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Emerald1943 On December - 7 - 2009

I just read Pepe’s article about his daughter reading the Oz books and thought I would share something neat with all you beautiful people here on the Planet.

I just purchased a Kindle reader! WOW! What a wonderful piece of technology! It’s a little pricey at $250 but worth every penny in my opinion. You can download over 350,000 books, magazines, and newspapers for your reading pleasure. Most of the classics like Shakespeare, Poe, Walt Whitman, and others are FREE. And more books are being added daily. Downloads are free…anywhere in the world that you can receive a Sprint signal, you can download. The device stores them as well as a back-up at Amazon.com. There is no contract or other obligation. You may also download to your computer if you choose.

The Kindle has a unique feature that allows you to adjust the size of the text. For those who have eye problems as I do, this is wonderful! Downloads take only seconds, and the average price for any book from the New York Times Best Seller list is $9.99. (I recently purchased Ted Kennedy’s book in hard cover and paid $35 for it.)

The device itself is very trim, about as thick as a pencil. I recommend a cover for it for protection when traveling. It only weighs about 10 oz. and slips into a purse or briefcase easily. It will hold about 1,500 books in its memory…so you can take your library with you.

It is also easy to read in bright light, and I have found that I do not have eye strain even after reading for several hours. It is much less stressful than reading from a computer screen. The battery life is excellent and will last days on a single charge. You can charge the unit from your computer with a USB cable that comes with the item, or from a regular wall outlet. It will fully charge in a couple of hours and you can continue to read while it’s charging.

The only downside that I can see is no color. Illustrations are black and white and sometimes are not very clear. I am sure that in the future, color will be available.

I guess this sounds like I work for Amazon.com….I swear that I don’t! :-) I am just so excited about being able to read again. I liked it so much that I ordered four of them for Christmas gifts.

If you’re looking for a wonderful alternative to all those bulky, heavy books, I cannot recommend the Kindle more highly, especially for people who travel. Even with my vision problems, I am now a reading “fool” having devoured four books in as many days. I’m afraid my housework is suffering! Now, if I can just remember to eat…. :-)

Categories: Speakers' Corner

Written by Emerald1943

Born and bred a Southern lady. Degree in nursing and 20 years of classical piano. Two grown children and two gorgeous grandkids. Also two Shih Tzu doggies, the light of my life! Buddhist. A life-long card-carrying, flaming, hard-core, opinionated, liberal/progressive Democrat...and proud of it! Favorite quotation: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." Sinclair Lewis

41 Responses so far.

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  1. escribacat says:

    Emerald, Thanks for the kindle story. From a writer’s perspective, kindle is a cheap self-publishing option. I’ve got some local history books I want to write and of course nobody in the universe will want to publish them because there would be such a limited audience. They are labors of love, not money. I’ve thought of self-publishing on kindle. I haven’t researched it but I understand the author can just upload a pdf file. (Of course, publicizing the book is another matter.)

    On the other hand, the author Sherman Alexie was on Colbert last week talking about how he won’t allow his books to be put on Kindle. He sees it as a possible copyright infringement problem — people making pirate copies. Of course, how many of us loan our books to our friends without paying the author? I wasn’t too impressed with his argument against kindle.

    • PepeLepew says:

      I’m surprised Alexie would go back on Colbert because last time he went on Steven was making all kinds of Indian jokes and Sherman didn’t look like he was finding it amusing.

      • escribacat says:

        Pepe, Alexie seemed okay with the usual Colbert interruptions and “insults.” I wonder sometimes why any author goes back for more of that, but it’s great promotion for one’s books. I’m glad someone is interviewing authors.

        I remember years ago Alexie was on a campaign against caucasian authors writing from an Indian POV — eg, Tony Hillerman. He said at the time that he wouldn’t even write from the POV of another tribe, much less from a white’s POV. I thought it was an extreme attitude to take. The Kindle thing seems along those same “purist” lines.

        • PepeLepew says:

          Oh, Gawd, E’cat, you reminded me of a time I had to interview a woman who wrote a horrible book, genuinely horrible, called “Hanta Yo.” Just awful. She was this old racist bat and rambled on about all the famous people she had even known and claimed she was Michael Crichton’s personal editor, then she told me about growing up in Cleveland and how it used to be a great city “until all the Negroes moved there.” And she wrote a book about an Indian.
          I confess I’ve never read Alexie, but Smoke Signals is definitely one of my favourite movies. One of the most genuine Indian movies I’ve ever seen.
          I wonder what Sherman Alexie thinks of Hanta Yo?

