My Kindle and Me: Our One-Year Anniversary

I’ve owned my Kindle for just over a year now. I use it every day, though not quite like I expected when I found it under the Christmas tree.  I thought I’d buy lots of ebooks, and that my paperback shelves would be a thing of the past.  I’m sure my husband had that thought when he bought it for me. When we moved from Virginia to Kentucky, he loaded dozens of heavy boxes of books into the storage pod. By volume, the only thing outnumbering my book-boxes were the Christmas decorations.  By weight, the books won.

The Kindle was supposed to eliminate some of those books, but it hasn’t. Six months into owning it, I gravitated to buying paper again because I like to loan books.  I know you can loan Kindle-to-Kindle, but that’s not same as just handing someone a book and saying, “Here, take your time.”

Here’s what most surprises me . . . About 80% of the stuff on my Kindle consists of freebies.  I check out the Amazon giveaways almost every day, and definitely at the first of the month. I’ve downloaded tried-and-true authors, new-to-me authors, and self published authors.  Most recently I started reading a history of Alcatraz Island.  What a wild place!  I also read Water for Elephants, a book I’ve wanted to read for ages but  just never did.  Then there’s the Young Adult fiction that got my attention.  What fun to revisit the past with stories about girls and horses!

Those freebies have a strong appeal. I can’t say I’m as enamored with the price of regular ebooks. There are bargains to be had, but I get a little miffed when a bestseller in e-format costs almost as much as a hardcover at Sam’s Club. I thought ebooks were supposed to cost less…maybe not. The market’s still finding its footing.

Here’s another cool Kindle feature: I’ve used it to store and read unpublished mss, both my own and those from fellow authors. It’s handy for the last read-through. Typos show up, especially missing words. I tend to miss that stuff on the computer screen.

Right now, I have 105 items on my Kindle organized in Collections labeled: Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Mainstream, Series, YA, Non Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Classics, Reference, Book Club, and Hubby’s Books.  The romance categories have the most titles, of course. And that number is growing . . . One-click shopping is the easiest thing in the world.  

I also have a couple of games. Is anyone else hooked on Every Word?  My high score playing the timed version is 34,930. Just 70 points shy of 35K!  I like Scrabble, too.

Anyone else have thoughts on e-readers? Kindle vs. Nook?  They’re here to stay for sure.  

 

The Women of Swan’s Nest Series…Available in the Amazon Kindle store…

Victoria Bylin
Victoria Bylin is under contract with Bethany House Publishers for two inspirational contemporary romances.Prior to jumping to the present day, she wrote westerns for Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons. You can learn more about Vicki at www.victoriabylin.com

24 Comments

  1. I’m a creature of habit. Even though I have had my KINDLE for a year, I rarely pick it up. I prefer holding on to a book. I do have a lot of freebies on my KINDLE. I will not pay $7.99 for an ebook that I can’t touch. My old-fashioned tendancies are going to be around until there are no longer any print books available.

  2. I have the older Kindle 2 that I have had for a couple of years. Like your it is packed full of freebees and if you watch close you get a lot of good books this way. I signed up for emails from Pixal of Ink and Ereader new today and they send emails every day with the free books from Amazon. I have gotten a lot of free books this way. Like your I have noticed that a lot of ebooks are just priced to high. I have seen some of the go for ten dollars or more. Before I pay that price I will buy paper. I really love my Kindle and want a new one but I still buy and read paper books.

  3. I have a Kindle and also signed up for Pixal of Ink [http://www.pixelofink.com/category/free-kindle-books/] I still enjoy reading ‘real’ books and have dozens stashed all over the house.. the one thing I really miss on my Kindle is the lack of color cover art..

  4. Good morning, ladies! I slept in after staying up too late reading 🙂

    The free Kindle books are fun, and for me they work as good promo. I’ve often bought the next book in the author’s series, or maybe an older title.

    Does anyone else read free sample chapters? I do that a lot and then decide whether to buy.

