10 Things I Love About the Kindle

amazon kindle wifi 3rd generation

Third generation Amazon Kindle

Over the past few years, e-readers have changed the way we browse, purchase, and read books. As with any new technology, there is resistance to adopting e-readers. Some people have sworn to never give up their trusty paperback and hardcover books.

People have a lot of reasons for swearing off ebooks, like the simple desire to stick with the familiar. Many traditionalists say they can’t give up the smell of a new book. Others have expressed their need to put their book collections on display or use them as décor.

In what might be considered more practical reasons for avoiding this new technology, plenty of folks have wondered whether the files that comprise ebooks are safe and secure. Digital files are not tangible, so they seem far more fragile than a nice solid object in your hand. Yet I’m sure a similar argument was made many centuries ago when paper replaced stone tablets: Fire and water destroy paper so easily. Nothing can replace a trusty block of concrete!

When I first heard about e-readers, my heart almost stopped. You see, I’m very attached to my books. The idea that we might, one day soon, be living in a world where books were just bits and bytes rubbed me the wrong way. But in time, my attitude changed. A big reason for this has to do with bulk and volume. I simply don’t want to tote around hundreds of pounds of books for the rest of my life. I have a lot of books and the idea of fitting 3,000 of them into a device that fits in my hand was mighty appealing.

But that’s not why I finally bought a Kindle. What finally made me get a Kindle was the fact that I was about to become an author.

Kindle for Writers




In recent months, the number of ebook sales has surpassed print sales. Ebooks, and Amazon in particular, have made books cheaper and more accessible for readers. More importantly, they have made publishing more accessible to writers. My recently published book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, has already sold twice as many copies for the Kindle as it has in print.

I’m glad I bought a Kindle when I did.

In fact, the reason I finally caved and got the Kindle was because I was writing a book. Based on my market research, I knew the majority of my readers would be using the Kindle, and I wanted to be able to review my own product and test it for quality in the same format my readers would be using.

Writers should keep in mind that a Kindle purchase is a tax write-off if you’re writing professionally or with the intention of getting published. And the benefits of the Kindle don’t stop there.


10 Things I Love About the Kindle

  1. It holds approximately 3,000 books. I can take my entire library with me everywhere I go (no more agonizing over which book I want to bring on vacation), and it saves tons of space in my home.
  2. Most ebooks are cheaper than their paperback counterparts. While some publishers keep their ebook prices high, the prices are likely to go down as ebooks compete in an increasingly affordable market.
  3. Authors who self-publish are reporting much higher royalty earnings thanks to ebooks. I like knowing that an author gets a greater share of the revenue when I purchase their self-published books on my Kindle.
  4. When I want to read a book, I can buy it and be reading it in seconds.
  5. My wrists don’t get sore from holding up massive 1200-page books. It’s easy to curl up comfortably with with my Kindle. I have spent many a night wrestling into a comfortable position with an enormous book, so this is a huge bonus for me.
  6. Instead of writing notes in the margins or keeping a separate notebook, I can attach notes digitally to the book I’m reading.
  7. I can also create bookmarks with a couple of clicks, making it easy to return to passages I want to revisit later.
  8. I can pop into the Kindle store from the device and browse, shop, buy, or add items to my wish list. This is a great feature when you’re reading books on the craft of writing that mention other titles.
  9. Kindle remembers where I left off, so I don’t have to use bookmarks or dog-ear my books to save my place.
  10. I can look at the book I authored on my Kindle and see what the majority of my readers see when they read it.

Finally, I want to add that if your Kindle is destroyed, stolen, or lost, you can get a new one and easily restock it with all of your ebooks at no additional charge — because your purchases are stored electronically and can be downloaded to multiple devices.

There’s a lot to love to love about the Kindle. Mine is the third generation Kindle Keyboard, and I’m sure the newer models that came out last fall are even better. I can’t wait to upgrade to the Kindle Touch.

Do you have a Kindle or use an e-reader? Do you want one? Do you feel that as a writer, you should be able to review your books on devices that your readers will use? Share your thoughts about ebooks and e-readers and how they affect authors by leaving a comment.

Adventures in Writing The Complete Collection

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.

