I'm inside with a cold watching my husband roll the hay barrow down the hill. The sun is out today, and although it is 30 degrees with winds blowing in (up to 35 mph by the afternoon) the geldings were out playing this morning and we decided to give them some hay out in the sun, on top of the snow, and give them a few hours out of their blankets so they can run and roll and get some sunshine all over their bodies.

My son had this cold last week, then husband got it, and daughter. Finally, on Christmas day, after most everything I needed to do had been done, it kicked in for me.

Fortunately my Christmas gift was a Kindle, which I've been eagerly awaiting. I've had the free Kindle for Mac software on my desktop for months, and although it's great for doing research or checking formatting issues, it's not all that much fun to slide my desk chair into place and settle in for a good read.

I tried putting the software on my old Mac laptop, but it's just too old to support this new technology.

And I spent a long weekend with an iPad a few months back, buying and reading most of Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom, enough to know that reading a book on an electronic device was vastly more appealing than I ever thought it could be.

Since Christmas morning when I opened the Kindle and powered it up, I have carried it around the house with me, charmed by its lovely habit of putting a new image onto the screen each time I put it to sleep. It's like a mini-magical Etch-a-Sketch, and who knew that putting a device to sleep would be so much fun?

I finished Freedom, bought Emma Donaghue's Room, am nearly done with that, bought Caroline Leavitt's Pictures of You for next read, and have downloaded samples from about 10 different books I've been wanting to browse.

The Kindle is light in the hand, easy on the eye, and the ability to shop for a new book and have it in my hand in less than a minute is like some kind of childhood fantasy come to life.

I thought I would be sad about the lack of color, but to be honest, as someone who adores black and white photography and pen/ink sketches, the black and white images on the Kindle are so charming I really don't care about the color.

That's not to say I won't be first in line when Amazon puts out their color version.

Love, love, love it - more than I can say.


Matthew said...

It's quite elegant and the e-ink text (and pictures) are most lovely!

Glad you and the Kindle are getting along so well. . .

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've had my Kindle for quite some time now and love it too. Just downloaded two books last night as a matter of fact. The thing I like most about it is the sample feature. I've used it a lot and have actually not ordered some books because of it. My other favorite feature is the leather cover for it and the mini light, that allows me to read in bed without disturbing anyone.

Enjoy your Kindle and I'll be looking forward to purchasing your book on it soon!

p.s. I'm not even going to comment on our weather here and the trees and branches down and the wind and drifts. Let's just say that my daughter is 5'10 and the snow is up to her hips/waist.

billie said...

Thank you, Matthew - as the primary giver of the gift. :)

billie said...

Arlene, oh my gosh re: your amount of snow. I cannot imagine. Stay warm and I hope some milder weather comes your way very soon. I see on our forecast that by the weekend we will be in the SIXTIES. Unbelievable.

And since you mentioned it: I now have two of my adult novels (the middle grade novel will be coming very soon!) up on Kindle.

The disclaimer is that I am trying to fix some formatting issues that have to do with paragraph indentions. It's not completely hideous as is, but I haven't "put the word out" b/c I want to get these things fixed first. But the books are there and available, and I have priced them at a very nice price point.

Be aware: the adult novels deal with adult themes. I don't want anyone being taken by surprise - to go from this blog to the novels is going to be quite a change!

Based on my experience with Amazon, if you purchase the e-books now and want the updated format version later, they can replace the existing ones w/o you needing to re-purchase.

The formatting glitch is the only thing holding me up at this point - it does not show up on my Kindle for Mac version! Hopefully I will get this figured out with these first two and apply my new techie knowledge to those that follow. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's exciting! I'll take a look for them in a while.

Anonymous said...

Although it isn't good for every book, I love my Kindle too and think I actually read more now than I even did before, since I can easily carry it with me everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I ADORE You for buying my novel for your kindle. I'm also loving your blog! And I love the snowy backdrop.

Caroline (Leavitt)

billie said...

Thanks, Arlene - yay!

billie said...

Kate, I will always have actual books (probably in every room, on shelves, in piles, everywhere, as they are now, but wow, I am really loving the ease of use of the Kindle. I read a lot, and anywhere I go have a big satchel of books going along with me. This ends that, I can tell you!

billie said...

Caroline, I'm glad you popped in - I was going to watch an episode on Netflix and then get back to my reading, with Pictures of You synced up and ready to read.

So the Netflix is slow today and as it sits here loading, I went ahead and started your novel. Read right through the episode when it came back on and I guess at this point am just abandoning Netflix until later!

For other readers, Caroline's new novel Pictures of You is out by Algonquin, one of my favorite publishers in the world, for many many years now. Whether you prefer hard copy or Kindle copy, I highly recommend it!

Victoria Cummings said...

Okay, I want a Kindle now. I've been eying the ebook readers and trying to decide. This discussion made up my mind. Enjoy your new tehnology and stay warm! Cozy is the theme for this week.

billie said...

Victoria, this morning I can also add that I had a "glitch" last night - happened when I was rapidly looking in the Kindle store and went from a download back to reading and the Kindle sort of froze up - not completely, but clearly was hung up between commands.

I quickly figured out I had to do what's called a hard reset - did it, and voila, back to normal in about 20 seconds total.

The best test (for me) for any device like this is can I resolve problems w/o engaging my husband. The Kindle has now passed that with flying colors.