Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Precious

I have joined the future. Or something momentous like that. As of my recent birthday, I have entered the world of ebooks. My husband gave me a Kindle.

I hadn’t thought much about e-readers, beyond wondering if my husband would like one—until a day or two before my birthday, when it was too late to ask for anything, and suddenly, I really, REALLY wanted a Kindle. My wonderful husband had figured this out before I did, and had bought one for me. I was thrilled.

I was not the only one excited by this new addition to the family. My ten-year-old son is our resident technology whiz, and new technology turns his brain cells to fireworks. He wanted to see the Kindle, handle the Kindle, play with the Kindle, pull out the groovy little built-in book light on the Kindle cover, and so on. Meanwhile, being a possessive new Kindle owner, I’m nervous at having these inquisitive and sometimes inadvertently destructive fingers handling my new e-reader. So we’ve got him hyperventilating, microchips flashing in his eyes, while I clutch the Kindle to my chest and hiss, “Don’t touch the Precious.”

Along with the Kindle, my husband gave me my first ebook—Betsy Brannon Green’s new Kennedy Killingsworth mystery, Murder by Design.

I quickly added to my collection (in a wonderfully complementary gift, my parents had given me an Amazon gift certificate). I bought a copy of Gone With the Wind (how many copies of that book have I gone through? The size of it makes it fall apart, but now on the Kindle, it will never fall apart again! O joy!), To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis (I already own it in hardback, but it’s one of my all-time absolute favorites, so of course I wanted it on the Kindle), Josi Kilpack’s Key Lime Pie, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game (one of my favorites from childhood on up), and Julie Wright’s Cross My Heart. My husband added Moby Dick, his favorite book. One of these days I really should break down and read Moby Dick. Maybe having it on the Precious will tempt me to try it out.

My parents-in-law sent me some money for my birthday, so I used that to buy myself a bigger purse. I had a fairly small purse, and I wanted a purse big enough to comfortably hold the Kindle so I can take it with me on the go. I love how easy it is to take the Kindle with me—I can just slide it into my purse, and then if I get stuck in a long grocery store line, or what have you, I can pull it out and start reading. I like to read while exercising on our old Elliptical, and the Kindle works great for that too.

This blog brought to you by!

Just kidding. Unfortunately, they didn’t pay me to do Kindle ads, but I am really enjoying my new e-reader. I have now read Betsy’s book and half of Julie’s book, and have discovered that I really enjoy reading in e-format. I’m particularly delighted that LDS publishers are starting to make their books available in e-form. My library doesn’t stock LDS novels, and in a sad economic turn of events, the little LDS bookstore ten minutes away closed down a few years ago, and last year, the Seagull Book in Oakland followed. There is still a bookstore in San Jose, but I very rarely am in that area. I can order online, of course, but now, with ebooks, I can get my hands on LDS novels in seconds.

This is bad.

Bad for my wallet, I mean. It’s so EASY to click the mouse and there’s the book, right in my hands. It would be WAY easy to spend too much money that way. Talk about temptation.

I’m also delighted at the thought that Whitney Academy reading will be much easier with the Kindle. Many of the Whitney finalists provide their books to the judging academy in PDF form, which meant that last year, I spent a lot of time reading on my computer. But with the Kindle, I can now read Whitney finalists while exercising, standing in lines, etc. Only problem is, we haven’t yet worked the bugs out of how to change PDFs into a readable format (but I know it can be done!) No matter what we’ve tried, it's turned out weird. When I put a PDF straight on the Kindle, the fonts is too small. When I tried to enlarge it, it was promptly too big—I would have had to scroll side to side. I tried converting it—the formatting came out way weird. My son, Techno-boy, tried converting it to a Word doc, which almost worked, but, strangely, changed “th” to a big exclamation point. Hmm. Well, we’ll keep trying. Backup plan: buy magnifying reading glasses and read the small font. Or hand the Kindle to Techno-Boy and tell him to let me know when he’s figured it out. He’d love that.


At 12/22/2010 6:48 PM, Anonymous Jordan said...

Awesome! I got myself a Kindle a couple months ago, but I haven't gotten a lot of use out of it yet. (I'm very cheap, and I keep checking out library books. It's the deadline that gets me to read them, LOL.)

My favorite use so far is actually reading my own work. It gave me a different perspective than computer and paper. Hooray. I also finally got my husband to read it in that format.

Have you tried Amazon's conversion format? MobiPocket? Calibre? (I used MobiPocket, then Calibre on my Word doc to get it ported and pretty.)

At 12/23/2010 11:24 AM, Blogger Michael Knudsen said...

I haven't caved to the Kindle urge yet. I'm holding out for something I can do my reading AND writing on, something that can be hooked up to a keyboard so I can leave the computer to the kids and their "homework". Something like an iPad but not $500.

One thing I do look forward to is all those public domain classics available for free download.

At 12/24/2010 12:43 PM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

Stephanie - I know exactly what you mean about your ereader being bad for your wallet. I got a Nook when I reached my goal for NaNoWriMo and have had to really, really, really be careful about buying ebooks. Its so easy to just click that instant buy now button on my Nook and not think about how much I've been spending on ebooks. Be sure to check out your library and see if they have formats for ebooks you can check out for your Kindle.

My hubby said Amazon has a service where you email your pdf file to them, they convert it and upload it to your Kindle.

Merry Christmas!

At 1/03/2011 10:55 PM, Blogger Rachelle said...

Love this post as my Kindle is on its way and I can't wait to start using it!


Post a Comment

<< Home