Friday, 15 July 2011

Cally joins the 21st century reading revolution!

I finally did it. I finally caved and bought myself a Kindle.

I ordered one:

- partly b/c I was ashamed that I was in the minority with my hand not in the air when Simon Petherick asked, in his RNA talk on the future of publishing, who had a Kindle

- partly because I'm getting sick of weighing down my handbag (and shoulder) with a heavy book during my once-weekly Bristol to London commute*

- and partly because I think it might be a good way to proofread the novels I write without causing the destruction of several small forests.

But mostly because I'm a bit of a geek and this looks like one gadget that is going to be around for a bit.

It is, I have to say, quite lovely. Much lighter than I thought and the text on screen really is easy on the eye with no glare whatsoever. But now I'm faced with a dilemma...which book to buy first?

If you're a Kindle owner what did you buy? Any hints/tips you'd like to pass on to a newbie?

*Please note, I haven't gone over to the dark side and will continue to buy lovely, strokeable 'proper' books as well as the 'e' kind. I'll just stick to reading them at home!

19 comments:

Nik Perring said...

Welcome to the land of the Kindle! I really, really enjoyed reading Vonnegut's 'A Man Without a Country' on mine, cos it had cool pictures in it too. Ace book.

Yvonne said...

I got mine a few weeks ago and I love it! So far I've bought some travel guides (which tend to be very weighty), a few Jane Austen novels, and Microserfs. I also found some free travel guide PDFs online and downloaded them to the Kindle too.

Here are some good sites for free/cheap ebooks:
http://www.manybooks.net
http://tinyurl.com/63wued7
http://tinyurl.com/5ufd8fj

have fun!

Elle said...

KINDLE! *squee* I got mine a couple of weeks ago after months of wondering, 'should I?' but it's absolutely awesome! I use mine to proofread too, and when I travel to London I'm usually laden down with paperbacks, but not any more :) Plus it's a space-saver!


There are quite a few free and cheap ebooks around. Amazon sometimes has sales. You're seriously going to love it.

Queenie said...

If you want a cover to protect your Kindle while it's in your handbag, get one on eBay - half the price of Amazon and more colours to choose from. Screen protectors are a good idea too.

Shuggie said...

Check out Project Gutenberg for all the out-of-copyright classics etc.

Also, I like Calibre as a nice program to organize and back up your ebooks on your PC. It'll also convert between different formats, so if you find something in a format the Kindle doesn't itself support (ePub for example) then you can get it to convert it. Even handy for text documents as it can add page number and a table of contents if it can guess the chapter breaks correctly.

Cally said...

Nik - Ooh, hadn't considered a book with pictures in it. Apparently a lot of comics/graphic novels are being released as ebooks. You know anything about that?

Yvonne - Travel guides! What a good idea. Hmmm...now where can I go? ;) Cheers for the links, will check them out.

Elle - Squeeee indeed! I made a similar noise when the postman turned up today - right after he said, "I see you've ordered a Kindle" (nosy sod! ;)). Loving it already. Will look out for those sales.

Queenie - I ordered a cover (from Amazon, doh!). Will look into a screen protector (considering a leaky biro nearly ruined my recently signed Jill Mansell novel that's not a bad idea at all!). Thank you!

Shuggie - Oooh, it hadn't even crossed my mind to back up my ebooks. Thanks so much, great idea.

Do you think the program could convert my Word doc novel manuscript into something the Kindle could read?

Suz Korb said...

Ooh, now you've done it. You're never going to stop downloading ebooks now. I haven't since Leah got me my Kindle for my birthdays last month!

Karen said...

I'm still not tempted, but maybe one day!

montyandrosie said...

I totally love my Kindle! The only problem with it is that, once you've enabled One Click buying on Amazon, it is wayyyyyyyy too easy to spend far tooooooooo much...... (but I'm having some difficulty caring, really - I just know I should)

pierre l said...

Congratulations on getting the Kindle. I have to say that while the official kindle cover with light from amazon is expensive it is also lovely.
Although I still buy printed books, I have read far nore books on Kindle in six months than in the previous year.

HelenMHunt said...

I haven't succumbed yet, but I keep thinking I'll have to particularly as publishers seem to be moving towards sending review copies out electronically.

Debs Carr said...

This time last year I was sure I'd never get one, but now that I have, I love it and have about 40 books on it.

Perfect for travelling and far more space for clothes/shoes without all those heavy books.

Like you though I do still love my paper books.

Felicia said...

Oh, no, I can't do it myself. They'll have to tear those lovely, strokeable, proper books from my hands first...

Btw, I'm the crazy lady who accosted you in the loos at the RNA and thanked you for your blog pointing me towards mag short stories. T'was nice to meet you!

Cally said...

Suz/Montyandrosie - It doesn't feel like real money you're spending when you're downloading ebooks does it? That 1-Click business has a lot to answer for!

Karen - Ah, I'm sure you'll come over to the dark side eventually. Though long live paperbacks, long live libraries! :)

Pierre- There's a cover with a light?! How did I miss that? Doh. Am hoping a Kindle will mean I read more as the number of books I read a year has really slipped since becoming an author. There just aren't enough hours in the day :(

Helen - It would make a lot of financial sense if they did that. But it's not as much fun as the postie bringing you a new book to stick on your shelf!

Debs - 40 books in a year. Wow! How many of them have you read?

Felicia - Hello crazy lady! Just kidding, I was really touched that you took the time to come up and say hello. I'm always amazed when people tell me I inspired them to do something. Sometimes you kind of forget that the world can read your blog/thoughts - unless they comment of course! :) Congrats on your short story success.

Nik Perring said...

Cally - yep, the pics were fab, but they were originally black and white, which I guess helped. And yep, there are loads of graphic novels et al released as eBooks, though I'd guess, sadly, that they'd probably work better on something with a colour screen...

Chris Stovell said...

I love, love, love my Kindle even though I suspect it's costing me a bomb as I just keep buying ebooks. I think Simon P summed it up at that talk when he said his first thought was, 'Why didn't anyone tell me how fantastic these are?'. Mine was a surprise gift and I have to say I thought it would be a gimmick until I used it. I still love paper books but it's so lovely being able to have a choice of reading in one place!

Cally said...

Chris - I suspect the Kindle will really come into its own the next time I go on holiday/travel a distance and can choose from a lovely wide selection of books without hefting their weight around! It really is far too easy to buy books on it!

Nik - Ah yes, I hadn't thought about the whole b&w thing. I've seen a few comics/graphic novels on the ipad and they work brilliantly.

Jumbly Girl said...

Mine was an impulse buy after too much wine (eek) but I love it! Started myself off with a couple of sure fire winners (ie ones I knew i would read in any format) - Janet Evanovitch and Sara Paretsky but now about to launch into 'A Place of Greater Safety' by Hilary Mantel. Have found it brilliant on holiday (have brought 40 books instead of 3) - tho still take a paperback ('When God Was A Rabbit' at the moment) to the beach

Cally said...

Jumbly - I've bought quite a few books now! Started with freebies/classics (Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights etc) and then moved on to a couple of YA novels, Lisa Jewell's latest and then, on a recommendation from Debs, The Guernsey Potato Peel Society (or whatever it's called!).