  5. I received a Kindle for my birthday and have about 800 books on it organized into categories: Historical, Mainstream, Christian, Nonfiction, History, Biographies, Cookbooks, etc. I read on it most every day. I love the selection of free books. If a book is more than $7, I buy it in paper so it can be shared more widely. I love being able to try new authors without investing a lot. I do wish that the first time you open a book it would automatically open to the cover instead of the text.

    We gave my Mom a Kindle for Christmas registered to my account so she could take advantage of all the books I had on mine. She is an avid reader and cannot get to the library anymore. This way she still has a wide variety to choose from. One feature that we enjoy is being able to choose the font size and turn any book into large print.

  6. Hi Judy H, I agree about the cover coming up first. I always go back to look at it, and then start reading. 800 books is a massive number! It’s great you can share with your mom. I bet she likes the font size feature. I sure do!

  7. It is hard to purchase one book for $12 on the kindle when I can also get the same book in hardcopy at deep discount. Just can’t get over that hurdle.

    My kindle got a great amount of use when I went to Bali. Thirty hours of flying and it was totally worth it to have that little ereader in my hands. No worries about straining my back with a heavy load of books. But I still took paper in case the kindle failed for some reason. So I guess I am still learning.

    I am having to budget this year so think I will be reading more and more books off the free list!

    Thanks for helping me to think about my kindle and what to put on it!

    Peace, Julie

  8. I still haven’t bought a Kindle. But I do have the Kindle ap on my iphone, and that works for me, especially since I don’t use it much. I’ve downloaded some freebies and some cheapies ($0.99 – $2.99), but I’ve only read about 5 or 6 on there so far. Usually when I travel.

    I have noticed that occasionally you can get a new release cheaper as an e-book than the mass-market for a limited time. I just downloaded one for $4.99 instead of the usual $7.99. But after the book’s been out for a bit, the price goes back up.

    I’m cheap enough to stick with the free Kindle ap for now. You sure have to flip a lot of pages, though!

  9. My husband has been trying to give me an e-reader for over a year. I have way too many books – 40+ over full bookcases and enough books in boxes and piles to fill them again. It is an addiction. I do have a few collections – old books, children’s books, cookbooks, etc. – but most are paperbacks that I really want to read. Many are out of print or given to me by friends.

    I have looked at the price of e-books and don’t understand why they are often as much as paper books. I do have some books being held on Amazon’s Whispernet but am not 100% sure how that works.

    I will probably get an e-reader sooner than later, but I am not sure how much it will cut down on my paper book purchases.

  10. Hi Julie, For the trip to Bali, an ereader is a must! When I used to fly to California, deciding which books to bring on the plane was harder than packing clothes. Now my bookshelf fits in my purse.

    But I’m with you on the price. I’m happy to pay for a book, but it’s hard to justify close to full price for an ebook when I can’t share it easily.

  11. Hi Karen! Several of our book club ladies use the Kindle app on their phones. I prefer a bigger screen, but you can’t beat the convenience. Happy reading!

  12. Hi Patricia, How and what we read is such a personal thing. When I first got the Kindle, I expected to go almost all ebook. Not so! I like a hard copy for book club so I can make notes in the margins. I can make notes with the Kindle, but it’s not as simple.

    Right now I’m reading hard copies for a contest, and I miss the Kindle. There’s a place for both, I think.

  13. Santa brought me a Kindle this past Christmas and I love it. In a way, it’s kinda freeing to not have so many books lying around. I took it with me on my recent cruise but I never even turned it on. Just too many things going on to read. I really do like the device though and I know as time goes I’ll read the books on it more.

    Wishing you much success, my Filly sister!

  14. I got a kindle for Christmas a year ago and have not used it as much as I thought I would I suspect it’s because I don’t know what I’m doing–I’m techno-challenged in the very worst way. How do you put your mss on it? I’m not sure how to get something from my computer to my kindle. WAAHHHH! LOLLOL That’s awesome. I have a lot of free stuff on mine, too.
    Cheryl P.