Comments

20 Responses to “10 Things I Love About the Kindle”

  1. Sharon says:

    I’m right there with you, Melissa. It was a huge adjustment, but now I find I don’t want to read a paper book at all (kind of scary, huh?)–even though I still love them, the smell, the feel, the look. But a Kindle is easier to read, and ease of reading is the whole point.I can adjust the size of the font depending on how light or dark it is in the room where I’m reading.My Kindle Touch is small enough to pack in my purse, wherever I’m going and it is in there all the time.I can read anything I want at any time. I also like the Kindle because it is not back-lit like my laptop. Back-lighting doesn’t work outdoors. By the way, I also carry a Mighty-Brite book light in my purse, too, which makes my Kindle entirely readable, even in a pitch-dark room.

    One of the greatest things about the Kindle is the ability to search. I have reservations about using profanity in my novel. For me, a little goes a long way. Some friends say I’m provincial–that I need to recognize reality and the real way people talk. “Why even John Grisham doesn’t hold back with profanity.”

    Oh yeah, in less than 15 seconds time I was able to check three different Grisham books and I am here to tell you, the famous Mississippi writer uses a ‘damn’ or ‘hell’ here and there, but you won’t find the F word or the S word in his books. Without a Kindle, I would never have known that. What’s good enough for John Grisham is good enough for me.

    Thanks for a great blog post.

    • I still have a few dozen print books to read so I have’t completed my switch to e-reading, but I definitely love the benefits of an e-reader. Thanks for mentioning the search feature. I haven’t used it much, but it’s a perk for sure! As for swearing, it doesn’t bother me at all unless it’s gratuitous (and anything gratuitous is unnecessary). I’ve always said “they’re just words,” but the study you did on Grisham’s work is interesting and proves that we can write a gripping story without having to risk offending our readers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      • Richard Snow says:

        Sharon, Mellissa, Thanks for the reseach on grisham. I’ve been wondering if my protagonist, or my bad guys should use the F word. (They both do at the moment.) I might have to rethink it. Best wishes

        • Richard Snow says:

          Sorry, Melissa only has one “l”, doesn’t it.. My bad.

        • Thanks Richard. It’s definitely something to think about since many readers might find those words offensive. I think that it depends on your genre and target audience. I’ve also read books where the lack of obscene language seemed laughable. If you’re writing a murder mystery and someone finds the victim, they’re not likely to say, “Golly gee, would you look at that? I’m afraid it’s a dead body. What a shame.” Aim for realism and you’ll probably do okay.

  2. Irfan Three says:

    Nowadays I usually read ebook in my laptop, and I’m enjoying it. Though I still in love with paper book. I wish I could buy an e-reader later (knowing the many benefits).

    • I have actually saved money by buying a Kindle, a perk that I didn’t expect. There are tons of classics available for free and many authors do free promotions for their Kindle books. It can actually pay for itself rather quickly with all the money you save on the cost of the books.

  3. Kelvin Kao says:

    I have the most basic one that has neither a keyboard nor a touchscreen, but I love it. Although I own an iPad (a tax write-off for me), a dedicated e-book reader like Kindle is a lot lighter in weight and the battery life is great. Also, I already look at back-lit LCD screens all day. Another thing I noticed was that I seem to read faster on a Kindle than actual printed books. Perhaps it was because I don’t need to consciously keep the pages flat or keep going back and forth between looking at the page on the left and the page on the right.

    • I was on the fence with whether to get an iPad or a Kindle and ultimately, the backlighting issue is what settled it for me. Also, I like the idea of a device dedicated to reading with no internet distractions (way too tempting for me). Yes, I agree that not having to fiddle with the books’ pages saves time and is more comfortable.

  4. Lisa Pen says:

    I am in LOVE with my kindle! I have an older one.. ( one of the very first ) that has recently gotten slow so yesterday I got a brand new Kindle Fire. OMG this is such a wonderful device. The idea of holding every single one of my fav books at all times is amazing. It makes reading so much more fun and also easier. While the fire is heavier than my old one I still enjoy the features. I agree with every single point you made in the top ten but I would add at least one more. 11. The abitity to download and read PDFs.
    That for me is gold! I tend to buy a ton of ebooks from direct sellers( Warrior Forum for example ) and being able to go to bed and read them instead of being forced to read them on the computer is the best feature ever!
    Thank you for this wonderful posting… I hope you get your touch kindle soon!

