Oprah’s Favorite New Gadget

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This summer, Oprah received a gift that she says changed her life. “It’s absolutely my new favorite favorite thing in the world,” she says.

Meet the Amazon Kindle™, a wireless portable reading device with instant access to more than 190,000 books, blogs, newspapers and magazines. Whether you’re in bed or on the train, Kindle lets you think of a book and get it in less than a minute.

Although the Amazon Kindle costs $359, Oprah looks at it as an environmentally friendly investment. “I know it’s expensive in these times, but it’s not frivolous because it will pay for itself,” she says. “The books are much cheaper, and you’re saving paper.” New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases are $9.99 or less, unless otherwise marked.

As a special offer for Oprah Show viewers, Amazon.com is giving $50 off the price of Kindle. Enter the promotional code OPRAHWINFREY during the checkout process at Amazon.com to receive the discount. This offer is valid through November 1, 2008.

Code for $50 off the price of Kindle: OPRAHWINFREY

Go to Amazon.com to learn more and order your Kindle today!

Plus, you will receive an additional 10 percent off the price of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (regularly $9.99 Kindle/$17.63 hardcover). No promotional code is necessary.

via Oprah’s Favorite New Gadget

The Kindle goes to school

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Kindles will be put into the hands of librarians, assistant librarians and technology specialists at its elementary, middle and high schools. Once they’re versed in the ways of using Kindle to promote reading and literacy, what Johnson calls “the third wave” of placing the devices in classrooms can’t be far behind. The opportunity to save education dollars and engage students with technology they can relate to is too great to pass up, he believes.

E-books: Granite School Board a fan of Amazon Kindle device – Salt Lake Tribune

Another Kindle Plug

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After leaving the White House, the nation’s “reader in chief,” Laura Bush, plans to continue promoting literacy through the United Nations and the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas.

The first lady, who will host the National Book Festival on Saturday, also said in an interview that she hopes her signature Washington event becomes a lasting tradition — and she’ll whisper something about that to the next first lady. This is the eighth year for the book festival.

Visitors to the festival also will get a peek at the World Digital Library set to debut in 2009, which will allow people to access the collections of major national libraries including Brazil, Russia and Egypt. The online library will be available in seven major languages.

Looking five or ten years into the future, Bush said electronic reading devices may play a larger role in the book festival.

“My mother-in-law, for instance, is now reading from a little hand-held screen that she can download books on,” Bush said of former first lady Barbara Bush. “But I also think that there will always be a place for the book and that people love to collect books.”

The Associated Press: First lady hosts her final National Book Festival.

She doesn’t actually say it’s a Kindle, but chances are pretty good that’s what it is!

Try it … you’ll like it!

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A UK publisher who had been very outspoken in favor of traditional books over e-books is recanting after trying out the Kindle.

I don’t feel very well. Distinctly queasy, in fact. It comes from eating my words. Apparently one should never say never, but I did, loudly and often.

I like technology; people can read anything anywhere for all I care – but never will an electronic book do for me.

I mean – books? My refuge, my best friends, half my world, since I can remember? I used to hug one in bed instead of a teddy.

Screens are great for work and for communication but never, ever will I be able to lie in the shade on a lazy summer’s weekend and read, for pleasure, from a screen. Paper (aka treeware) is for me.

Those are some of the words I have recently had to swallow. This summer, two of the electronic books on the market have been in my hands, and – I almost hate to write it – have passed the lounging-in-the-shade test disturbingly well.

The first was the Amazon Kindle, which has been available in the US for a year but still not in Europe (although you can use one if you jump through a few technological hoops). It is craftily designed to soothe the prejudices of Luddites like me – that is, it is much like a book in shape, size and weight, with a screen just the size of a book page and type that you can change and enlarge.

The screen is not backlit, but uses available light, so there’s no eyestrain. And (this is where I started to weaken) it allows you to hold in your pocket hundreds of books, as well as working documents or anything you want to load on to it.