  15. Hi Linda! The cruise had to be awesome. As much as I enjoy a good book, I like sun, ocean air, good food and good times just as much. It’s chilly here in Lexington, KY… Tropical breezes are calling to me!

  16. I’ve got a technical question, Vicki. I delete finished books from the Kindle, I do the freebies and some are AWFUL and I wish they’d go away…lest I die and someone sees I downloaded such a dreadful book.
    But I just recently found the deleted books in a DELETED file…which….hello…NOT deleted if they’re still there.
    So, when I tried to permanently delete them, instead I re-loaded them to the Kindle and now i can’t even remember how I deleted them. (this is typical of my tech skills)
    Anyone know how to delete a book from a KINDLE.

    And the surprise to me with Kindle is how MANY freebie books I’ve got and how few of those freebies I read.
    Also, the wireless internet in my house died….and we got the internet up and running but without the wireless router. Which should work, I don’t think it was the routers fault.

    But I’m afraid to try and restore the wireless router (I barely know what the word router means and I wouldn’t except I spent hours on the phone with a very nice lady from my phone company recently) because I’m afraid I’ll lose the internet again.

    I have a book on advanced order that releases like…TODAY. Will that book, which I ordered before the wireless router died, be on my Kindle or not. I really want that book NOW!!!!!!!

  17. Hi Vicki, I love my kindle. I buy most of the fillie’s new books beforehand and voila, they show up when they’re released. I love it also for riding my exerbike…it fits easily into my book holder and “turning the page” is lots easier. Of course I’m all for these devices as many of my works are e-form.

    I have no problem spending $12 for a Kindle book. I’ve got my book shelves just how I want them and don’t need any more.

    Love the post, Vicki. Thanks!

  18. Hi Mary, To permanently delete, go to the Kindle Store–Your Account–Manage Your Kindle. “Your Kindle Library” should come up. Look to the far right at the box that says “Actions.” Click on it and you’ll see a “Delete from Library” option. That should do it. I do this on my computer, not the Kindle.

    Good luck with that router! Have you tried resetting it? Back in northern VA, it was almost a weekly necessity. I had to turn off all the computers, turn off the cable box and router, then turn on the cable box, wait for the lights to blink, then the router, then the computer. Our service in KY is much better!

  19. Hi Tanya, I love reading on the Kindle. Look ma! No hands! It would be ideal for the exercise bike, which so far isn’t happening around here. Ebooks give us all so many more choices, both what we read and how we read. Enjoy!

  20. I still buy more paper books than electronic, but I do like my Kindle and carry it in my purse for times when I have to wait for something, or eat out alone, etc. I really only use it at home on the weekends. I was astonished the other day when I realized I have 78 downloads on it (no match for that 800!), most of them free or very inexpensive. Lots of new authors (to me) on promo by their publishers. Indie pubs from friends, a few old favorites. About the only ones I’ve paid retail for are some craft-of-writing books. I still prefer paper books, and Kindle doesn’t do pictures well. But for reading novels, it’s fine.

  21. Hi Kay, I used to think ereaders would be great for college textbooks, because the books change all the time. But it’s too hard to take notes. I have a couple of writing craft books on mine, but I find I miss just skimming. I guess I’m 50-50 when it comes to overall use.

  22. I think (hope) I can handle the Kindle with your instructions. Thanks.
    The router? It’s just that I’m afraid I’ll do what you say and lose the whole internet again.

    HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT THE INTERNET, HUH?????????

  23. I wouldn’t risk it, Mary! I can do without TV easy, but not the internet 🙂

  24. I LOVE my Kindle! I own two and loan the second one. I love it when my Pistols friends show up on my kindle when I preorder their books. I, too, love the feel of a book but I like the lightness of my Kindle touch and the light is perfect!

Comments are closed.