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.
A week before traveling to Maine for a month's vacation, I purchased a Kindle from Amazon after reading about it on their website. The reader arrived in two days, I charged the battery and began reading. I actually purchased two eBooks before the Kindle arrived, and both were delivered in minutes, wirelessly via Sprint's Whispernet as soon as I turned the device on.
In use, the reader visually presents the same as any book, black print on a grayish-white background. You can read it in direct sunlight but will need a light to read in the dark. The screen is not backlit. Colors on the original book cover are presented in four shades of gray. Next and Previous page buttons are on both sides of the reader, making it easy (sometimes too easy!) to move to the next page. The Kindle itself is about the same size as a trade paperback and very light. There are six font sizes to make it easier for aging eyes.
The Kindle is not inexpensive--a recent price drop from $399 to $359 helps, but it's not cheap. But, the supplied memory (about 190K available) can hold about 200 books, and there's a space for an SD memory card. I added a 2GB card but don't expect to fill that anytime soon.
There are also free document converters (Mobipocket Creator, for instance) that can convert *.doc, *.txt and other formats into Kindle's format on your computer, and transfer them to the Kindle via its USB port.
After three weeks of almost constant use, I've not yet seen a downside to the Kindle, except possibly the price. I have almost twenty eBooks stored on mine already, that's a lot of paper I don't have to carry with me.
I have no monetary relationship with Amazon -- I just like the Kindle. George Bruzenak
Note: To check out the Kindle click below: (Any purchases do help us with blog and Web site expenses! Jaimie)