10 November 2009

Hello, "Kindle for PC (Beta)"!

(Setting: a well-lighted breakfast table, cluttered with dishes and books. In one of the chairs, our protagonist sits down in front of her laptop. She is dressed comfortably, and is non-plussed with the excited banter about Wii Ski coming from the adjoining room. She opens a tab and begins surfing.)

"Hmm...what's this?" she asks, eyebrow raised, as her amazon homepage flashes it's new banner at her. As she clicks through to find out more about what she's just seen, her mouths goes slack. She frowns slightly, then grins.

"Where did you come from?" she whispers.


OK. I'm not a playwright/screenwriter. But, I did just start using this. It's 
Kindle for PC.
Kindle for PC

And I love it.

First, let me just say: free books! Classics, required reading, and even "recommended resources" - available at the touch of a button. (sigh) A reader's dream. Second, I have an e-reader and can e-read books from my local library, too. But this technology is superior in almost all respects, both with the reader itself and the search engine. Finally, I have the added benefit of reading the amazon readers' reviews, some of which are very insightful and others of which are rather humorous.

As advertised, not all titles are available. For example, can you get 
The Complete Tales of Winnie the PoohThe Invention of Hugo Cabret, and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler?

Well, no; not yet. But I "recommended to the publisher(s)" that they be formatted for the Kindle. The
Narnia books, Black Beauty, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and even the Federalist Papers are available though. And again for little or no cost. While sitting at a computer to read a book is not ideal for me - and won't replace holding a battered-and-beloved copy of Pride & Prejudice in my hands, it does provide another option in my quest to be never too far from the books I adore (or have to read). And I like options. So now, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin awaits. And I have miles to go before I sleep. Which reminds me: Frost is available, too.

(Still at the breakfast table, our protagonist finishes typing her post. Again, she sighs and smiles at the computer screen.)

"The homeschool will seem a bit brighter and more organized in the morning, I think."

(And she presses the 'publish post' button.)

Today's conundrum: What kind of ROI can I expect on printed books going forward into the digital information age?

Future conundrum: Where did Snapple find "even better stuff"? Or do you prefer an "Orange Whip" as I do?

After re-reading my post, it occurred to me that the books mentioned might be a bit skewed toward younger readers. I will attempt to redress this imbalance, and let you know that many of the recent prize-winning authors (and nominees) are available on Kindle, as are most recent releases, e.g. Juliet, Naked, The Help, The Lost Symbol, and Wolf Hall. Again, many of the classics, e.g. Pride & Prejudice, The Old Man and The Sea, and Shakespeare's plays are available, too. And so are the Harry Potter books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and Cold Comfort Farm. Hope that helps! tIO

Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!

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