Monday, February 28, 2011

knitting and kindles

It's snowing here this morning, a wonderful prelude to March. I never mind, even this late. We've had snow as late as May:) There's something about all that white stuff that always puts me in a romantic mood and makes me want to write a snow scene. Since it's late spring in my novel, no sneaking one in this time.

All this winter weather makes me want to sit by the fire and knit:) If I had a beautiful basket like this I'd dive right in. I've been doing a lot of researching and reading instead. Am nearly finished with Tamera Alexander's Within My Heart ~ and counting down till Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higg's is released. 15 more days!

We moved my last bookcase into my little library this weekend and guess what? I still have more books than shelves:) My only recourse is to think more seriously about an e-reader. Or stop buying books! I wandered over to Amazon and looked up Kindles only to become bewildered at all the choices. Being somewhat old-fashioned, it's hard for me to make the leap when I love the feel of a book in hand. My missionary brother, however, values his as he can't transport books all over the field and it works very well for travel.

I'd love to know if you own a Kindle or some other device. Any likes or dislikes? If you don't own an e-reader, mind sharing why here? I bet your hesitation mirrors my own. But I'd love for you to change my mind!


  1. My aunt has a Kindle, and I used it when she visited. She loves it and I didn't mind using it. I think if I were given one or won one in a contest I would like using it, especially for all the free books you can get or the ones I want to read that aren't available in traditional print.

    But I love a book too much to completely convert and my shelves are overflowing! :)

    Oh I love to knit! Except the project I am working on now is giving me fits. I'll have to rip out again tonight. Ah well.

    Have a great day, friend! :)

  2. Snow? We're more concerned with flooding right now. We were behind on rainfall, but I think we've caught up in the last week!

    Sigh. I love technology, but I don't have an e-reader. If I did, though, I think I'd rather go all the way and get an iPad. That way I could do everything on it! I've heard good things about the Kindle. I guess I'm enough of a non-conformist to resent ONLY being able to buy books from Amazon for the Kindle, as opposed to other e-readers.

    But on an e-reader, how can you look at where your bookmark is, and calculate in your mind how fast, or how slowly, you're reading a book?

    I would love to learn to knit. I can crochet a little, but I've never done more than the "granny squares" my grandmother taught me.

    Have a great day! Sorry I've been so absent lately!

  3. I don't really have the *need* for an e-reader right now. It would take me at least 5 years to read all of the books that are currently on my shelves. Plus, I like to trade books on, because it's so much more economical; about $2.57 per book. I also like the feel of a book in my hands.

    Sorry, I won't be able to persuade you, Laura. : )

    Sweet Blessings,

  4. Don't ask me, I'm so behind on the times ;) I just recently got an iPhone. Which honestly, for me, is more of a 'camera I can talk on!' the camera feature is my favorite part ;)

    My husband has suggested I get an eReader (can you hear the groaning bookshelves?) but I havent been very interested in it. I think I would miss the feel and 3D-ness of a real book. Seeing the pages (sneaking ahead?) and having the cover there to look at. I would think that an eReader would feel like reading at the computer all day!
    My MIL got one last christmas and they told me "just look at it! play around!" and of course the first button I pushed did something weird and it got promptly taken away from me ;) I think I'll stick with the real ones for now, but really, I can see how an eReader would be better for the environment, that's one thing that would put me in its favor. That and the ability to read at a school pick up, waiting for a friend out and about, etc.

  5. You have snow and I woke up this morning to severe thunderstorms. I think I'd rather have the snow!

    I am also looking forward to Mine is the Night, in face I pre-ordered it from amazon last week.

    I don't have a kindle. I seriously considered buying one with my tax refund, but ended up deciding not to. I do have the PC kindle app, and enjoy the free books.

