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sheila May 3rd, 2008 04:00 AM

Has anyone tried one of these? What are they like to use?

Dukey May 3rd, 2008 04:10 AM

guess not. What is it?

sheila May 3rd, 2008 04:19 AM

An electronic thingie produced by Amazon which downloads books by wireless, which you then READ. Someone asked about it on another forum and I looked it up and it looks amazing for someone like me who carries dozens of books everywhere I go.

StCirq May 3rd, 2008 05:18 AM

I've considered it, but when it comes to reading "real books," I don't think I want to do that on a screen. I already spend the greater part of each day reading and writing on a screen. When I want to read a book, I want to curl up and hold it in my hands.

Now, for travel books and other reference sources, I could see it being very useful.

traveller1959 May 3rd, 2008 05:24 AM

This gadget saves a lot of money. You can burn your books in your fireplace and save energy costs. Then, when all books are gone, you do not need space for them anymore, and hence, you can sell your house and buy a smaller one. Saving money again.

Sher May 3rd, 2008 06:13 AM

I bought an MP3 player from just for overnight flights.
I really enjoy reading on flights but sometimes the light is not good and my eyes get very tired.
I used it recently when I was in Mexico and it was great sitting on the beach.
I enjoy audio books while driving so audio books aren't for everyone.
I also want to download walking tours of different cities and guide myself.

HappyTrvlr May 3rd, 2008 08:01 AM

I have a SONY Reader, similar to Kindle, and love it for travel as I can save room that my books used to takein my luggage. It is very easy on the eyes too.

teach2travel May 3rd, 2008 08:34 AM

I have both a Kindle and and a Sony Reader - they are awesome! Best travel product ever.

I had the Sony first and I like it very much, but the Kindle offers cheaper books, newspapers and you don't have to connect to a computer to download things.

They will hold 80 - 100 books so it has ended my anxiety about running out of things to read on a trip. The Kindle is dual voltage so you just need a plug adaptor to charge it anywhere in the world.

The screen is not backlit so it is easy on your eyes. Just like a real book you need a book light to read in the dark. You can adjust the font size to suit also.

As far as whether it read like a real book - for me it does. it "disappears" like a paper book does. The only difference is the page blanks as it you turn it.

I promise I don't work for Sony or Amazon. I am just a very enthusiastic user.

It really

tower May 3rd, 2008 08:52 AM

sheila and all:

As a writer of several books, another coming this year, I object. Amazon cuts further yet into my publisher's profit, and that cut mercilessly trickles down to the lowly author's royalties.
St.Cirq is right...books are meant to curl up with!

Put the Kindle on the spindle, and fuggedaboutit!

stu t.

Iowa_Redhead May 3rd, 2008 09:09 PM

I have the Sony and absolutely LOVE it. It's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.

I tend to read about a book a day on normal days so packing for a 3 week trip was hard to do. Even when I was busy all day, I still needed something to read before bed and on the airplanes. Right now I have around 100 books on my digital reader and it's only a bit over half full. I also have an SD card in there for music. I generally charge it about once a week or so. The charger is dual voltage so I won't need the converter on vacation, just an adapter (which I would need anyway).

I've read for hours using it and it doesn't wear your eyes out like a computer screen; it's not backlit like a computer screen or PDA's.

I keep mine in the little cover so does almost feel like holding a regular book. The e-books are slightly cheaper than paperbacks. I think they're usually 5-10% less than in a bookstore when the books are new; not enough of a difference that it should be detrimental to the authors.

I think of digital readers like GPS... it's practically a life saver for some people, reasonably useful to others and more of a hassle than it's worth for the last group. If you're a bookworm, definitely look into a digital reader. Amazon's Kindle and the Sony are the two most common ones I believe. They are different shapes and sizes, and have different pros and cons.

I don't work for Sony or Amazon, but I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to books. To any bookworms, or even just near-bookworms, I would suggest researching digital readers.

caladrius May 3rd, 2008 09:34 PM

I don't have one, they look useful for travel, but then I would worry about losing it, and I would rather have a book to hold. What happens if the thing glitches or something and the books are lost? But I can see where it's useful if you're a frequent traveler and have a firm grip on where your things are.

Iowa_Redhead May 3rd, 2008 10:02 PM

Caladrius, you bring up one of the common questions I completely forgot to address. If something happens to the reader, your books are safe. I don't know how Amazon or the other brands work, but with Sony I can download my books again at anytime. If I run out of space on the book, if I accidentally delete something, if the book is lost or destroyed, etc. There's a list on the online store you download books from and you can re-download those books at anytime.

