I’ve had my Kindle Touch for almost two weeks, and I’m head over heels in love with this e-reader. Sure, there are things I wish were different about it, such as a faster web browser (don’t count on doing much browsing), but I knew what I wouldn’t like about it going in. No surprises. One thing that did surprise me was I bought mine at Wal-Mart. I just felt better buying local where I could take it back if it was a lemon, without hassling with shipping. And it helped me take the step to actually pluck down the money if I knew I could take it back in fifteen days.
For those who find an e-reader in their stocking this Christmas morning, or like me, got it early, here’s eight pretty sweet things you might want to know:
1. Send personal documents for free. This is super cool. I can send my current work in progress (WIP) to my Kindle and read/make notes on the go. It also gives me a different look at the words, similar to printing it out. (Saves me bookoos of paper and ink)
Now, there are two ways to send docs to a Kindle. The first will cost you money. But if you know me, I pinch every penny til the copper bleeds. (It took a month to talk myself into actually buying my Kindle)
Read through Amazon’s instructions here to the part about sending to the “free” address. Super cool.
2. Instant dictionary. I use this often to make sure I understand the meaning of a word, especially if it doesn’t seem to fit the context. The Kindle Touch comes with two dictionaries. All you have to do is press on a word for a few seconds and the definition pops up with the option to read the full text. You can go right back to reading where you left off. No losing your place.
3. Highlight/note. I like the ability to highlight and make a note. You can even touch the upper right hand corner to mark a page. This is helpful when I want to share something in the book with someone later. It’s easy to find the place again.
4. Experimental browser. No, it’s not fast and can’t read every web page, but I can get on Facebook and Hotmail, the main sites I visit in between work or reading. It’s Wi-Fi, and while I’m on that, let me say that the 3G version would be $50 wasted for me. You can ONLY use the 3G to access Amazon’s store for instant book purchasing. Useful for someone who travels often or doesn’t have Wi-Fi at home, but for otherwise, not too helpful.
5. Collections. I have my books sorted in collections, making it a cinch to find the book I want. You can put the same book under more than one category. There are two ways to move books around: One, press and hold on the book, then select what you want to do. Two, go to the collection, tap the top of the screen and tap Menu, then Add/Remove Books.
6. Font size. I don’t have trouble seeing things up close, well, as long as it’s ten inches or less from my nose. With my Kindle, I set the font on a nice middle size that doesn’t take too much page turning yet allows my eyes to relax and read.
7. Social sharing. I haven’t done this, but I’m sure I will. How often I’ve read a passage and wanted to share it on Facebook, but by the time I get online, I forget to do it.
8. Library books. You can check out e-books from any library where you hold a card at and that offers them. That does not include my beloved county library that just got Wi-Fi this year. It may take them awhile. In the meantime, I do have a card at the Tomball College Library (long story, I may share sometime if you ask). They DO have e-books, and I can’t wait to check out some Karen Kingsbury.
In summary: With my Kindle Touch it’s just plain fun and easy to read. But I still can’t stop myself from buying paperbacks, going to the library, and using classic hardbacks to decorate my shelves and desk.
What about you? Have you taken the leap to get an e-reader yet, or do you think you will?
A year ago, I said I never would.
P.S. If you haven’t already, grab a copy of my e-book (yes, I published one before I ever had an e-reader) Third Side of the Coin, Seven Flash Fictions. If you have, I pray you were blessed, encouraged and left with more hope than you had before.
Update: I now have several ebooks on Amazon, including Third Side of the Coin (A Short Story Collection) with the original 7 flash fictions plus dozens more.
Amazon for Kindle: Third Side of the Coin (A Short Story Collection)