Monday, August 17, 2009

It's time for a Kindle

What?! You don't have one yet?

OK, I've only had mine less than a year . . . but wow, do I love my Kindle!

In fact, it's now hard for me to read a novel in paper any more. Why? Let me tell you . . .

First, you ought to know that I was one of those "I need to feel the pages as I turn the page" kind of guys. I NEVER thought it would be enchanting to read on an electronic reader. But as an educator and author and earnest practitioner of electronic-based teaching and learning strategies, I thought I should at least try it. Besides (I told myself) I should do it "for the blog."

OK, I kinda like electronic toys, so that was part of it, too.

But, wow, I didn't think I'd fall in love!

This darn Kindle 2 is lightweight (far lighter than most books I read . . . even the small paperbacks). It can pack more volumes than I've attempted . . . so it's great for traveling. And for those of us that switch back and forth between novels, non-fiction books, newspapers and magazines, and other reading material, the Kindle is a great solution.

Speaking of "other reading material" I can even load student papers, my own reports or chapter drafts, and other document files into my Kindle. I can then read them "on the fly" wherever I am . . . and I can bookmark them, annotate them, etc., right there on the Kindle.

I subscribe to the Associated Press science feed and to the daily New York Times. In either, I can clip and save articles, including highlights and bookmarks.

For a minuscule fee, you can also download this blog into your Kindle . . . see The Electronic Professor for more information.

And that's not all (oh no, I'm starting to sound like a TV infomercial) . . . you can also surf the web! It's connected via a cellular network (Amazon calls it WhisperNet) and for NO CHARGE will allow you to surf to this blog, or anywhere else you'd like. As with any mobile device, some websites won't look that great because of the size of the screen and the fact that it's monochrome. But when you're away from your home or office . . . wow.

Amazon (makers of the Kindle) probably prefers that you use the connectivity mainly to download their Kindle books. Which isn't a bad feature. I was at a conference recently with some extra time to catch up on my reading. I finished a fun novel and wanted to read the next one in the series . . . NOW. So I downloaded the next title and within minutes was into the first chapter of the next book in the series. Talk about efficient reading!

And before you know it, textbooks and/or supplements will regularly read on e-readers like the Kindle (it has already begun on a small scale) and if you are a reader of this blog, then I know you like to be ahead of the game on things like that.

All right, I'm gushing too much, I know. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.