    My mom used to crochet, but I can't remember her ever knitting. She used to make afghans. She also used to do quilting. She made one for me, one for my stepsister, and one for each of my grandparents. She did them by hand, so it took her awhile to sew them.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  6. I didn't think I'd ever want an e-reader, but when the members of my local group took up a collection to give me a gift when I broke my ankle, it was just enough for one of two things: a new memory-foam mattress topper or a Kindle. Well, my parents had a couple of extra memory-foam toppers they gave me when I came home, so that left me with one option. The Kindle. I opted for the 3G version---because one of the main reasons I wanted it was so I could have internet access away from home/from WiFi hotspots (like in hotels that charge for their internet access). And while the internet browser is experimental and not the greatest, with a one-time $50 addition to the purchase price, it's a whole lot cheaper than paying that every month to upgrade to a smartphone!

    I've also become "Kindleized" in another way. Whenever I hear of a book that might be interesting, I immediately go to Amazon and download the three-chapter sample. Since that's about the length I give most books to catch me or bore me, it's saved me a lot of money---and introduced me to books I might not otherwise have found. And don't get me started on all the freebies!

    Will I ever stop buying "real" books? Absolutely not, and I hope no one else does either. There are certain books I'm going to want to buy if for no other reason than their beautiful covers (though I probably will read the sample on my Kindle first).

  7. I'm running out of space on my bookcases too, but plan on purchasing another or getting my daddy to make one. He's already made two for my sister. If he makes one for me than I can guarantee to get it done to a certain size. I could get a Kindle, but don't think I would use it enough. Literal, hand-held books are what I like to read, so that's what I will stick with for the time being. If I were in your brother's shoes, though I would definitely consider a Kindle or something similar.

    A while back you posted a picture of the cover of this book by Karl Bacon. I see that it's out now and Reltz Reviewz has a blog post about the book and a character spotlight. I'm definitely putting this book on my to-read list.

  8. I have thought of buying a Kindle because I thought it would be great because, like your brother, I travel a lot. Like you though, I love having the paper copy of a book in my hands and the thrill of turning the page. I think if, like Casey, I was given one or won a Kindle I would use it, but I would still buy the actual book of all my favourite authors.

  9. My Gwynly gave me a Kindle for Valentine's Day. I'd been one of those who resisted the thought of e-books, but I realized I read books on screen all the time: mine as well as those of my critique partners. Since I'd love to eliminate the piles of books around the house and since the Kindle versions often cost less than their paper equivalents, I decided to give an e-reader a try.

    I'm hooked. The text is crisp and easy to read, and I can enlarge it, which helps my 51-derful year-old eyes. I find it easier to hold the Kindle--due to the nifty cover I got that has a hand strap--than it is to hold a book. The Kindle is lighter than many of the novels I read.

    The major drawback is that flipping though a book on the Kindle isn't as easy as it is with a paper book. Therefore, I'm using my Kindle primarily for fiction books and am continuing to buy my reference and craft books in paperback.

  10. I have a Nook which is made by Barnes and Noble and I was definitely hesitant to get it at first since I do so love the smell of a new book. But I was going on an extended vacation and thought it would work better than lugging around 4 novels in my carry on. While there are advantages to having an e-reader, i.e., ability to buy books at any time, cheaper book prices, less trees being chopped down, there are some definite disadvantages such as a limited christian fiction book selection (at least at B&N), need to recharge battery which can be a pain if you're in the middle of a good part! You can read while the e-reader is charging but sometimes that little cord doesn't reach from the socket to your favorite chair! :-)

  11. I absolutely love my Barnes and Noble Nook. When I was trying to decide between a Nook and a Kindle I really couldn't pick because they both have pretty much the same features. Ultimately it came down to price and I was able to buy a "Certified PreOwned" Nook with 3G (3G is totally unnecessary IMO unless you have a poor Internet connection but I got a good deal so I bought it) for $119 from Barnes and I bought mine last year before Christmas, since then I believe that the price has gone up since to $139 for the 3G and $119 for the WiFi version.

    The NookColor looks awesome but IMO it would be useless for me as an eReader. The Nookcolor doesn't utilize E-Ink as far as I know so it's just like reading on a computer screen...a bit hard on the eyes. The same can be said for the iPad.