          • escribacat says:

            LOL. What the hell is “Hanta Yo?” Or should I not even ask?

            • PepeLepew says:

              It was actually a New York Times bestseller in the late 70s, I believe. Think Clan of the Cave Bear, only worse.

              Ruth Beebe Hill, that was her name. I couldn’t remember. She was a columnist for the Plain-Dealer in the 50s and 60s.

            • escribacat says:

              If you want to check into Sherman Alexie, I recommend “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” Really fun reading — short stories. One of his earliest works.

          • nellie says:

            If you want another good one, rent Dance Me Outside. You’ll recognize some of the cast.

            • bitohistory says:

              On the PBS program, POV, they sometimes have shows of Indians, made by Indians. There is a group thta is helping them film and produce them. (Time to do a search for their site)

        • nellie says:

          Sherman is a genuine radical. I have to say, I can relate to most of what he says, though I’m not the stickler he is. But I have members of my family who sound a lot like him.

          • escribacat says:

            It’s an interesting issue. I can’t remember all the details of his explanation because it’s been some years, but it was more than just the fact that a white couldn’t really portray an American Indian’s attitude accurately. If I remember correctly, he felt that something was being stolen. It certainly is true that Tony Hillerman got really rich by “posing” as a couple of Navajo cops.

            • nellie says:

              I think Alexi doesn’t believe anyone who hasn’t lived the Indian experience can understand it — and if they write about it, they’re going to distort it. And so they pass on more distortion to an already distorted image.

              And there’s such a difference in the cultures — I’m sure that’s what Alexi is getting at. There’s as much difference between Navajo (Dine) culture and Iroquois culture as there is between any other two nations — that’s his perspective. And to an extent, he’s right.

              Something being stolen — that sounds a lot like something he would say.

  2. Emerald1943 says:

    My very best wishes to all you beautiful PlanetPeople! I have to leave for a while…gotta’ go read. I’m in the middle of Dan Brown’s latest, “The Lost Symbol”. A fun read! Highly recommend it!

    Have a great day, everyone! C U later!

    • nellie says:

      Hey Emerald. Thanks for your review. I’ve been wondering about getting a Kindle for a while.

      Just a reminder to put a title on your posts. That way we can follow the comments and know what article they go with.

  3. kesmarn says:

    Thanks for posting, Emerald. And for answering the question that has made me hesitate regarding the Kindle: namely, is it less stressful than reading from a computer screen? A good friend of mine has written a book and she sent it to me on a disc. My vision is decent, but for some reason I have a terrible time reading more than about 15-20 pages at a time. There’s something about a glowing computer screen with black type on it that ends up being very wearisome after a while. It’s good to hear that you haven’t had the same problem with your Kindle.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Fear not! It is easier to read than a regular book for me. It does not “glow” and you must have a reading light to see it. I believe this takes away the strain…not having to look at a bright screen. I have just ordered a clip-on light for mine as my table lamp doesn’t give me enough light.

      To answer your question, yes…it is much less stressful. I would say that it is like reading a newspaper…you remember those? :-) The words appear on the screen by the use of what they call “electronic ink” but no bright background.

  4. BigDogMom says:

    Thanks, Emerald for your post, my girlfriend swears by her Kindle, not sure if I could switch over, love holding a book too much.

    The only thing that I don’t like about this thing, is the coldness of the contraption, I’m sure, like you wrote in your post, it has it’s good points. But, to me there is nothing like curling up in bed with a good book and I love being physically surrounded by them. Can’t see myself hugging my Kindle.

    Unfortunately for me, this may be the wave of the future, but I’m going to hold out as long as I can!!!

    So many books, so little time.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      BDM: I, too, like the feel of a book. There is something reassuring about it. And, if someone steals your book, you haven’t lost another 40+ books you paid good money for simultaneously.

