Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kindle Connection

I'm a book lover. Even a bit of a book lover snob because I especially love hardcover books. There aren't many rooms in our home that don't have books within reach. I need more bookcases. (Many, many more bookcases.)

I'm a writer. Practicing the craft and continuing my education every day -- mostly from books.

Did I mention I'm a book lover?

When I first started critiquing the writing of fellow authors, I couldn't do it on my computer screen. I had to print out every page. I needed to touch it, to take the proverbial blue pencil to it in a most personal way. I knew that I'd certainly miss something critically important (good or bad) if I tried to read the work on a computer screen.

E-readers had been around for a while. I had no interest in them. I imagined them to be cold and impersonal, with a lot of glare and without the smell of a good book. No way could I cuddle up on a couch in front of the fire with a hard little computer screen that wouldn't stand a chance of whisking me off into another world.

Then along came Amazon's Kindle. It's everything they said it is, and maybe a little more.

Here are some cool features:

  • Search -- I can search the book (newspaper/magazine) I've got open for one word or phrase. This comes in particularly handy when I've lost track of some detail about a character. I can also search my entire content. Let's say I have downloaded several books on writing and and want to pull up everything on "backstory." Ta-dah! I can search the default dictionary that's included (New Oxford American) or go to Wikipedia or Google or the Kindle store or somewhere else on the web.

  • Clip -- I can clip and save favorite phrases or passages.

  • Bookmark -- It's automatic for saving my place, but I can bookmark as many other pages as I want.

  • Deleting -- When I delete a book from my Kindle, it's archived at Amazon so I can access it whenever I want.

  • Notes -- I can make notes as I read something. They're numbered and specific to that book.

  • Conversion -- For a "small fee", Amazon will convert my Word document.

It has a Text-to-Speech function (not to be confused with a professional audio-book), and the font is adjustable.

While I'm here, let me just say, the idea of buying more books is almost irresistible. Publishers have got to love that. Authors, too.

I also think there's a good possibility people who've not been interested in reading before, may find this new technology worth checking out.

By the way, I purchased a cover for mine that makes it look exactly like . . .

a book.

Imagine that.

CR: The Watchman by Robert Crais. (And checking out through downloaded samples on my Kindle, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey, In For The Kill by John Lutz, and Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box.)

It's all better with friends.

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