    • Ooh, PDFs, thanks for mentioning that! Yes, that would be number eleven for me too. For writers, that’s a huge benefit because we can save our projects as PDFs and carry them around in a Kindle, add notes, review our ideas while we’re on the go, etc. I spend all day on the computer so I definitely don’t want to read books on it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lisa 🙂

  5. Bill Polm says:

    I choose “all of the above,” Melissa. Excellent points. Like that great line in the Disney movie “Newsies’ years back: ” I say what you say is what I say.” (Saw that recently with my grandaughter.)

    You bet I have a Kindle. I got one for my daughter first, and she kept after me to get one. She still has and loves her earlier generation model. I have the 3rd.

    May I add? A feature I love is to be able to preview the fist chapter of a book I am considering buying by downloading it free in a minute or two.

    I save all your posts, by the way. On those rare occasions when you don’t enlighten me, you remind me of points I should keep in mind. And thanks for alerting me about “SOPA”–I have that banner up at my blog too where it’s going to stay..

    Regards, Bill

    • Thanks Bill. Yes, the first chapter sneak peeks are great. I use those for print books too, mostly to look at the first few pages of children’s books for my niece and nephew. There’s so many great features with a Kindle. It’s truly a bookworm’s dream gadget! I’m glad you’ve found the posts here helpful for both new ideas and as reminders. Thanks for letting me know I’m doing my job, sir 🙂

  6. ganymeder says:

    This article works equally well for other ereaders. I love my Nook Simple Touch, and when the occasional book is only available for Kindle I can still read it with a phone app. However, I am less likely to pay more than $3 for it if it’s not compatable with my device. 🙂

    • I’d love to hear about why you chose the Nook. When I was shopping for an e-reader, the Kindle was default because of Amazon’s self-publishing services but also because I knew that some books aren’t available for Nook. So, I’ve been wanting to ask a Nook owner why they chose it.

      For self-published authors, it can take time to get their books out to all the different devices. My book went live on Kindle on February 5, and I’m still waiting waiting for it to propagate to Nook after getting it set up around February 15. I’m not sure how this work with big publishing houses, but maybe you just have to wait a little longer for titles to become available for the Nook?

  7. Debra Stang says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I really enjoyed your post. Until about a year ago, I swore I would never let an electronic reader into my home. Then an indie author that I like started doing ALL of his publishing on Kindle. If I wanted to keep reading his books, I had to break down and get an e-reader. Long story short, I loved it, I’ve published on Kindly myself with great results, and I’m looking forward to upgrading my Kindle in the next year or so.

    Happy Reading
    Debra

    • I have to say, I don’t understand why an author would only make his or her books available on Kindle. Amazon has a great program to self-publish paperbacks (CreateSpace) and it’s fairly easy to get your book up on the other platforms as well. Having said that, it sure seems like Kindle users are in agreement that it’s a great little device 🙂

  8. Great post, Melissa!

    I now own a Kindle Touch 3G and love it. After much research, I chose this one for its state-of-the-art E-ink screen and other marvelous capabilities. I could have afforded ANY ereader make and model.

    I have taken my entire LongShortStories short story collection of over 100 wonderful stories and republished them into what will end up being six ebooks. Right now there are four ebooks bearing my name in the Kindle Store:

    Stories from the Edges
    Flash In The Hand
    Slow Dancing
    Eye Candy

    I routinely purchase my own ebooks to double-check them for final proper formatting and to show them to friends and family who don’t own an ereader yet. My kind of writing (the delicious short story form) is ideally suited to the Kindle format where readers’ attention spans are short. One thing to note is that there is a FREE app known as Kindle for PC which enables non-Kindle owners to read any ebook in Kindle format right on their computer screen.

    The best feature about ebooks and Kindle usage for writers is that one’s own ebooks have an INFINITE shelf life and my grandchildren will continue to benefit from the income streams I have created for my family, using this marvelous technology.

    I invite you and all your readers to plunk their money down on a Kindle and to enjoy Melissa’s and my ebooks soon.

    Regards,

    Wayne C. Long
    Writer/Editor/Digital Publisher
    http://www.LongShortStories.com
    Where the Short Story LIVES!

    • You make a great point about the infinite income stream for future generations, Wayne. That is something that has crossed my mind, too. Just imagine how much easier the self-publishing model will be by the time the younger generation steps in! Amazing!

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