I have my Kindle! Encouraged by the hi-tec members of the family i.e. all of them, I’ve treated myself to an Amazon Kindle. I’ve gone for the wifi only version at 139 dollars. It comes with a USB cable included and I also bought a France-friendly mains power cable for an extra 10 dollars. I ordered it on Friday and it came this morning – that’s from the USA to deepest, darkest rural france over a weekend. Truly impressive.

Not so impressive was setting up. Chris had to reboot the machine to get it to connect with our wifi but he got there finally. However, I’ve been browsing the Kindle store and downloading samples of books that look interesting. I’ve bought my first book – French Fried by Chris Dolley, which I can’t wait to get stuck into. As research for writing my own account of life in France (well under way now), I’ve been reading as many travel-memoirs of expats in France as possible. Some are excellent, but a lot are dispappointing – more about those in later blogs. Anyway, this book is only availabe on Kindle, so it will be extra interesting to compare it with traditional tree-derivative books!

Self-publishing books for the Kindle is definitely on my mind. The copyright of some of my Mentor books has reverted to me so I may try one or two of those first to see how the whole thing works, then go with some new material. It’s very exciting and interesting.

Kindle - pic from amazon.com website

The Kindle is exactly the same size as your average paperback book, at least as far as height and width go. It’s less than a centimetre deep and weighs roughly 250 g (8.5 oz). It holds up to 3,500 books so it should keep even me going for quite a while. The page of writing is lovely and clear and you aren’t dazzled by a backlight as with most electronic gizmos. It uses a technology called E ink.

The photo here from the Amazon.com site shows you just what the device looks like. The keyboard is easy enough to use once you get the hang of the moving around keys (between Menu and Back). Kindle doesn’t have a touchscreen.

So, I’m in the twenty-first century with this very awesome, non-threatening piece of literary kit. (Usually I’m totally itimidated by gizmos – my phone and MP3 scare the life out of me, feeble arts graduate that I am!) Come and catch me up!