    I hope Laura, that you can make a decision one way or the other but I have found that my library of "real" books hasn't decreased in size since I've bought my Nook! LOL I guess it's because I love the look and feel of a "real" book I just can't let them go!

  12. I have a Kindle. I really like it for it's portability. I use mine all the time as I seem to be reading all the time! I do miss seeing the cover of the book many times. I can view it but only in black and white. I miss page numbers, but they're coming soon delivered to my Kindle. I always like to read the copyright info (strange, I know) and acknowledgments and they're all there. I just finished a book called "City of Tranquil Light" that I might have to buy just because I loved it so much. I got the Kindle 3G version so I can download a book from anywhere on the globe and I got a book cover that has a little built-in light so I can indulge my need to read when lighting isn't optimal.

    A couple of other things about the e-reader is the books tend to be less expensive and you can preview a book before you buy-- and you can underline meaningful passages but then finding them might be a little tricky.

    Let us know what you do! Enjoy your snow!

  13. I received a Kindle for Christmas, and I love it! I love having a ton of great stories in one place. Instead of searching my bookshelves and boxes, I can just scroll through my archives.

    I love the free downloads and the immediate gratification of ordering a book and being able to begin reading it within minutes. The Kindle allows me to bookmark pages, highlight paragraphs, return to the last page read in a certain, book, etc.

    The sample chapters are a great perk. Also, I discovered that our Mid-Hudson Library System makes Kindle ebooks available for borrowing . . . So it's all good!

  14. It's snowing again here on the east coast, too. I know why the snow makes you want to put it in your novel, especially when it is first falling. So lovely! I don't knit, though I've tried. I don't have the patience it seems, although I do enjoy creating other crafty things.

    Great feedback on e-readers. I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to think I might like one. It will never take the place of a real book though. Ink and paper are made for each other and I intend to continue to enjoy the experience, at least in part.

  15. Interesting reading everyone's opinions on book technology! I'm definitely not a Nook or a Kindle reader. I just love books too much. Not just reading them but having them nearby and seeing them on my bookshelves. Speaking of shelves, I am running out of space, too!

  16. I absolutely love my Kindle- I have the gray Kindle 3 with wi-fi and 3g. Amazon has more books available than many other ebook readers and it is more user-friendly than the Nook. I actually love my Kindle so much that I miss it when I am reading regular books :) It is so nice to have on long trips.

  17. When some wonderful friends of mine gave me a Kindle I was thrilled because I may never have purchased one myself. I adore printed books and will never stop loving them but the Kindle is terrific - portable and smaller than most books - I can take it anywhere. The free books are terrific and I can import manuscripts to it that I would otherwise have to read on my laptop, which is no fun! I also put my own documents on it and can access them at the touch of a button. I take it everywhere with me and always have something to read! It is great :)

  18. I haven't bought either the Nook or Kindle yet because I can't choose between the two. I'm afraid one will become VHS and the other Betamax and I don't want to be stuck with the Betamax in a few years. :)

    I do have an iPhone which I loooovve because it has both the kindle and nook apps on it as well as apps for several lesser known e-readers.

    I can read all my e-books on it, no matter where I get them from, Netgalley, emailed PDF files, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

    The only thing better than the iPhone would be an iPad, but that's out of my price range right now.

  19. Laura, I have a Kindle, and I do really like it. But I still love the real book too.

    I'm counting down until Mine Is the Night comes out, but I'm buying the real book. The one thing I don't like about Kindle is that there's no color for the covers, and I so love a good cover.

  20. When it comes to reading fiction I would rather have a book in my hands, however I would love to have a kindle for my textbooks for school, because they can get pretty heavy when you have to lug more than one around.

  21. Yay!! I did not realize only 15 days til Liz's Book, makes me excited. I will download it on my Kindle because it will save me from using my gas to go get the book(3.39 a gallon in MI right now!!) and it will be 5.00 less than the list price. I love my Kindle but will not give up reading paper books or perusing around a book store.

