Thursday, January 05, 2012

rockabye kindle

I have a new Kindle baby.

I have been a member of the Kindle family since July of 2010 -- when I decided to buy the second generation Kindle reader to feed my book jonesing in Mexico.

And a good buy it was.  I have been able to purchase books electronically as soon as they are available -- or to find editions that are no longer in book stores. 

That is, assuming that the book is available on Kindle.  Now and then I have been frustrated that both new and old editions are not available electronically.  But, overall, the experience has been great.

I have had only one problem with my Kindle.  The letters on the tiny keyboard are starting to rub off.  I don’t know if my fingers are the culprits -- or if the letters are rubbing on the cover when it is closed.  Either way, I am starting to play a game of “guess the letter.”

But Amazon has come to my rescue.  Just before Christmas Amazon issued two new Kindles.  A touch version -- where all navigation is done on the screen.  And a Fire -- a small backlit tablet designed to take on the iPad.

I was almost seduced by the Fire.  It is nearly as sexy as the iPad.  But the backlit screen makes it impractical for reading in the Mexican sun.

So, I bought the touch version.  I like the touch commands.  But I need to learn how best to navigate.  The shortcuts I learned on my old Kindle are not as intuitive.  I suspect all of that will change over time.

One thing I have discovered is that I enjoy reading on the Kindle.  I thought I would miss the feel of the books.  If I do, it has been eclipsed by the Kindle’s light weight and the convenience of buying books whenever the mood hits me.

Here is a sampling of my reading for 2011 -- several of which  I have reviewed in posts during the year.

American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America
by David O. Stewart

Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions
by Mark Eden Horowitz

New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus: Insights from His Jewish Context by David Bivin

1493: Uncovering the World Columbus Created
by Charles C. Mann

The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus
by Nehemia Gordon

1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
by Charles C. Mann

A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War
by Amanda Foreman

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson

Manana Forever?
by Jorge G. Castaneda

Restoring The Jewishness of the Gospel: A Message for Christians Condensed from Messianic Judaism
  by David H. Stern

Ballistics: Poems
by Billy Collins

Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of FDR
by H. W. Brands and Mark Deakins

You can tell a lot about people by what they read.  I have looked at several book lists posted by fellow bloggers and realized that we each read entirely different books.  That sounds like a great strength to me.  Especially if we are willing to share what we have read.

So, what was on your 2011 book list?


Barb said...

Funny you should post this. I so related to your comment about thinking you might miss the feel of books. It's one of the reasons I've resisted purchasing an ereader. There's simply nothing as soothing as the rythmic turning of the pages of a good book. So it astounds me that I'm even considering purchasing an ereader.

Steve Cotton said...

I am not certain I would have converted if I had stayed in The States.  In Mexico, though, it is my reading lifeline.

John said...

I think the Kindle is a bit of a miracle to which I don't ask... A new one huh - still working with the one I bought shirtly after your recommendation.

Latest Kindle book I am reading: Goddess of the Market Ayn Rand
and the American Right

Jennifer Burns

Steve Cotton said...

As soon as I get accustomed to the new navigation, I will most likely prefer the new one.  Of course, I am always a sucker for new electronic gadgets.

The Rand book sounds interesting.  I was an Objectivist at one point in my political development -- 18.  But I could never reconcile my Christian principles with her atheism.  But she certainly was an interesting character.

Laurie Matherne said...

I have grown fond of my Kindle, too. I may riff from your post about my 2011 reading list. It was longer and more varied than I remembered. Good post, Steve.

Steve Cotton said...

Until I posted the list, I had forgotten the topics I had read about this past year.

John said...

Ayn had some interesting ideas - perhaps just a little too full of herself. I too have a problem with her atheism - but then we can not always throw out the baby with the bath water.

Steve Cotton said...

Her rejection of servanthood and altruism were enough to make me question her syllogisms.

Don Cuevas said...

Looks like your blog has had a makeover for the new year. Very nice!

Saludos,Don Cuevas 

Kim G said...

You can find a very interesting interview of her by a very youthful Mike Wallace on YouTube.

Kim G

Kim G said...

Though I don't own a Kindle, I do a ton of reading on line. In fact so much that I read fewer books than I used to. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, though. But I do hope to read more books in 2012.

People here should note that they don't need a Kindle reader to enjoy Kindle books. Anyone can download the Kindle reader for free, and it's available for PC, Mac, iPhone, Android and maybe some others. And there are also many free Kindle books, typically works out of copyright. So take it for a spin. There's nothing to lose.

Finally, I'd also say that I find it weird that people object to buying a Kindle because they like books. That's kind of like saying that you won't buy a bike because you like hiking.  Amazon doesn't require you to forswear books when you buy a Kindle. And they have stated publicly that Kindle owners on average buy more paper books than non-Kindle owners.


Kim G
DF, Mexico
Where we are reading way too many blogs.

Eric Chaffee said...

Glad you asked, as I think we have similar reading tastes.  Below are three you might enjoy. 

One of the mostly unsung attractions of the Kindle is the ability to download first chapters for free. And now I've also got an ap on my computer: "Kindle for Mac" which means I can take my pick of devices.  Here are three titles, with links:Roger Williams and the Birth of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty
LINK: WARS: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians would Believe for the Next 1500 Years.LINK: NARCO: Inside Mexico's Criminal InsurgencyLINK: ~eric. 

Steve Cotton said...

If only I had one for myself.

Steve Cotton said...

I use the PC Kindle application when I am sitting at the computer -- especially for illustrations.

Steve Cotton said...

I hope this is not one blog too many.

Eric Chaffee said...

Only one of the three links survived posting. Here are the missing two, for a second try:

ROGER WILLIAMS: Creation of the American Soul ... WARS: How four patriarchs, . . . etc

Gary Denness said...

There's a simple reason I don't own a Kindle. Price. Not of the Kindle itself. But of the books - they were usually the same or similar price to the paper version. Which was a flipping liberty! That used to be the case anyway. Having read your post I went and had a looky see, and they have come down in price a lot. Tons of offers as well. 

But I'm still not overly interested - like Kim I do a lot of my reading on the net. Lots of blogs. And when it's a book, I tend to buy the paper ones, second hand, for a few pence on Amazon. I noticed over on Amazon that you can publish your blog on Kindle. I might try that, just for fun.

My latest book? Paola brought me a second hand one. By Len  Deighton, whom I've never before read. It's called 'Mexico Set', which'll be why Paola bought it.

Gary Denness said...

I noticed it too - very nice. Much, much nicer, in fact. And I've always liked Disqus. It seems slicker than ever before.

Gary Denness said...

I have to confess I prefer the paper book to the kindle. But I could be turned, I'm sure. I'm not sure what the fact about what Kindle owners tells us, other than Kindle owners read a lot, anyway they can. How many Kindle books have non Kindle owners bought? 

Gary Denness said...

Disappointed you didn't buy a Kindle Fire by the by. That does have my interest - I'd have liked the review!

Steve Cotton said...

For me, it is primarily an access issue for me.

Steve Cotton said...

I pay about the same price for my hardbound books at Costco as I do for my Kindle books.  The difference is that I do not have immediate access to hardbound books in Mexico.

Steve Cotton said...

I may consider a Fire when Amazon gets some of the first generation issues worked out.  Right now, I will be satified with a new Z series Sony.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks.  It is a work in progress.

Kim G said...

Amazon is vague on details, but have said that Kindle owners on average buy more paper books than non Kindle owners.  How many is not stated.

Kim G

Steve Cotton said...

Interesting statistics. And I think I know why. Kindles seem to prime the reading pump.