      It’s like software manuals. Used to be a compiler came with about 7 volumes of real books. Serious bulk and weight. But when you wanted to find something and do cross reference, you could have multiple books open at once. Now with all the manuals now on disk, it’s actually more difficult, for me, to find things and do cross referencing. Not to mention if I want to go sit on the sofa or the porcelin convenience and continue reading, a book is much more convenient.

      Sort of like doing all your design work in AutoCadd or getting out a peice of drafting paper and going to work. Both have advantages. For this example, I prefer software, but when doing quick concepts, I’ll use a grid pad.

      Oh, well, we’re products of our times.

      • escribacat says:

        Monk — Seems to me electronic technical manuals are better because you can do string searches. If a hard copy manual has a decent index, that works, but a lot of them don’t.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Depends on the format of the manual. Some done in PDF don’t search worth a darn across the entire breadth of the manual. I’ve found hard copy indexes to be much more thorough than many online indexes. Don’t know why other than a decision made to get the product out, not necessarily by the creators. For some things, electronic manuals are great, such as on an aircraft for complete reference. But I’ve seen good and bad in manuals, including some I’ve contrributed to.

          But as I said, sometimes I just want to move away from the electronics, and then the book is extremely easier. Now something like Kindle would be really good. Speaking of, to me electronic books should be the preferred method for textbook publication in colleges. With the ability to make “margin” notes, they would be so much better. If there was a way to sell and “transfer” the book to another later on (gaurenteed removal upon tranfer, I don’t want to cheat the publisher) then it would be so much nicer. I kept far too many texts and it took up lots of space and moving with them really sucked. Not to mention there is no excuse for continuously replacing texts that haven’t really changed, other than the publisher wants to have a new one to sell. Like caluculus books, physics books, many engineering books, art history books, etc.

          • escribacat says:

            Excellent point about the text books. Those things cost a bloody fortune nowadays. I can imagine the publishers screaming against it though — talk about a canned audience.

            I’m a major book lover. My house is lined with books everywhere. I would never give them up. But I see a place for kindle in addition to my “real” books.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              I gave away an entire packed pickup bed of paperbacks from my mother’s house when I cleaned it out to a local book sale benefitting something or other. She loved historical romance novels. As a male, I don’t get it, or feel insulted by it, but what the heck.

              I had far more books at one point than I did, but we’ve moved from Kansas to Arizona to Washington to New Mexico to Arizona again, all in the past 18 years. Some of them had to go. Like my MBA texts. A lot of my sci-fi fantasy got donated with my mother’s books, but I kept certain authors and the hardcopy editions. Also have woodworking books, gardening books, cookbooks galore, etc.

              I once knew a couple who each had 7,000 plus books when they married, and probably ended up eliminating less than 20% when they combined them and removed duplicates. Ouch!

              At my cousin’s wedding (3rd cousin) I gave away family Bibles. 8 copies. The bride got the oldest and most important one, and my 2nd cousin got the one given to my family from the Carpenters Union when my grandfather, her great grandfather, died.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Hi, Felonius! Hope you are well this frosty morning!

        I agree with you about those computer manuals and such, but hopefully, I am “literate” enough not to have to consult one.

        I did notice that they are beginning to put textbooks on Kindle. I think this would be a wonderful asset to students. I remember carrying about 40 lbs. of books to classes all day long. It would be terrific to have all textbooks on the device…also a lot cheaper. My grandson is in college and some of his “used” texts are over $100 each. I have ordered him a Kindle for Christmas…hope he doesn’t lose it! :-)

      • BigDogMom says:

        Morning Monk, how’s everything going. Yes, even though I have my fancy autocadd software that spews out pretty pictures for my non-conceptual clients, I still draw every design on 1/4″ scale graph paper.

        Still can’t move myself away from my books, in my office, the old sun room in the house, we closed up one of the three walls of windows just so I could have a custom book case built in for all my garden reference books. I try to look plants up on-line but I never really get what I want faster than what I have on my shelves!

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          BDM, for plants for my locale, elandscape.com has a very nice plant search engine on both botanical and common names. I still have all my books for that, too, but they aren’t as complete.

          It’s sort of like looking at my archive of “Favorites”, finding all the reference points for home design, landscape design, hobbies, etc, that I have and wondering how many of them are good sites. Not necessarily that the page is good, but is the site even still in existence. Wish there was a way to automatically do a review on that every couple of weeks. Oh, well…

          BTW, I’m doing fine for an 8:30 on a Monday morning. Still trying to decide if I’m decorating for Christmas or not.

