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The Pros and Cons of Owning an Amazon Kindle
I've heard mixed feelings on the idea of owning an electronic device that allows one to download the text of a book and read it--in full!--without ever having to go to the store.
The biggest argument I keep hearing against such devices as the Amazon Kindle and other E-Readers is the worry about piracy.
I added The Hunger Games as an example because it is being made into a movie, coming to theaters soon.
Questions such as, "How will an author make money from her own work if everyone is simply downloading it for free off an illegal sharing website?" relate to the same worries the music industry have with illegally downloaded albums. As such, the solutions are the same: Make the products more available--and at lower prices--and people will be less inclined to steal.
With this idea, Amazon offers a discount to most books if the customer buys the "Kindle Edition," as seen for the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. At a regular buying price of $8.99, Amazon offers customers a savings of $3.99 (44%) if they buy the Kindle Edition at $5.00. While this does not completely eliminate the problem of e-book piracy, it does offer a wonderful opportunity for honest costumers to continue reading the books they love without resorting to underhanded tactics.
Won't new authors find it difficult to earn a living if everything on the Kindle is so lowly priced?
The answer to this is no. Libraries, bookstores, even Amazon all have limitations. Libraries and bookstores are limited in how many books they can carry, so they are picky with what they choose to put on their shelves. While Amazon has a much larger library online, customers still have to pay shipping and handling, which makes them picky about what they choose to buy.
When it comes to the kindle, all authors, new and old, are accessible. Both new and upcoming authors therefore have a chance to get their work out faster--and to a larger audience--where they wouldn't have had that chance before.
Ever buy a book because the cover looked amazing, only to read it and realize it has poor grammar, or plot holes??
That happened to me, but on the Kindle! Unfortunately, I didn't just buy the first book in the series; I bought the first three books. They had awesome ratings, and the series was paranormal romance, which I love.
I was surprised and appalled that such an author had gotten her books "published," but because I'd bought all three books, you bet I made myself read them from beginning to end.
If a beginning author can make money off e-books (even with poor grammar or plot holes), then I'm sure other beginning authors using correct grammar and applying multiple proofreading sessions will have even more opportunities than that to still earn a living writing.
Do you have nostalgia for the smell of books?
There are now aerosol sprays so that the smell of books is not missed while using the Kindle or other E-Reader devices. Smell of Books describes the spray as "revolutionary" and promises that the smell is genuine. This way, nothing is missed while reading on the Kindle.
And the new book smell isn't the only one they have! Along with that, Smell of Books offers:
- New Book Smell
- Classic Musty Smell
- Scent of Sensibility
- Eau You Have Cats
- Crunchy Bacon Scent
I myself would be willing to try this out. I can't wait to get my hands on the smells to see if they live up to their reputation.
Take This Poll Now!
Would you ever use an artificial book smell spray?
I've had a friend or two express worries over how to get a book onto the Kindle Library and whether or not the screen hurts the eyes like a computer screen.
There is a new offer for the Kindle with special offers! At just $114, you can get a 6" Kindle with Wi-Fi and a New E Ink Pearl Technology. What does this mean? Basically, this Kindle has better contrast and darker, crisper fonts to fight glares. The special offers display on the screensaver and on the bottom of the Kindle home page so they do not interrupt reading.
Every Kindle has WiFi compatibility, so as long as there is service to connect to the internet, a customer can browse books on Amazon right on the Kindle and get the book immediately. If not, then all that is needed is to get to a computer to buy the book(s), and it's automatically (and immediately) sent to the Kindle anyway. These books stay on the Kindle so that customers can read whether they are in range of WiFi service or not.
There is also a Kindle with 3G networking so that there is internet access no matter where the Kindle user is.
No Back Light!
Unlike other e-book devices, the Kindle has no backlight. Some complain about this being an inconvenience. My argument for that is: How is that any different than carrying a book light around with a paperback novel?
It's actually a great convenience for any reader to not have a back light, for the lack of a back light means there is no eye strain from staring at a lit up screen for hours on end, like there is on a computer. Most of the leather cover accessories for the Kindle come with attached lights now, so it's killing two birds with one stone while accessorizing.
As another added bonus? The Kindle weighs only a couple of grams! Compare that to trekking with a hardback or paperback novel.
Take This Poll Now!
Do you think electronic books will replace printed books?
The last worry I hear about is whether e-books will completely replace printed books.
My answer to this is that nobody should worry about it. As many avid readers will agree with me, collecting favorite authors' books and series becomes a hobby for anybody who enjoys reading. Even though I now have a Kindle, I continue to buy the books of my favorite authors such as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dean Koontz.
The Kindle does not take away my willingness to buy books; it simply gives me more opportunities to read less accessible books and decide how much I like a new author before I buy--and start collecting--their books in print.
This is the pile of books by my bed. I also have a Kindle. Buying a Kindle does not mean forgetting print books exist, and reading books in print does not mean that you have to disregard e-books.
It's not a matter of one or the other, and I think that's what I love about it the most.
© 2011 Jennifer Kessner