Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kindle evolution

I do understand that many people who read and enjoy books like a paper book, the smell, heft, the conventions and knowing where the copyright page is and the visual way they can see how far along they have read.  But the Kindle offers many great advantages, too.  

Right now the cheapest Kindle costs $79 instead of the original $359.  It holds a charge for two months and can contain 1400 books.  It is still the case that most ebooks are cheaper than the paper books, although more and more, the paper is LESS expensive.  That is still rare but it happens more often.  At end of each month, I make a list of what has been added to our Kindles for all the family members who share my account.  

During June, we added 42 books to what is now a total of 823 Kindle items acquired over a period of about 4 years.  In the letters to the editor, the current New Yorker says that the major American publishers have gotten complacent over the years and not either taken advantage of the technical possibilities or realized the potential of book sales that the Kindle set-up offers.  The British author Helen Smith mentioned in her blog that not only have Kindle sales helped her very much but that she herself has bought more books for her own Kindle than she ever bought paper ones.  The book "Confessions of a GP" by a British doctor sold something like 8000 paper copies in Britain but 100,000 Kindle copies.  

Amazon does have very good service and sells a wide variety of products, not just books, by any means. One of their features that I like is that I can phone them and be on the phone with a reasonably educated, knowledgeable and understandable human being within a minute of any call.  I wish more companies could and would adopt their approach.  

Recently, Amazon acquired, my favorite source of audiobooks, my favorite companion while driving.  Audible still has good prices, a good web site for downloading and using audio files but now, the same logon and password for Amazon works in Audible, too.

The cheapest Kindle and some others come with "special offers", which are ads.  So far, the ads, which allow for a lower purchase price we are told, are not intrusive and may be interesting.  I am just now seeing what I think of these additions and modifications to my reading experience.

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Main web site: Kirbyvariety

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