    Let us know what you decde!


  22. I love my kindle! I had a huge wall to wall bookshelve that was over flowing and had to think of an alternative (plus the hubby was getting kinda irratated at all the books ) so I started researching. I love my kindle and I have used the Nook. I am partial to the kindle for functionality issues but I love the ability to buy and read a book anywhere! But I think its a personal choice and not one to take lightly!

  23. Just ordered one, Laura. I intend to mostly listen to books that are audio-enabled but are not yet recorded on audio. Will let you know what I think.

  24. I have yet to lay eyes on a Kindle or any sort of e-reader. I still don't have any desire to do so. Primarily because most of the books I read are for research, and I need to mark them up, paste sticky notes in the pages, or highlight important passages. Another reason I don't want an e-reader is that I have a spatial memory and can recall where something I've read can be found by where on the page it falls. Say I remember a certain passage was on the left page, near the bottom. I can flip through a book fairly quickly and find it. Can one do that on an e-reader?

    Maybe one day circumstances will force me to own an e-reader, but I have zero desire for one now.

    And I wish we'd get some snow. We got a tease a few days ago, and it was pretty to watch it fall, but all that ended up sticking to the ground was about an inch. Give me an inch and I want a foot!

  25. I don't like too many electronic devices so I stick with books. I read a news article where they say you should only stare at a kindle for so long, and then you need to take a break so that your eyes won't develop problems. Plus I really just like the feel of a book.

  26. Wow, what a gift to get so many comments! I've read over each one thoughtfully and appreciate your insights...

    Casey - borrowing your aunts is a perfect Kindle intro - seeing it on Amazon doesn't really give you a good picture though their vid tutorials are helpful. I'm going to donate some of this book overflow to my church library!

    Regina, Good point about bookmarking your place. I do like to know where I am in a book. And I didn't realize till you mentioned it that you're limited to Amazon w/ the Kindle. I'm a true blonde:) Have missed you here but know you are busy and hopefully writing away!

    Michelle, Your situation is like mine yet there is something very comforting about being surrounded by so many books. I dislike dusting them, however! Thanks for the input even if you're not sold on one (yet:).

  27. Laura, I have kindle for mac on my Itouch (the internet ready Ipod) and I love it. My one complaint only is that it does not like being held at the angle that you'd hold a book while lying on your side. It wants to be held in a horizontal position or vertical. Fair enough. But I find I move it a bit and it flips to the other view. I think this is not a concern for the real Kindle because it only has one option.

    I find it very easy to read, even at night, which is a plus.
    Does anyone else have it on their ITouch?

    Another problem (a nice problem to have) is that I have 25 books on my kindle --more than in my physical To Be Read pile. It's a great option for those research books that are hard to find a hardcopy of. Many obscure books that would be on Google books have been digitized and are free for Kindle!
    And, as Kaye says, you can read sample chapters before you buy.

    That beautiful photo of the yarn and bucket drew me right in to this post!

  28. Heather, LOL:) We have the same bumbling electronic genes, I think! I am still trying to figure out my laptop and my boys roll their eyes because I don't use 90% of its features. Glad you are environment sensitive. I forget the huge link between trees and books at times. Let me know if you change your mind and become an e-fan!

    Michelle, I have afghans from my granny, too, and one is draped across a rocking chair of hers in my bedroom. But quilts are my favorites and I have them on every wall of my living and dining room:) Randy scratches his head as he thinks they're for beds. That's neat you have the pc Kindle app - I'm embarrassed to say I might also but don't know it!

