by Bob Hazlett
In our world, new words are invented and old words take on new meanings at a prodigious rate. So it seems every essay or article needs to start with a glossary to bring all readers to the same level of vocabulary. How about the word “Kindle”
** Kindle1 — to light or set on fire.
** Kindle2 — an electronic device to read ebooks purchased from Amazon.com. Generically referred to as an “ereader.”
** Kindle3 — a library service available from Amazon .com. I just invented this one to distinguish it from the others.
Then there is “amazon” – a huge female warrior, a river in South America, or a retail giant that sells almost everything.
See how the definitions have changed. I still Kindle1 when I go camping. I own a Kindle2 e-reader. Lately I have expanded my usage so that I can say I use the Kindle3. I never met a huge female warrior nor have I ever been on the river, but I am a regular user of the retail giant.
This article is about Kindle2, it’s evolution to Kindle3, and some thoughts on how to take advantage of this as a writer.
My wife had a Nook and then a Kindle which she used to buy, store, and read books first from Barnes & Noble (Nook) then from Amazon.com (Kindle). I got interested through the back door when I learned that you can email other files to yourself on your Kindle2. I have, for a long time, been saving magazine and website articles on my computer as pdf files. I thought about the hours spent in waiting rooms with just junk magazines to read while stuff I wanted to read was stuck on my hard drive in my computer at home. What a waste of time!
So I bought a Kindle2, at a price surprisingly lower that I expected. Then I loaded, via email, many of the pdf files I wanted to read. Call that experiment a success. Much of my library of magazine articles now resides on my Kindle2. I refer to them often.
As I progressed in ‘creative writing’, I sought guidance from experienced writers in the form of books on various topics on the craft of writing along with books to use as reference as I write, e.g., dictionaries, thesauri. A quick comparison between the prices for hardbacks, paperbacks, and ebooks settled that argument in favor of ebooks. Plus, with a Kindle2, I can carry over a hundred books in my pocket everywhere I go – all those waiting rooms.
I have an increasing collection of reference book on my Kindle2 and have developed the habit of using them while I am writing on my laptop. A convenience I have grown to appreciate and recommend for all writers.
For me, usage expanded when Amazon introduced ‘apps’ that allow you to use your PC or Apple device as a Kindle2. There are also apps that let you use your iphone or Android phone as a Kindle2.
‘Kindle for PC’ is the app that lets me use my PC as a Kindle2. I bought it from Amazon.com, just like any other product, except that the price is $0.00. There is a similar app for Apple devices, also free.
Then I discovered Kindle3 (my terminology not Amazon’s). When I buy an ebook from Amazon, it is stored in my space in the Amazon cloud. I can download it to any/all of my devices — Kindle2, PC, phone. Also, if the memory on any of my devices gets full, I can delete it and it still remains in my Amazon cloud space to be downloaded again later if I wish. From my Kindle3 library, I can download different ebooks on to my different devices. That flexibility is very useful.
I have seen this advice many times in many places: “Good writers are voracious readers.” To me that makes a lot of sense. I have increased my consumption of ebooks for reading for enjoyment on my Kindle2. But now I always read as a writer. I can’t help it. While reading for pleasure, I am conscious of the author’s craftsmanship, good or bad. Often, I find bad writing to be more instructive than excellent writing. With the price of ebooks so low, the cost of those lessons is minimal.
Here is my current status with my Kindle:
** My Amazon account: I have over 100 ebooks in my library. Many subjects, many obtained for free, all available on any of my devices with one click.
** My smartphone: I do not use this at all. May change in the future, but right now no.
** My PC: Using ‘Kindle for PC’, I have downloaded some of the reference books I use in writing, but I do not use this heavily.
** My Kindle2: Loaded! I carry it with me almost everywhere. Books on the writing craft. pdf files of magazine articles. Books for pleasure reading. I have not gotten into using it for other advertised functions, e.g., music, games, audio.
** I use two other websites to find free or cheap books: BookBub and Instafreebie
Let me tell you how I write with my Kindle … no that is another story for another time.
Amazon is constantly changing and so am I. This is an exciting time to be a writer.