I know there are service/insurance plans that cover the first handful of years. I've dropped mine on the floor multiple times and it hasn't had an issue at all.

In addition to books and music, I also have pictures and pdf files.

I just threw clothes at a suitcase for a 3 week trip and had to think of what I was forgetting because I had so much extra space in my bag. For my first trip ever, I'm not taking 10 pounds of books. I'm a little hyper about digital books right now :)

caladrius May 3rd, 2008 10:26 PM

Iowa- That is certainly true, and it's nice to know that there's plans to get just in case, but I wouldn't feel comfy carrying around a $200+ or so piece of technology, IMO. Just a personal thing, I guess. :)

Dukey May 3rd, 2008 10:54 PM


Thanks for the explanation. I just went to the Amazon page and there is a huge blurb about Kindle, how they haven't been able to keep it in stock, etc., etc.

To Mr. Tower: yes, I have a friend who is an author who was horrified that I bought one of her books on Amazon which, as she said, decreased HER profit. My response was, "get as big as Dan Brown or whatever his name is so you won't have to worry about it!"

sheila May 4th, 2008 02:41 AM

My reading pattern is ..... I read constantly. I take a book a day when I'm on holiday and I also devour travel guidebooks. My husband complains a LOT.

At our French house, I thinkw e now own all the guidebooks in Christendom and we keep them there- I am so bad, we have duplicates of some of them at home:( - but I still need my light relief.

I virtually never buy books on Amazon for exactly the reason Stu expresses- and because books are tactile things. I also find that if I discover an author I like I read everything of theirs, and sometimes I can't work out if I've already read it unless I look at the text- Kindle seems to get past that by giving you a chapter to try.

My husband owns an iPod and a subscription to audible. I don't because I like to READ.

I've done alittle research since yesterday and I think I'll wait. It looks like it'll improve in user friendliness; I'm concerned about connectivity outside the US; and the books available are nearly all American- nothing wrong with that, but I'd like to get British stuff too- and French, come to that.

But I must go now, and see if I can find some of Stu's works in Waterstons (I googled him)- the Wayfarers, Stu? Any other novels? I'm rubbish at non-fiction

tower May 4th, 2008 06:28 AM

Sheila, Dukey et al:

>>>get as big as Dan Brown or whatever his name is so you won't have to worry about it!"<<< my ripe old age, I can't even hope to carry Dan Brown's suitcase for him. I have no quarrel with any on-line bookseller; 60% of the sales of my most recent book was from Amazon...but the KINDLE is another matter entirely...

Sheila: My most recent historical novel came out four years ago..Barnes and Noble, Borders and other book stores in North America can order it, don't know about Waterstons. It could be a movie in the near future, I'm told by my agent and my publisher (don't they wish it!)

Stu T.

StCirq May 4th, 2008 06:30 AM

Wow, Dukey, that was a rather callous response to that author. Are you a published writer? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make a living as an author, and how recent trends in publishing (while fascinating, for sure) have eroded writers' abilities, which weren't great to begin with, to make a decent wage?

And there's often an inverse equation between good writing and good wages, Dan Brown being a prime example of such.

Viajero2 May 4th, 2008 07:30 AM

I just returned from my local library book sale where I bought 18 books for $10.00. You will not believe the tittles, a lot of recent and greatly praised fiction and awards recipients.

So, at least for now, I'll skip the $200 gadget with the addtl download costs and continue to pack my dear friends. It has never been THAT MUCH much of bother anyways.....I'll wait till they come down on price just as with my Blackberry, iPod, etc, etc...

Girlspytravel May 4th, 2008 09:39 AM

I like to buy books, and I ALWAYS buy books at a discount, the cheapest I can find them, why in god's name would anyone pay full price for a book? Can't think of ONE good reason to do so, whether the author is a friend of yours or not-I've always been involved with people who write for a living, or as a pasttime, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pay anything like full price for their books, (if I would want to buy the book at all) what does knowing the author have to do with it? Hell, anyone can get published these days-what do you think "vanity press" is all about, huh?

As an example, I found out, quite fortuitously as it happens, about a year ago that I and my work on a particular subject was featured in a book written by a British author, but the book is TOO expensive for words, (like US90.00 for around 200 pages) however you can find it for half price on Amazon, which is where I bought it; I buy just about everything on Amazon, from shoes to skin-care products to DVDs to electronics, and also books.

As for "Kindle" the only thing that appeals to me about it is the name-VERY catchy.

bettyk May 4th, 2008 11:39 AM

With all the talk on other threads about Recession and the bad economy, I'm not sure how one could justify paying several hundred dollars for this thing.

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