    You obviously have done your Kindle homework! I had seen the free chap downloads but didn't give it much thought till you mentioned it here. That would certainly save $ if you weren't hooked in the first few pages. Since you're a cover lover like me, this is the only big drawback to the e-reader, I think, as covers are not in color. Or so some have said here. I'm sure it will only be a matter of time till they remedy that. Thanks so much for all the things you've pointed out. You're a keeper:)

  29. Sylvia, I'm so glad you mentioned the Bacon book as I'd forgotten about it though I was so drawn to the cover and blurb back when I posted it. I'll be sure to go over to Rel's and check it out. You've mentioned another big love of mine - bookcases. I was searching google images for bookcases for this post and got sidetracked. I'd rather have a dad-built-bookcase any day!!

    Hannah, Me, too - I would have to own those best loved books. I can imagine life on the water would be very limiting for book space. When I was in Monterey last fall for a retreat, my agent gave away 2 Kindles during the bocce ball tournament. I made it to the finals and then caved:) Like you said, if I was to win a Kindle or gifted with one, as in Kaye's case, I'd be quite happy!

  30. Keli, One of my favorite pics of you is sitting in that chair holding your Kindle - you have the biggest smile:) But then, I bet you haven't stopped smiling since signing that contract! I think, like you've said, that being able to enlarge the font is a huge plus, plus I'm noticing now that I'm older (arrggghhh), is that books are becoming less comfortable to hold. Thanks so much for the insights. They really do help me a great deal.

    Gillian, Glad you know you have a nook - I think traveling with one would be such a treat as books are quite bulky/heavy. I recently had to do a book event and cart just 12 books and it was harder than I thought. I love the idea of being able to order a book at any time though I'm glad you mentioned this version has a more limited CBA selection. Thanks for this!

    Renee, You got quite a deal on your nook! I remember when my brother bought his Kindle 4 plus years ago, I think he paid $400 or so and they've come down tremendously in price. I had to smile that your book stack hasn't slimmed any as that is what I fear would happen with me. I'm such a book lover, even love the smell of the pages, like Gillian said, that I'm afraid I would just have another Kindle bill in addition to my regular book bill... Sigh. What's a girl to do?!

  31. Myrna, You've mentioned the biggest plus for me - the night light, which means I can read in bed and not disturb Randy by turning noisy pages, etc. I would find the lack of pages numbers kind of odd and am glad they're rectifying that. Now I'm so curious about the book you've been reading:) If this is my IBC Myrna, I was visiting at the 11 o'clock service last Sunday and what a blessing that was! Hope you are doing well!

    Renee Ann, Great to know that libraries are getting on the e-reader bandwagon! I also appreciate the fact that you can underline certain passages and do other things like you and Myrna have mentioned here. I always hate to mark up a "real" book but wouldn't have the same problem with an e-book. Yesterday I found out that TFD will be offered for free download on Kindle this August in conjunction with the release of TCL. No word about CML on Kindle for free as some have been asking. Anyway, bless the person who gifted you this Christmas! I can tell it might have been your favorite thing under the tree:)

    Yes, Carla, ink and paper are made for each other and I'll never get over my love of that. If I traveled more, I think this would be great. Strange, but the biggest selling point so far is reading in bed, something I haven't done in the 17 years I've been married! Randy is not a reader so doesn't understand the need:) Still snowing here!

  32. Mary, We are alike in our desire to be surrounded by books - there's something so comforting about that. But like you, I'm really enjoying all the comments. Everyone has something different to say and I've been clueless till this post! So good you chimed in:)

    Rel, I think an e-reader fits you to a T, given your line of work and all the reading you do for the CBA! Stacie here sent me the link for the free download site (yes, I'm a bit behind if you couldn't tell) and my editor just told me TFD will be there soon. I'm a little concerned as to why free downloads result in some scathing reader reviews. But I digress! Thanks so much for your insights here as they really do help!

  33. Joy, Welcome here! So happy you've given me yet another slant on this. I've been hearing great things about the ipad an iphone and didn't realize yours let you do all those things! No wonder people love them. I would like reading my manuscripts and docs on an e-reader as it gives you a break from the laptop or desktop. Anyway, bless you today and hope to see you again!

