Does anyone have a Kindle? As an avid reader I am starting to run out of space in my apartment. I can't throw any away as I have too many favorites that I go back to from time to time. So I was thinking about getting a Kindle.
Does anyone have one? What are your feelings/experiences with using one. I'm all for embracing modern technology, but I do like the feel of a book in my hands.
I would only be using it for leisure, not study.
I love mine. After getting my Kindle my reading increased immensely. It's the best thing I have ever owned and since I purchased it three years ago.
My family thinks I am nuts but I have the Kindle reading apps for my cell, laptop, work computer, ipad, and home computer. The WhisperSync system allows me to read from anywhere and the best part I never have to figure out where I left off. It syncs to the last page I was on regardless of which device I am using. Another cool thing is the e-ink screen. It doesn't reflect light like the other reading devices. So while everyone else is trying to shade their screens I can read away in utter bliss.
I love my Kindle! I was a bit skeptical at first, because I really do love the feeling of reading a physical book, but I've found that using the Kindle doesn't hamper my reading experience at all. And the battery lasts forever. I haven't charged mine in like three weeks and it isn't even close to dead yet (though to be fair, I haven't been reading on it a whole lot since classes started). Also, you can buy new books for a lot less than they would cost in hardback form.
I'm getting used to my Kindle, and I like it. But I had not realized until recently how prevalent they are in publishing. When I sent the ms. of my second-to-last last novel down to my agent in 2005, it was only after having spent half the day printing it on my "Desk-jet" (hah!) printer and then wrapping it for the mail. When he got it, however, my agent emailed to say, "Oh, no, just send me an e-copy, so that I can zap it over to Random." Those sweet days of NYC bicycle messengers with their satchels are OVER. No one in New York reads a paper ms. anymore. They're all exchanged on Kindles.
My wife got a new one and gave me her old one. It is very nice. It has a few drawback for the clumsy like me - it slips sometimes, and the buttons get inadvertently pushed. I never figured out how to relocate my place when I accidentally lose it. But that is sort of laziness on my part, really. I still like my books, but especially for potboilers and light reading, it's cost effective and saves a lot of space. And many, many classic titles are free. it's also very good for reading txt and word files for, in my case, research projects. You can read PDFs with some fuss, which is fine for quick scans of scholarly docs, but I always end up keeping a copy on my computer for real reference. Again, all in all it's a good investment, I think. Like MP3s, though, if I want a real listening experience I will track down the CD. If I want the real, winter's evening on the couch with a coffee and a McCarthy experience, I will track down the real deal.
Have had a Kindle for about two years and I really like it. It has all the great qualities mentioned above. In my own experience I have found that while I enjoy it, I am still pretty attached to books. I am often reading several books at once, a very bad habit, and the Kindle makes this habit even worse, because I have a lot of books on it and I am reading many of them at once. It makes it too easy to support my bad habit of reading too many at one time. So if you are a serial reader like me it might not be a good idea but if not, I think you will really appreciate the Kindle or any eReader.
I have one and its fantastic. I do love it because I am a student tho - I can send all sorts of articles, essays, my own essays and notes to it and you can underline stuff and have it all cut and pastable from Amazon. The draw backs are that new books will only cost slightly less than print copies and much more than second hand copies. Books with are now in the Public domain are either free or very cheap tho - entire works of Dickens, Shakespeare etc - 74p in the UK.
I don't think that the Kindle will supplant books to any significant degree, at least for those who really like to read, but it does augment the reading experience in convenient ways. What I like especially is the chance to download free samples of books that I may have heard about to read at leisure. Borrowing books from a library for the Kindle is a big plus, too. As a writer, I like to upload a work-in-progress to the device so that I may have a fresh look at it, which invites insights. But, again as a writer, I am concerned about the uncertain future that e-commerce represents for book sales and compensation. The standard royalty on hardcover fiction is about 10% for the first 10,000 copies and somewhat higher percentages after that. Obviously, 10% of $25 is a lot more than 10% of $6.99.
