Thursday, 10 February 2011

Bob and my Kindle

The Great Kindle experiment, for me at least, is over. For now. Why, I hear you chime in response?

Because the dog ate it.

I’ve not had to say that since I was ten and a teacher asked me where my homework was. 

Yes, like many other people’s dogs, our Bob has a taste for the written material. I could just about handle it when he ate Lee Child’s latest hardback. Next up for a gnashing was Jim Butcher’s “Changes” and that earned Bob a swift rebuke. For “rebuke” read a loud voice, a skelp on the bum with said book and being ejected into the back garden.

The wee fella was watching and said, ‘Dad, you over-react. It’s only a book.’

Only a f~/&*ing book? Luckily, I had finished both books. (BTW, Jim Butcher is very, very, very good. You like vampires, wizards and fast violent action? JB is your man.)

Next up for use as a teething toy was myKindle. I was in the middle of Bill Kirton’s The Figurehead as well. i was reading into the wee hours, eventually went up to bed and yes, I left it in the wrong place and yes, it is now gubbed. Bob was satisfied with a chomp at the top right hand corner of the machine so the bottom half of the screen is perfectly readable. I just have to guess at what Bill is saying for the first ten lines of very page.

See me? Not a happy chappy.

If any of you kind people at Amazon are reading this and you would like to donate a kindle to the May Contain Nuts community leader – i.e. me – please don’t dilly dally. First class should get it here before Sunday.

To be honest though, my reading habits hadn’t really changed that much. I bought the thing early December. I downloaded about half a dozen books and read one and a half. (The half read piece being the afore-mentioned The Figurehead. Bill, I’m trying to give you as many mentions as possible; is this ok?)

In comparison, over the same period of time I have read, oh at least a dozen novels. True, most of them are free, but still.

Conclusion? I’m never going to go full-on-digital with my reading material. I LOVE browsing in book shops. I LOVE holding the weight of paper in my hand and flicking through the pages.

However the e-book debate rages on with the media desperate to tell us that the paper book is dead, long live the e-book.  We’ll see. The only thing that’s for sure is that the times they are a-changing. And some “mid-list” – gawd, what a horrible term – authors are seeing their books sell in previously unimaginable numbers. Which is nice.

Allan Guthrie, one of the finest crime-writers in these here shores has a blog where he talks about e-books that sell. Go HERE   for a wee read.

Friend of this blog, all-round good-guy and wonderfully talented crime-writer Declan Burke is selling his e-book. Got a spare pound or two?  click HERE Give him a try. Guaranteed enjoyment. Word.

What do you guys think? Have you made the switch to E? 


  1. I have not yet forked over the $$ for a Kindle. Barnes & Noble Booksellers has its own version of the eReader, called the Nook, and a number of people have advised me about the pros and cons of each. I'm still debating before I plunge.

    It is unquestionable that I will eventually plunge. And sooner rather than later. Why? Well, first of all, both my books are available as eBooks and I'm curious about how the electronic versions look versus the paperbacks. But the bigger reason is the fact that I'd be able to download a bazillion books into my eReader, which would make my life much less cumbersome when travelling or on an airplane. (Pretty nifty when conducting my cross-country trek in the near future, eh?)

    The convenience of eBooks, however, will probably wind up costing me MORE $$, in the long run, for books. I always buy the books of my favorite authors and friends; I've been known to preorder (and pay for) hardcovers six months in advance of a release. I'm a sucker for paperbacks on the endcaps at groceries and supermarkets (anywhere, actually) and wouldn't hesitate to buy the paperback or hardcover of an eBook I read if I loved it.

    I promise to compare the before and after versions of my take on this situation after I plunge.

    P.S. My husband's dog Charlotte chewed the entire corner off an old, first edition book given to me by a friend. Ditto for the corner of a book LOANED to me by a client--that was written and self-published by her deceased sister (before she was deceased). Gotta love those puppies!

  2. Ouch! Didn't realize that comment went on so long.

    Bill must be rubbing off on me.

  3. Linda, don't apologise. Plunge soon and keep us posted, wontcha?

  4. I blame that advert where the dog is seen licking the Kindle. In fact I'd say you have a very clever hound there!

  5. Are you not feeding that poor dog, Michael? Shame about the Kindle. I'm still enjoying mine although it will never replace books for me either. But how easy it is for getting some of the books that would cost too much postage to order by snail mail.

  6. Catherine, he is very clever. While we are in the house. The second we go outside he loses it.

    Rosemary, the immediacy of the Kindle is one of the best things about it. See the book online at any time of day or night and within seconds you're reading it.

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  8. What a shame you'll only read the bottom half of each page of The Figurehead, Michael. I hear it's a brilliant evocation of the period, a crime story worthy of Conan Doyle at his best and a romance to rival those of Barbara Cartland. Still maybe reading the bottom half of the pages of the second half of the book will serve to increase the mystery.

    Alternatively, I could send you a copy of the real thing - you know, paper, ink, stuff like that.

    Anyway, I think the dog's angry about his name. You add a J to yours but give him just 2 letters in total, O and B. Call him Ozymandias or something.

    By the way, Linda, rather than verbose, I'd suggest I'm just linguistically friendly.