Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Me and my Kindle. How do you use your eReader?

I’ve been staring at the ads for the new line of Kindles and admiring the pretty. The truth is that having convinced myself to make the leap and spend the cash, I now can’t imagine life without my handy eReader extraordinaire. But as I was talking it up with a friend (and yes, convincing them it’s worth the price) he made me laugh because I *still* don’t use my Kindle as Amazon intended. Is it just me?

The reality is I still use my Kindle Keyboard (WiFi) as a jump drive I can read off of. And I love it to pieces for that very feature. I sometimes use it to play music or audiobooks, and I often use the text-to-speech function, despite the rather amusing voice. But I don’t use it to purchase books, magazines, or serial subscriptions from the Kindle store. I don’t use the web browser, and I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve actually bought from Amazon or elsewhere and paid real money for.

As any visitor to my blog or Twitter can catch me regularly rambling on, I love the free personal document conversion service, and I love, absolutely love eReaderIQ.com for its updated lists of free Kindle books. Despite the rather deep well of prejudice toward free eBooks I’ve found some great reads as well as some bestsellers, both fiction and nonfiction. I tend to use the Kindle for PC app and send most of the books there to hang out in my archive and wait for me to xfer to my handheld and read them. And while these personal habits work for me, they aren’t exactly what Amazon had in mind when pricing their eReaders low, expecting to make their money on the book purchases.

So I’m curious. How do you use your eReader? Do you buy DRM-free versions or pdfs and convert them for easy eReader use? Do you scour the free eBook sites to see what’s new this week? Or do you use the device to head straight out to Amazon and purchase the latest release to read in an instant? How personal have you made your eReader experience and can you imagine life without it?

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