In the US, books can be downloaded straight out of the air (there’s a little keypad). Imagine sitting on a beach or on the top of a mountain and being able to order up and within a few minutes start reading anything you want – instead of one of the six or seven books which you have lugged along in your suitcase and which all suddenly look strangely unappealing. It’s the fantasy library of one’s dreams.

Read more >>> FT.com / Home UK / UK – The death of the book, yet again

Another review – by a couple that travels extensively in their RV – praises the Kindle for reducing the weight they have to lug around.

Jaimie and I are readers — we buy books wherever we travel, visiting both major chain and independent bookstores. We read fiction and non-fiction, each of us have our own favorite genres. I enjoy sci-fi, westerns, mystery, suspense and others, Jaimie reads mysteries, memoirs, spiritual/inspiration and more. The point is that we buy, read and collect a lot of books. The weight adds up. At one point my fifth-wheel was seriously overloaded (the tire below my largest bookcase eventually failed) and I was forced to find a place to store my favorite reads.

Now there’s a revolution brewing – eBooks. Electronically distributed books that can be read just like a book, but exist in the eBook reader as bits in memory, not in a dead-tree version taking up storage space and creating weight problems in your RV.

Read more >>> http://rvhometown.typepad.com/rv_home_yet/2008/09/amazons-kindle.html

Kindle Love

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Many of my regular readers may have noticed that I’ve put up a secondary blogroll, called Kindle Blogs.  For those of you who don’t know what a Kindle is, I’m here to tell you that, IMHO, it’s the greatest invention since the printing press.  As shipped, the Kindle will hold approximately 200 full-length books; expandable memory makes it almost infinite.  The purchase price includes, free (my favorite price) access to Whispernet, Amazon’s wireless data network.  Using this connectivity, you can download books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs to your Kindle in minutes or, in some cases, seconds.  Most bestsellers sell for $9.99 or less.  The Kindle weighs less than a typical paperback (10.9 ounces).  Perfect for travel – if you finish a book while you’re waiting in the airport, you can download a new one.  Or download a free sample to read before you make the purchase decision.

I bought my Kindle in May, after drooling over it on Amazon for several months.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted something so badly.  I scrimped and saved (at $399, it wasn’t an “impulse buy”) and finally had the funds together, so I went ahead and made the purchase.  Naturally, 2 weeks later, Amazon dropped the price to $359.  But, in accordance with their regular policy (if the Amazon price drops within 30 days after you purchase anything from Amazon, all you have to do is file a claim) they refunded the difference within 24 hours of my requesting it.  Hey, 40 bucks is 40 bucks, right?

In addition to all the great reading you can buy at Amazon, there are dozens of websites where you can download free (there it is again!) books that are considered “public domain”.  This includes the classics (Dickens, Shakespeare, Milton, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, etc.) and many “undiscovered” authors who are trying to get into the market.  My personal favorite is feedbooks.com, but by all means check out all of them.  If you Google for “free e-book content”, you’ll get more than you know what to do with.  I’ve also downloaded a copy of the U.S. Constitution, complete with amendments, and the Declaration of Independence.  They’re handy to have when I get into (ahem) discussions with my politically-minded friends and co-workers.  Everything on the Kindle is searchable, so you can find it when you need it!  There’s also free access to Wikipedia, a dictionary, and rudimentary internet access.

I’ve not regretted my purchase for even a second.  I love my Kindle.  It’s everything the video says it is.  If I were forced to offer criticism, it would be that not all the books I want are available for the Kindle (yet).  I really would love to get the 2009 Farmer’s Almanac on my Kindle, but as of yet it’s not available.  Of course, it just hit the bookstores yesterday.  And if there’s something you want that isn’t available for Kindle yet, Amazon has provided a handy “click here” button to let the publisher know that you would buy the Kindle version if it was available.

There’s talk (speculation?) that Amazon is going to release an 8-1/2″ x 11″ version next year, and offer college textbooks at discounted prices.  How great would that be?  No more carrying around a 50+ pound backpack from building to building.  Where was that when I was in college?

I think everybody should have a Kindle.