Amazon Kindle: Good for Freelance Writing Work and Play but Useless as a Coaster.

This week, after much thought and back and forth arguing with my other personalities, I bought a Kindle. Now, anyone who knows me knows that as much as I like computers, laptops, and televisions, I kinda hate technology. I hate GPS systems because I like to rely on my own little sense of direction; I hate cell phones because I don’t like being accessible at all times and don’t really enjoy talking on the phone anyway; I’m not a fan of texting and I don’t like the iPad. I also thought I would hate a Kindle.

How I Discovered I was Wrong

One weekend a few weeks ago, I wanted to study a finance textbook about private companies so I ordered it online and  downloaded it on the Kindle for PC application. I installed this app on both my normal PC and my laptop and proceeded to read the text over the weekend, as I had planned. I didn’t have to wait for the book to get shipped to me, didn’t have to carry around a big, heavy, awkward textbook, and I could highlight, bookmark and annotate the textbook on the computer just as I might on the actual book.

So great, I knew I liked online reading for textbooks—but what about the real test? What about fiction? Like most of you, I’m a huge reader. I read several novels a week and don’t feel cozy or at home unless I’ve got an unread novel around to lose myself in. I thought that reading on an electronic device would take the hominess right out of pleasure reading. I thought it would de-personalize it somehow and make it more like work.

I decided to try an easy and fun read and downloaded Charlaine Harris’ first Sookie Stackhouse book (the basis for the HBO show True Blood), Dead Until Dark and read it in bed on my laptop.

I loved it.

By the end of the following week I had downloaded 9 more books and read each and every one of them.

And then I had to buy a Kindle. The laptop I have is heavy, it gets hot, and it’s awkward for cozy reading. Since I knew the process of electronic reading didn't bother me as I thought it would, I knew the Kindle needed to be my next stop.

Why I Like It

The Kindle rocks. I now get my daily NY Times on the Kindle and can clip articles and write notes so it’s become a super tool in my daily research. I can search all the books and periodicals on my Kindle for information which is amazing, I can take it anywhere because it has free 3G and a strong battery. I can also get magazines (individual issues or as a monthly subscription) and blog posts.

As a freelancer, the magazine and newspaper option is important not only for research but also because you can easily study magazines before developing a query. I'm the kind of person who usually trades her frequent flyer miles for magazine subscriptions and while I thought I would hate reading them on a tiny, 6" screen, I've actually found it much easier and more pleasant to do so. I don't have to worry about dragging piles of magazines to the recycling center, don't worry about cluttering up my home and I don't have to store piles of cut out articles everywhere.

Also, I accessed thousands of free books and downloaded them on the Kindle. And no, they aren’t crappy books, but classics like Emma, Moby Dick and The Art of War. The best part though, is that it makes reading much more comfortable than an actual book. It’s slim and lite and cool and easy to lug around.

This frickin’ Kindle is my new best friend.

Why I Don't Quite Always Like It

Of course, there are some things that I don’t like. Right now, I can’t organize my books into folders which is driving me freakin’ insane. They are working on a patch that should fix that. I also don’t like that it’s not back lit, but I have a special light coming in the mail this weekend.

Special thanks to Leslie A Joy, VA to the social media stars, because she did a ton of research to help me reach a decision before I made my purchase.

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Yolander Prinzel is the profit monster behind the Profitable Freelancer website. She has written for a number of publications and websites such as American Express, Covestor.com, Advisor Today, Money Smart Radio and the International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ). Her book, Specialty Ghostwriting: A New Way to Look at an Old Career, is currently available on Amazon.

7 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle: Good for Freelance Writing Work and Play but Useless as a Coaster.”

  1. Yo,

    I’ve been a fan of e-books since my first novel was published electronically in 1999. I’ve used several different e-readers and currently read on the Kindle. I’m glad you’ve joined the ranks of Kindle lovers!

    Reply
  2. I’ve never been comfortable with e-books, but I have slowly been yearning for an e-reader in the last few weeks. Right now, I’m still worried about it because I love to read books in the bathtub. Also, does anybody know if there’s a limit to how many books you can keep in the Kindle? I’m a book hoarder and I will easily end up with thousands and thousands of books after just a few months. Especially since you don’t have to go to the bookstore to get them.

    Reply
    • Here’s the deal: You can store 1500 books on the small Kindle and 3500 on the DX. There is a USB so you can also store and download books on your computer or laptop and just move some to your Kindle. The Kindle also plays MP3s (but I haven’t tried that feature yet).

      As for the bathtub… if you are able to read without getting your books wet then you might be okay if you have a case on your Kindle, but I don’t really know….

      Honestly, for avid readers, the immediacy is AMAZ-FREAKING-ING! Also, with about 18,000 free books and the ability to read PDFs (for free ebook downloads) you might not even go broke 🙂

      Now, if I haven’t blown my wad buying e-books for Kindle before I bought the machine I might have actually gone with the Sony because it works with your local library so you can DL library books which would be amazeballs.

      Reply
  3. Yo, I could have written this. I’d always thought I would hate a Kindle or similar device, but I got one for my birthday and I love it! I especially love it because I can transfer all the PDFs I download and read them away from my computer. I’m definitely a Kindle convert.

    Reply
    • I hear you. I am not an early adopter kind of girl. Hell, I won’t even buy a car with automatic windows or locks. I do not blindly embrace technology and really thought I would hate reading on the Kindle. So, so, so, so glad I did not listed to my stubborn old self 🙂

      I haven’t tried the PDF feature either (just got my Kindle Wednesday night) but I’m excited to move all my e-books this weekend.

      Reply
  4. Ya, I think it’s time to get one of these things. I was also looking at the sony readers. They seem pretty nice as well. I’m a lot like you though in that I like have an actual book to read. I think I’m still going to buy actual books just for that experience but I look forward to getting a reader of my own as well.

    Glad to hear you like them so well!

    Reply

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