Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kindling (Thoughts on about my Kindle)

It's been a month now since my lovely wife (and favorite muse) gave me a Kindle Paperwhite for Xmas. I developed some definite opinions about it. I never thought I would be one to embrace an e-reader. I love the feel of a real book in my hands, the texture of the paper, the weight in my hands, the aroma of a vintage tome. And I love bookstores. It is physically impossible for me to walk into a bookstore and then leave empty handed. Oh, it's been done, but it hurts.

So why did I want one?

E-books are the way of the future. More and more publishers are doing e-versions. More and more people are buying e-books. Fewer and fewer people are buying hard copy books. And the price of the bestsellers at the major houses is coming down. All this taken together indicates that people are still reading, and reading more by some counts. The world is changing and to be a part of it you have to be aware of it.
Besides most of what I've been selling lately is in electronic format only. I wanted to see what it actually looked like in its final form on something made to show it.

What's it like?

The Kindle Paperwhite is small, about the size of small trade paperback. It is very lightweight and very very thin. At first I found it awkward to hold, not having the depth of a book, but I soon got used to it. The Paperwhite is an e-reader only, no apps, no sound, no motion. It stores books and you read them. That's it. I did n't need another place for games, and such. I wanted an e-reader only.

The good?

I am one of those people that must read in bed every night in order to fall asleep  It can be anything, a magazine, a current book, what ever, but I must read something. It allows my mind to shut down, to stop worrying about the day's activities and what will come tomorrow. Reading allows me to escape, relax, and go in a completely different direction. The Kindle is the perfect tool fro reading in bed.
It is very easy on the eyes. The brightness of the illuminated page can easily be adjusted for daytime or night. I have found that instead of reading a paragraph some nights before my eyes get heavy, okay many nights, I now read a chapter or two or three before telling myself it's time to sleep.

It's very easy to get content. E-books are everywhere. Amazon has daily specials where they will drastically reduce the price of 4 books to usually something under $3. Or there many sites that publish free titles in kindle format (.mobi). Many are of classic now in public domain. I recently downloaded the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the entire OZ collection of stories. You can download them on to your computer and then transfer to the Kindle.

I can also upload any document in PDF format and read it on my Kindle. Very handy. Here's a recent example. In Wikipedia you can make a single document from numerous entries and then save it as a PDF. Upload it to my kindle and it's there when I want to review it.

The bad?

This surprised me. I've already stated I am addicted to books. I have many many books. Too many if you ask my wife. They line every shelf and are staked in corners in precarious piles. I've found it very difficult to get rid of a book. It's like losing an old friend. (Unless it's a really bad book, then you just want it out of the house.)

But I have found there is less of a connection to e-books. Is it because they have no physical presence, no tangible connection, no tactile essence? I don't know. I do know I find it easier to stop reading a book I'm not too interested it, and even delete it from my collection with little or no remorse. Poof, it's gone. What's next? It makes me feel bad in a way.

The fun part?

It's my new toy. And my new toy needed a case, a cover, some protection. My son told me about some people who had converted old books into case for their e-readers. What cool, yet ironic idea, creating a case from the thing it replaces. I went looking for a cheap old nice book to cut up. I found something quite by surprise. It was at Michael's craft store, a Star Wars journal for $3. It bought it knowing that if it proved too small I'd at least have a nice little journal. It worked perfectly .
So I guess it's going pretty good. Right now I really only use my Kindle at night but time will tell. E-books are the future whether we like it or not. We adjust.

As always, thanks for reading me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Three Titles For Your Kindle!

My available works for kindle.

This anthology includes the first story starring the detective team of Ramses II and Bernie Clayberg, "The Wrong Side of the Rainbow". Stayed tuned for the sequel "Death Bites" in an upcoming month from the same publisher, Rampant Loon Press. (I know, how perfect is that?) Look for more after that. The series is just beginning.


My first novel for middle grade reader. What would you do if your neighbor wanted to take over the world? A little scary, a lot of fun.

This anthology includes my story, "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie". It's also available as an audiobook.

And thanks for reading me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Visit From Neil Young (on my Kindle)

First the good news! The second adventure from the detective team of Ramses II and Bernie Clayberg is being picked up by Stupefying Stories. I received word on January 2. Now that's a great way to start teh new year. I'm hoping this is on it's way to becoming a popular series.

If you missed their first adventure, "The Wrong Side Of The Rainbow", you can find it here:

My lovely wife gave me a kindle for Xmas. Very nice. I love it but more on that later. As a new kindle owner I discovered that Amazon has daily deal on ebooks. Every day a new set of ebooks at very low prices usually under $3. Check it out here: kindle daily deal

Recently one of the daily deals was the kindle version of Neil Young's new autobiography "Waging Heavy Peace" for only $1.99. Neil Young has always been a musical hero of mine so I snapped it up immediately. I dropped everything else and began to read. I was in for a big surprise.

Let me say I was really looking forward to reading it but after I began it was too long before... well, let me say that in my opinion it is one of the worst things I have every read. Definitely a stream of consciousness book it is all over the place.

Yes, Neil, we know you like model trains, we know you are a big audiophile and hate the mp3 file format, but please give me a break. I'm not. The narrative bounces from his Lionel trains to the startup company he's planning back to trains to a few paragraphs about vacationing in Hawaii with friends back to trains back to Hawaii back to Puretone (his file format) and finally back to his trains. I made it for 4 chapters and had to stop. I couldn't take it anymore.

Sorry, Neil. I tried, maybe not long enough but I tried. I will say I did not delete the book but kept it hoping to return to it at some day hoping it might get better. I really wanted to like this book.

If you like model trains and Neil Young you just might like this book too. Give it a try if you'd like.

As always thanks for reading me.