          • BigDogMom says:

            Thanks for the link to elandscape.com, never used that site. My vendor catalogues are like my bibles, use them more than anything else, plus it tells me what they are stocking.

            We decided last night to just put up wreaths on the three doors that we have. I used to decorate the outside of our house quite extensively, real New England with the natural pine roping and lights. Filled every window box and the big urns with natural greens and berries. Just can’t afford it this year.

            Inside we’re just going to do the real tree, no roping down the staircase or greens on the mantle. Keeping it simple and cheap.

            We’re also bagging the usual family dinner on X-mas eve, hubby and I are just not into it this year.

            Well got to get to work, wasted this morning once again, talk to you later.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              A real tree just isn’t worth the issues here in the Sonoran desert. Too dry too much. When I lived in Seattle I loved going out to get a fresh (cut myself) tree for Christmas. Now I just have this massive artificial Noble that I can put up. Looks good but it’s my project if it gets done.

          • bitohistory says:

            Monk, are you in the area for the winter storm watch? Heavy snow, blowing and drifting? Or is the north of you. We are supposed to have rain and snow in the mts. here in Tucson

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Bito: We had some misty rain this morning, nothing to speak of. I’m just north of Phoenix at milepost 229 on the I-17 (Anthem, just south of New River), so we’re low enough that it would have to be really bad to have us get snow. I need to find the webcam site for Flagstaff. I grew up with snow, have traveled a bit in it, but appreciate being able to avoid it. Give me a warm, sandy beach and a nice cove, forget the ski slopes!

            • Khirad says:

              Parts of the Catalinas are dusted with snow already -- and I can see but the tip of Mt. Lemmon, but so far the clouds be just hangin’ low.

              Makes me miss the PNW on cozy days like these.

              Hey, UofA over USC!

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Bito: “Northern AZ” is like a Los Angelenos saying “back east”. To them anything east of the Sierra Nevadas is “eastern”. Now calling a Kansas boy an “easterner” is fighting words to me. :-)

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Bito: It looks like “northern AZ” means the Mogollon Rim. Sedona doesn’t look like snow today, nor Prescott, but yes to Flagstaff and maybe to Payson. I just did a weather.com check for where the snow expectations were.

            • bitohistory says:

              Monk, on Tucson radio they just said “northern Az.” I don’t know what they mean by that, is there a line some where`~~ Hell, from Tucson a lot is “north.” :-)

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Morning’, BigDog! Nice to see you here!

      I solved the “cold” problem by adding a leather cover. That gives you the tactile sensation of holding a regular book. It also protects the device. It ends up being a little larger than one of those TV Guide magazines. It is quite comfortable and rests easily on my knees when in bed.

      With the text adjustment, I am just so overjoyed to be able to read again! Forgive my enthusiasm! :-)

      • BigDogMom says:

        Good for you! I’ll have to think about it, when my eyes start to get really bad, I will definitely have to switch over….can’t go to sleep without reading at night.

  5. Kalima says:

    Sounds wonderful. Because of trouble with my left eye for over 2 years and the other eye not being that much better, I haven’t been able to read a book in that time. It has always been a passion of mine since childhood, now I wonder if this is available here in Tokyo, probably not yet but it gives me hope. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Kalima, check http://www.amazon.com/kindle out. I’m sure you can get one shipped from the US. Do you have the Sprint phone network coverage there? If so, you’ll be able to download.

      • Kalima says:

        No, we don’t have your Sprint phone networks here so doubt that I would be able to download even if I ordered the device from the States. I will however ask my husband to check what is available here or I could visit my clinic to see if this can be reversed by a laser operation, something I’ve been putting off since I saw said operation on the tv last year.

        Thank you kindly.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Afternoon or Evening(?) Kalima, how are you? I tried reading with my girlfriends and just couldn’t get comfortable with it, you can see the print much better than reading a conventional book.

      But I’m not quite sold on it yet, my eyes are still OK, though I do need to get new reading glasses, for someone like yourself it might work.

      I just ordered 10 paperbacks from Barnes and Nobles, almost all of them had kindle downloads, two of the books where written in the 40’s and just re-released, so this may be the future of books.


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