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Kindle: A love letter...
Space saver, books cost as little as 52p, huge range of free books, downloads are instant,
none for me .
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I'm a pretty boring person and love nothing more then relaxing with a book after a long day and I consider myself to be an avid reader. But in the last few years I've found myself with no more space for additional bookcases and the books that are on them are tightly packed together and haphazardly piled on top of each other. Both messy and claustrophobic.
So what I used to do was get rid of an old book [recycle or charity] every time I bought a new one. Of course there where times when I'd suddenly get an urge to re-read a book, only to look for it and realise that I'd gotten rid of it. The third time this happened I started to pay attention to the television ads and promotional emails for Amazon's Kindle...
There are two models available on Amazon; the latest touch screen version, which is priced at £89 and the 3G version, which comes in at £149. Both versions have built-in Wi-Fi* [US Amazon customers can choose from three models of Kindle, so I imagine that we will soon have another new release upon us too].
The other main differences between the two available models is the memory size; the latest version holds around 1400 books, whilst the 3G model can store around 3500 books. The 3G model also features a Qwerty keyboard. The 2011 version instead uses a 5-way controller [similar to a Blackberry]. The 3G version can also play audio books, which the newer version cannot do.
The 2011 version has language capabilities for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian and Portuguese. The 3G model is limited to English only.
Both models use a battery which lasts one month (with wireless connections off*) between charges and have built-in PDF (Portable Document Format) reader. Unlike laptops Kindles don't heat up with use, so there's no burnt fingers or knees. The display screen (six inches diagonally) is glare free in direct sunlight and there is a choice of eight different text sizes to choose between.
The 2011 model; Measurements; 166 mm x 114 mm x 8.7 Weight; 170 grams Battery life; up to one month
3G Model; Measurements; 190 mm x 123 mm x 8.5 mm Weight: 247 grams Battery life: up to two months [The Kindle 3G battery lasts for up to ten days with wireless on]
*Kindle automatically detects nearby Wi-Fi networks at work, home, schools or elsewhere that offers a Wi-Fi connection [e.g. cafés]. Once you have added a Wi-Fi network to your kindle, it will automatically connect to that network the next time you're near the hotspot.
As you can download books directly on your Kindle, there's no need to mess around with USB's and your computer, so if you are happy with the smaller memory size in the cheaper version and have a laptop and router at home already the Wi-Fi connection is more then enough for your needs, so there's no real point in paying an extra £60 for the 3G model.
But if you don't have a wireless connection already up and running or if, like me, you have problems with your router or service provider, then the Kindle 3G is worth looking into as it provides the wireless Internet connectivity that Wi-Fi does, but without needing to be in range of a router or Wi-Fi hotspot. Plus once you've paid for the Kindle that's it - there's no more bills for using it, Amazon pay for all of your wireless connectivity.
- - - - - - - - - - - - Out of the box - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kindle is wireless and ready to use right out of the box - no setup, no software to install, no computer required is necessarily required.
Simply turn on your Kindle and it'll ask you to select the language you want. After this it'll ask you to scan for and set up your wi-fi connection, and then after you've done that simply follow the prompts for registering your kindle [I highlighted 'use an existing account' and simply entered my email address and password]. That's it, three minutes max and you're ready to go.
If, for whatever reason, you'd rather use your computer to register your Kindle, go to your Amazon account, click on 'manage your Kindle' and then the 'register your Kindle' tab.
If you want to read kindle editions of ebooks, but don't want to rush out and pay three figures on a actual kindle Amazon have free download apps for PC, Mac, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod Touch and Android phones.
Amazon US have an app for customers Blackberry devices too. Whilst it's not available over here yet, there's a good chance that there will be a UK compatible version released in the not-to-distant future.
Amazon's reading apps are available on their online Kindle store.
The site page for every book I've looked at has a button marked 'send sample now' [underneath the 'add to wishlist' button on the right hand side of the screen], which sends the first part of the book to your device so you see if the writing is to your taste. The sample size varies according to the length of the book.
My personal favourite genres are fantasy/paranormal, thrillers, mysteries and the odd romance thrown in to the mix and I've found that many ebook publishers and self-publishers will retail the first book by the author or/and in a series for under a pound, to reel in readers. Bargain. Even if the book turns out not to be to my taste it costs much less then a magazine so I haven't really lost out.
I now have around 300 books on my Kindle and out of those I've only read one which I couldn't finish - and that was a free book [Catching Caroline by Syliva Day]. Yep, that's right. Once you have your kindle you need never pay for a book again if you wish. There are thousands of ebooks on offer in Amazon's Kindle store for free; Fiction and non-fiction.
The majority of the free books on offer are made of the works of many classic authors; Including (checking my Kindle) Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Gaston Leroux, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Mary Shelly, Lewis Caroll, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Iving Washington, William Hope Hodgson, Jonathon Swift, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, John William Polidori, Arnold Bennet, Henry Rider Haggard and Marie Le Prince de Beaumontc.
[Most of these books have been converted from its physical edition to the digital format by volunteers, so you'll find the odd spelling mistake, grammatical error and sometimes the formatting isn't the best quality] Sometimes it'll turn out to be a literary review of another writer's work, not a book. This hasn't happened to me personally, but based on some customer reviews it does happen on occasion. Still it's a free book, so it's not like you'll have lost out on anything.
But that is most definitely not all when it comes to free material; It's well worth browsing Amazon's ebook store and checking the top 100 chart every other week as there's a huge selection of modern books and novellas available for free too and some of the titles available for free change on a regular basis. Again it's mainly the first book in a series to reel in customers, but if publishers feel they have a new talent, their their material will also be briefly offered for free to create more buzz.
Half the books on my Kindle were downloaded for free and I've been introduced to a dozen authors who I probably wouldn't have paid attention to without Kindle.
And any purchase you make from Amazon's Kindle store is stored, so if you want to send the book to a different Kindle app, accidentally delete your book or your Kindle breaks you can re-download the book at no extra cost.
Remember the part about self-published books? You can do it too: It's free, easy to do, there are several language options and the U.K. is in the 70% royalties territory. So if you have a book, novella, poetry collection etc that you fancy unleashing onto the public you can download a free how-to guide for your Kindle and off you go.
The free how-to guide can be found in Amazon's Kindle store.
The site [log in with your normal Amazon account info]: https://kdp.amazon.com
For me the main interest in owning a Kindle is because it has proven to be a enormous space saver, and in saving space I've been able to read more books, as I don't have to worry about where to put my various finds.
Kindle books cost as little as 52p, so it is a cheap way to explore genres I've never tried before and, as mentioned above, you can download free classic pieces of literature, so whilst a Kindle isn't the cheapest thing to buy, it does save you money in the long run. And, when I do come across a book that I like the look of, I buy it and download it instantly - no more stalking the postie!
I've already delighted my sister by buying her a Kindle and downloading 40 books for it [they were free, but she doesn't have to know that], plus I now now what to buy my fussy and difficult Dad for Christmas, as he has the same space issues I had. Seriously; This will be the first year that I am confident that he will genuinely like and will use my gift choice. Priceless.