    Sally, So glad you're a Liz fan:) I must admit I'm trying to get over Rob and make room for Jack Cavanaugh. I even emailed Liz about Rob but she was cryptic as ever:) You've mentioned the lack of color cover on e-readers which is a big drawback for me. Like Kaye, I sometimes buy a book just for the cover alone! Thanks for the input here. It's so appreciated.

    Elizabeth - so happy to see you here! Thanks for taking time to comment. You're the first one who's said you miss you Kindle when reading regular books. You might well convert me by that comment:) I think as my vision declines (has always been poor) that the Kindle is the way to go. And it's nice to have on long trips like you said - yes, I imagine it fits just about anywhere unlike a bulky book. Thanks so much for being here!

  34. Carissa, I imagine as a student that a Kindle would be a huge blessing. I remember some of those big, fat books from my college days. It was only recently that I realized a lot of students don't even have real books anymore but everything is an e-read! I was amazed though I think this has been the case for awhile. And I left UK long ago... Thanks so much for your thoughts here. How I'd love to do a Kindle giveaway!

    Staciehope, Yay! Another Liz fan! She's a Kentuckian now (via Pennsylvania) which makes it all the sweeter for me:) I know you're sold on your Kindle and seem to get a lot of use out of it while still taking time for real books and real bookstores. May the latter stay strong in this e-world we're a part of... We'll have to have a discussion here on Mine is the Night. I think it's going to be a great read:)

    Anon, I had to smile at your comments as my hubby isn't fond of all my book baskets lying around or nearly toppling bookcases, etc. But he actually told me he wouldn't buy an e-reader in my case - but then he isn't a reader! It's good to hear you actually prefer the Kindle as that is what I'm leaning toward though the Nook has its charms:) Bless you for your comments here!

    Carrie, Yes, please let me know what you think. Audio would be great and I'd not thought of that as I don't listen - but wish I did!

  35. Lori, I think we're old-fashioned enough to resist anything that isn't plain old ink and paper. Especially in regards to research. Given that I write my manuscripts out by hand first and have no great love for my computer, I may not use an e-reader as much as I think I will. But then I just might. Looks like it's one of those things I have to use for a time to see if it will fly... It's so interesting you've mentioned spatial memory - wonder if that is a common writer trait? Like you, I can remember just where something falls on the page. Part of the fun is looking it up again and finding it quickly:)

    Adrienne, Thanks for this as it's something I think we'll be seeing more of - eye strain, etc. I have a friend who gets migraines from using her computer and several others who struggle with eye problems that are computer-related. Since e-readers are so new, who knows what the risks are? Wise to give it some thought. Thanks so much for yours here!

  36. Debra, Excellent points! And I think you've sent me over the Kindle edge with your comment about downloading obscure, out of print books! Another huge plus! I'd never even gone there yet... I must say I'm most drawn to reading in bed which harkens back to my childhood days of doing the same with a flashlight under the covers. How times have changed... And I'm with you all the way as that big basket pic makes me want to take up knitting and ditch writing:)

  37. Laura, I'm so glad for you that they're going to offer TFD as a free download with the release of your new book. I definitely became a fan of some new-to-me authors because I was able to read one of their books for free. (I used the Kindle app on my PC before I received my Kindle.) So I'm sure the free book will woo some new readers to your stories! . . . I know I'll download it even tho' I already own a copy :)

  38. I'm glad you're glad, Renee Ann! Especially for the reasons you mentioned - you have a savvy marketing mind:) The goal is to gain new readers from my pub's standpoint. I'm always amazed that, though I think I have a pretty good take on the pulse of Christian fiction, I'm always being introduced to new authors like you. I think the free Kindle downloads have far more pros than cons!

  39. I'm sooo excited that TFD is being offered for the Kindle? Is it being offered for the Nook? Either way I'll download it since I have the Kindle app on my computer. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  40. Renee - Love that excitement:) Thanks for sayin' so! Good queston about the Nook - I'll try to find out. As far as Kindles go, I'm going to download it, too;)