DIGITAL BOOKS

In 2007, I was on an airplane reading an unabridged hardcover copy of THE STAND, Stephen King’s 1,100+ page, 3.6 pound classic. The book was heavy and I hated carrying it around, but I wanted to finish the story and I was away from home so I had no choice. For many years, I traveled with a minimum of five or six hardcovers (didn’t like paperbacks). No matter where I was going, or for how long, books had priority in my suitcase. You could say I was light on clothes, heavy on books — and always daunted by the weight of my bags.

When Amazon announced the first generation Kindle e-reader in November, 2007, it was a dream come true. I could carry TWO HUNDRED books on a single device that weighed only a few ounces, and I could buy and download thousands more books while anywhere in the U.S. using Amazon’s free wireless network. Wow! And if all my Kindle books wouldn’t fit on the device, no problem. They were stored for free, forever, in a personal cloud library. I could move whichever books I wanted on and off the Kindle at will. My luggage became pounds lighter, and I quickly accumulated 400+ digital books, which included many literary classics available at no charge thanks to non-profit groups that were digitizing copyright-free books and listing them for sale at Amazon for $0.00.

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Screenshot: From “My Orders” at Amazon.com

In 2010, I bought a second Kindle, the DX. By then, I was subscribing to Kindle versions of my favorite newspapers and magazines, too. These were automatically downloaded. Every morning, I opened my Kindle and voila! My newspapers and magazines were ready to read. The DX had a slightly larger screen size than the first generation Kindle, but I really bought it because the DX allowed me to download books in 100 other countries. Perfect for international travel.

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Screenshot: From “My Orders” at Amazon.com

My digital Kindle library hasn’t grown much in recent years, but all the books are still available in my free Kindle cloud storage. I share digital books across all my computers, iPads and phones, and read them using the Kindle app. Cool!

 

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