I always swore I would never, ever, ever have an e-reader because … well, because you can’t read it in the tub. (I guess you could, but it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.) No—it’s because I love books, actual books. I just love the feel of one in my hands. I love the smell of the ink and the paper. I love writing comments in the margins, and underlining passages that speak to me. I love the way the books I own look on my bookshelves, and that I can get them down over and over again. I like lending them, too, although I don’t do it much anymore.
Then the Irishman gave me a Kindle for my birthday, in anticipation of a trip I would be making across the pond … and the angels sang, brothers and sisters. I never leave the house without a book, and any trip that involves hours and hours in airports and airplanes means I’ll be lugging more than one book along. But no more! My Kindle holds 1,500 books (swoon)—enough for the longest of long trips. (Mine’s a second generation device; the current model holds 3,500.) And it weighs less than a pound.
I love it. (Imagine me saying that in my best Barry White voice. That’s how much I love my Kindle. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv it.)
I’ve resisted blogging about it because, you know, everybody else has pretty much said everything that needs to be said about e-readers (convenience, readability, and so forth). Mike Hyatt has been blogging about the Kindle since it released nearly three years ago; recently he even posted a comparison of several e-readers. Do a search for Kindle at his blog site and you’ll have plenty to read. You might also enjoy this little blog I stumbled on: the “Kindle Review,” which, among other news, publicizes free download deals.
Free books, you say?
Yes! Aside from the Kindle Popular Classics (The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice, Siddhartha, Moby Dick, and on and on: 16,495 of ’em absolutely free), publishers occasionally offer a title at no cost. It’s usually for a limited time, so you have to be quick—if you see it advertised, go grab your Kindle and download, baby, download.
It’s a great marketing strategy: give some product away free. Those who get the freebies will talk about it, spurring more sales. (And we bookies do love to talk about what we’re reading, don’t we!) So the Kindle is an efficient marketing distribution system (Amazon’s not saying how many Kindles they’ve sold, but industry estimates put it between 1.5 and 3 million); think about how much it would cost to give away even a tenth of that in print product, even at cost (cost plus fulfillment and postage). Give away an e-book and it costs nothing. No wonder some folks are hyperventilating over this phenomenon.
But where were we? Oh: I heart my Kindle. ’Nuff said.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”