Friday, December 3, 2010

Snuggle up and Read

Winter is for Reading

As the days shorten and temperatures drop, it’s easy to find an excuse to curl up on the sofa in front of the fire with a hot mug of mulled cider and a good book. As a writer, this is my most productive time of year as I no longer have the garden beckoning me to work outside. Most of my new writing occurs during the winter months when the heat generated by the computer is welcomed and even sought after. And for those who were waiting for the next installment of my previous blog on characterization, I'll continue that in January with how grammar can reveal more about your characters than you think. Because we are in the midst of gift buying and giving fever, I wanted to take a brief break to talk about a topic that may be more timely: eBooks and eBook readers. While they may not be for everyone, you might give serious consideration to them for this holiday season.

The new ebook readers make these cold, dark months downright joyous as you don’t even need to leave the warmth of your house to download and read just about any book you wish. I own a Kindle and have to say, I love it more than I thought possible. And now that Amazon has announced the ability to “gift” ebooks to folks, I can buy books for all my friends as long as I know their e-mail address. And if they don’t own a Kindle, they can still read them with the Kindle app on almost any computer or SmartPhone device. That makes my holiday gift-giving a whole lot easier!

Kindle isn’t the only ebook reader out there, either. There is the fabulous Nook (and even a new, color version) and other devices that aren’t specifically ebook readers, but work as one, such as the iPad. Each device has its own strengths and weaknesses, but as I’m older, I did want to mention one advantage the Kindle has that many other devices, particularly ones that use color technology simply don’t: a non-glare display that is more like actual paper.

One of the biggest complaints about reading books from electronic devices is that computer displays are not as comfortable to read as solid ink characters on a non-glare surface, i.e. printed material. Incidentally, that’s why traditional books are easier to read than slick-paged magazines. The shiny surface of the magazine page creates glare. It’s not that noticeable to young eyes, but I can tell you, I find it difficult to read most magazines now without reading glasses while I can still read plain books with comparable font sizes without glasses.

So, if you are considering purchasing or gifting an ebook reader (and I encourage it if for no other reason than to save trees) then you might want to take a look at the devices to see which one pleases your eyes.

And as a holiday gift to you, here is a site that has free classics and out-of-copyright books in ebook form. I’ve downloaded innumerable books that I’ve been dying to read for years. I simply couldn’t afford the often expensive paperback versions of these classics. Now, I can get them in for free!

Project Gutenberg:

And I'll give you two free reads, myself, if you like short stories. Visit my freebies page if you're interested.

Hope you find something you like!

Happy Holidays~~
Amy Corwin


Anonymous said...

excellent post,bravo

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I haven't gotten an ebook reader yet because I have so many books to read. It is on my 'think about it' list, though. I know people say the same as you, they can't believe how much they love it and how easy it is to take with them.

Josie said...

You're right. Winter is a time to read--and thanks so much for the free e-reads!

Unknown said...

I hadn't thought about it before, Amy, but you're right. Winter is an excellent time to read more. For me, it's much easier to focus on reading as opposed to summer when I'd much rather be outside, or if I'm outside, I'm focusing on other things.

Great post.

Amy said...

Thanks--and I hope that everyone can find something for their "reading pile". I know I've got 5 or 6 books stacked up next to my bed, in addition to several on my Kindle, just waiting to be read! I can't wait for my week off at Christmas when I can do a lot of reading, guilt-free!

Enjoy the season!

Clarissa Southwick said...

Amy, What a wondeful, informative blog post. Thanks for the Gutenberg Link. I'm off to see what they have to offer.