I have only a vague recollection of having to do such things in school. I’m not sure which was the bigger chore at the time, reading the book or writing a report. Probably both, because I was a lazy student.
This “book” report is easy, because I did not have to read anything (but I do have to write this garbage), all I had to do was buy a electronic gadget from Amazon. I already have two books on my Kindle: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which was free from the Gutenberg Project, and a draft of my first novel, Sister Sisteron (to check for formatting).
I have now uploaded my manuscript to Amazon Kindle bookstore and am waiting for it to arrive “on the shelf”. I’m sure that they have some wizard program checking to make sure that I dotted every “i” and did not include dirty pictures (sorry, no pictures). It will be interesting to see if I sell a single copy.
I will remind everyone I know about this great achievement. Even those that were kind enough to buy the print edition should be able to afford the ebook version (I don’t have any poor friends, but a few cheap ones). After all, the price is less than that of a Big Mac, which provides nourishment for only a short time (despite excessive calorie count). Even if you do not like my novel, it will keep you occupied for hours or, slow readers, for days. And, unlike a dodgy hamburger, the story will allow your imagination to soar and roam. What’s there not to like at that price?
But, that is not what I meant to write about today (sorry that I got carried away with advertising). I want to give my first impression of the Kindle machine.
On the positive side, I was surprised by its size. I had looked at Nook on my last visit to a Barnes & Noble in Florida. It was much larger, which would have turned me against it, if I had been in the market for such a machine. The Kindle fits into my pocket, despite being able to hold thousands of books. Next, it is easy to change to font size, for days when vision fades. It is simple to operate, almost too simple. Surprisingly, they let you download free books from Gutenberg Project, many of which are on sale at Amazon (being out of copyright, anyone can publish a version, which is why traditional publishers keep bringing out classical titles with new covers). It is ideal for traveling, because of its size and capacity. I recall lugging hardback novels on long flights (ever tried to lift the biography of Tolstoy?).
On the negative side, there is no way to increase brightness (at least, I have not discovered a way). It can be difficult or even impossible to read in dim light. The contrast is not always ideal. Also, one must pay extra for simple things like a power cable. Sure, they tell you to plug it into a computer, but a cable can be more convenient.
Overall, I am happy to have bought it and hope that this will improve sales of my Best-Kept-Secrets-in-American-Literature collection. I plan to add all my titles to the Kindle shop. The next new addition is in the works, so I must stop this worthless writing and get back to something with (perhaps) potential...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.