This year, for the first time, all incoming students at Yale's medical school will receive an iPad, which will replace most paper texts.
Do see Sam Harris's recent blog post: "The Future of the Book."
I have a slightly different take. First, I think e-readers will eventually make books all but obsolete, except in specific instances where an e-book is not appropriate or usable (not sure what that would be, but I'm sure it exists). Sure, for those people who grew up with books this won't be the case - the older you are, the more set you are in your ways - and usually the more technophobic, or techavoident you tend to be. But for the kids growing in the high-tech era, reading from an e-reader screen will be very natural - and they will scoff at a traditional book the way a computer user would scoff at a typewriter. Once the current and future generations of kids mature, it will spell doom for widespread sales of printed books.
Currently Kindles cannot use e-books from libraries; nooks can, however, and libraries are quickly adopting alternative formats that the Kindle can handle.
I am also an author, and once again I view it a bit differently than you. Where I understand your lamenting the loss of royalties, let's be honest - it won't be that different overall. Additionally the benefits to authors for the e-book market far outweighs the disadvantages.
First, the slight loss in royalties is made up for by the fact that you will almost certainly see increased sales. Your book will reach a wider audience, as it is much easier to sell it in other markets, areas, etc.
Second, you don't have to worry about inventory - both for running out of inventory if you happen to hit a bestseller, and you don't take the royalty HIT taken when stock is returned - this is a cost hit to royalties that authors seem to forget about.
Third, if you are an author who has yet to be published, it is much easier to get your book out there for people to sample and read, and eventually find your work. I can tell you that I have discovered quite a few new authors via my nook by reading their first novels (many put them up there for free), and have purchased subsequent works from them because of this. In fact, I know of a couple of authors that have gotten traditional publishing deals because of the sales experienced for works they've originally self-published.
Fourth, because it is so easy to self-publish - anyone can get an ISBN for a book now - you really "cut out the middleman" and put your works out there yourself. There is already services blooming to help serve the self-published author, and I can see these offerings increasing - for such things as copy editing and tech editing where appropriate (and many authors NEED a good copy editor ;) ). Because you can self-publish and get larger profit margins on your work, and this definitely offsets the loss in margins for royalties in traditionally published works.
Like I said, there simply isn't any future in traditionally published books. There will always be a niche market for them - just like there is for vinyl record albums and 35mm cameras - but the mass market appeal of traditionally published books will eventually fade away, and of that I have no doubt.
I've had a Nook for about six months, and I have read more books with it - fiction and nonfiction - than I have in the previous 10 years.
One great thing about an e-reader is that you can read books on it in public you might not want others to see - like the christian bible or porn - as they would if you carried around a printed book. Another is that you can bring it, best in a cover, to an event you anticipate will be dull (like I did recently escorting a family member to a fundraising) and people won't know you've brought a book to read.
One reason I bought a Nook instead of a Kindle - besides the 1st generation Nook being more attractively designed - is that it accepts the epub format which libraries use (and also pdf's). But I see now our local library system is purchasing Kindle versions as well as epub versions. So Amazon's incalcitrance has, practically, forced the hand of public libraries to pay twice as much for the same ebooks.
I'm glad there's at least one other nook owner on here. I was beginning to feel lonely. ;)
I have had a Kindle for a while now and love it. The problem is I find myself reading three times the number of books, so I surf the $.99 store. The only thing that I miss is the pictures, diagrams and maps that are in the books. It would be nice so see the book cover when you open it on Kindle as well. Having said that, yes get one today, you will love it.
Are you saying you don't see covers nor pictures on the e-ink Kindles? I see the covers of books on my nook - both the color version of the book cover in the small window at the bottom, and a greyscale version in the e-ink main screen - and I see greyscale pictures as well. In fact I am currently reading a book with many black-and-white pictures in it ("Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Ross) and it looks great - it looks just as good as the printed version, which I've seen in the bookstore because I actually did want to compare the quality of the pics on my nook vs the actual printed book.
But overall I agree with you - I am reading a ton more books now, and I can't imagine going back to a time without my nook.