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Why I Love My Kindle February 7, 2010

Or why, really, I love any e-book reader. This post isn't about why you should or shouldn't buy one reader over another. There are a million posts touting the various pros and cons of various readers over others. (I love the ease of the wireless of my Kindle, the e-ink, and the fact that I can download the book I want to read, from bed, after reading a free sample chapter.)

But what I didn't realize was how amazing it was going to be for the reading of manuscripts.

First: my own. I recently finished editor's revisions on Book Two. Instead of printing out 400 pages, I curled up in bed with my Kindle and read my book in the format I'm used to reading. Every time I found something that needed addressing, I either made myself a note on the Kindle using its little keyboard, or I reached over and pulled my laptop over (if I was feeling energetic) and made the change. This doesn't work, of course, for the editing of a first draft, when you need to mark up every single line, every word. But for this kind of work, it's perfect.

Second: others' manuscripts. I just finished reading a draft of my friend Cari's book. Okay. I've known her for probably seven or eight years, before she got her MFA, before she was a mother, before she moved from Brooklyn across country to the west coast. I knew she was a great writer -- I'd seen some of her short work, and I'd read excerpts. I thought I knew her voice.

But people. I knew nothing.

The book hasn't sold quite yet, but it will. And you'll read it someday, and I will jump around and tell everyone, I told you so. Now, I write commercial fiction, but I know from great lit'ture. This will win the big awards. I've never read a book like this before in my life, and while I was huddled over my Kindle, heaving with sobs (and I don't do that while reading -- I'm usually a pretty tough cookie, believe it or not), making the occasional note to pass on to her, I thought, "ISN'T THIS AMAZING? Technology has allowed me to receive this manuscript over email and convert it into a readable paperless form." And all this change has happened in the years since I've known Cari.

(Know what else? Cari can write circles around those high-falutin' literary folk who write Literary Stuff that left me cold after I got my MFA, and you know why? She has, along with the literary gorgeous prose, a plot that will blow your socks off. Stuff happens, and I swear I could hear foundations rocking under me as I clicked my little page-turner.)

I know it's awful. I know it's just a tease that you can't read it yet. But I love all this. It's like a miracle. A gol-danged bloody e-miracle. I'm blessed and lucky and if you're a writer, you should get an e-reader.

I want an iPad, too, someday. Ahem.

* Joy reminds me that you can download a PDF or .doc of a knitting pattern to the Kindle (or other devices) and have it right there. Nice.

** and yes, How to Knit a Love Song will be out on Kindle the day it releases, March 3rd. WOOT!

*** because I'm a dork, I'll totally buy it for my own Kindle. Heh.

Comments

I love my Kindle, too. Especially for reading in bed, it's much lighter than a book and you don't have to wrestle with the pages. I haven't discovered how to get anything but the Amazon books on it yet. There is a whole world of books out there. Will your books come out in Kindle format?

I am totally going to buy your book for my Kindle! I'm so excited it will be in Kindle format!

That does sound pretty cool, using your Kindle like that AND isn't it amazing how much happens over the years, it just cascades, how wonderful it is to watch a friend be successful. God Bless.

Thank you, thank you. I havae a Kindle and it frustrates me that more books aren't available on it right away. I will be purchasing it on my Kindle very soon. Like as soon as I get done here.

March 3rd is coming soon! Good luck!

I love, love my Kindle, too. I love that I can read it while eating a messy BBQ sandwich with cole slaw. All I do is reach over and "click" every few minutes. Can't hold a regular book while I eat a messy sandwich (of any kind).

I love that I can make the font big in the evenings (since my eyes are getting old).

I love that I can get c18 and c19 century novels for free or cheap.

And, now, I'm just starting to realize how much it might actually serve me for my dissertation (both with the research and the writing).

I <3 my Kindle.

But a question: What format did you use for your friend's MS? One thing I don't like about my Kindle is that PDF files can make for some very small font.

Easy! Make sure it's single spaced and then send it (no subject line,
no body text) as a .doc. Works every time. Sometimes the formatting is
a teeny-bit off, esp. with tabs, but it's completely easy to ignore
that.

:)

OK, the mention of being able to read knitting pdfs JUST sold me! I wasn't really interested in the book part but being able to have the soft copy of my gazillion patterns for my gazillion WIPs right there in my knitting bag or in my knitting "nest" (my spot next to the couch) is exactly what I need.

Awesome!

I love my Kindle too! I wasn't sure but I travel a ton and it's great for that. I don't want to read old school anymore!

I, too, LOVE my Kindle! I'm planning to download your book the day it's available. (I'd pre-order it if the option was there...) My current reason I love my Kindle is the two very, very heavy books (900+ pages in paper) I'm reading on it. Enormous things! But not on the Kindle!

It will be available for kindle...and other readers? i have a sony ereader. Crossing my fingers.

the .pdf functionality seems to distill the pdf and allows the text to wrap when you zoom in....great for knitting patterns (though the charts stay the same size) and reading other documents like articles and things that i never seem to catch up on for work.

kindle finally came to canada and they stripped out a bunch of functionality...like sending yourself documents...no thanks.

Wow! Now I really want her book. :)

I can't wait to read your book Rachael....whether on or off the kindle!

It is instructive to read all these comments from Kindle users. I am still waiting to buy an e-reader - maybe trying to be exagerately reasonable but... I am waiting for other e-readers to come by... I believe actually the Kindle is the best choice for English language readers because of the amazing inventory of e-books available for the Kindle. I am a French individual and would love to have an e-reader with a nice and wide choice of French editors. So waiting still. But, I must admit, I am almost sold to the Kindle.

Okay, here is how long I have been stalking you wonderful blog Women....What ever happened to the sweater you and Carrie, Brainylady and Michelle were all knitting together? I've often wondered how that worked, with everyone so far apart and everyone knittng at different gauges.Did it ever get completed?

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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