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An e-reader skeptic converted - Commentary: The battle of the e-readers is just beginning
John Dvorak's Second Opinion - Marketwatch ^ | John Dvorak

Posted on 08/15/2010 10:15:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

BERKELEY, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- I'm a little more conservative than most tech writers when it comes to hot trends that may not be hot nor be trends.

I freely admit to some skepticism when e-readers made their debut highlighted by both the Sony Corp. book reader and the Kindle from Amazon.com Inc.

The trend was confirmed by Apple Inc.'s iPad, but I need to be more adept at spotting the trend when it is beginning and in the wild.

I missed the signals, twice. You look to the public-at-large to spot trends, not to pundits.

Two examples come to mind. First, I was on a flight to Michigan around the time of the first Kindle announcement and was roaming the aisle of the jet when I saw one of the flight attendants reading off of an e-reader, which turned out to be the Sony device.

I asked her how she liked it and had to listen to endless raves. She loved to read. The reader had a ton of her books and she could picks and choose what she wanted based on her mood. It worked great. It was lightweight. She went on and on.

Then I find a friend of mine -- who is not even much of a reader -- with a Kindle. All he could do was talk about how great it was.

This sort of public review should not be ignored. These are not tech geeks who buy everything and think anything with a transistor in it is God's gift to mankind. These are real people.

So the e-reader is here to stay in one form or another.

(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: dbm; dinosaurmedia; ebooks; hitech; tech
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1 posted on 08/15/2010 10:15:32 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

To keep up on electronic reading, go to mobileread and Teleread.

Discussions can get pretty heated.


2 posted on 08/15/2010 10:23:05 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd

Thanks for the tip.


3 posted on 08/15/2010 10:29:20 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: MrEdd

Is Sony gonna do anything in this game?


4 posted on 08/15/2010 10:30:37 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I regularly download books that are beyond their copyright dates, which you can get off the web for free. I have quite a collection that I carry on my thumbdrive and my laptop hard drive.

I don’t like to do serious reading on a laptop, though, so I typically print a few pages at a time and read them that way.

I’d like to find an e-reader that was more comfortable than my laptop, that I could transfer files to (including word files, pdf files, and so on). I want to back up my files on my computer and maybe on a thumb drive.

That seems to be a problem with certain e-readers. The Apple apparently doesn’t have a drive port (true?). Amazon apparently limits you to their protocol. But if I find the right thing I’m in.


5 posted on 08/15/2010 10:31:58 PM PDT by marron
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To: marron

I am think the Sony has some capability to work with a laptop and Windows.


6 posted on 08/15/2010 10:34:05 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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I am thinking the Sony has some capability to work with a laptop and Windows.


7 posted on 08/15/2010 10:34:55 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I use the Kindle and B&N e-reader on my iphone and have ordered a new Kindle. Must be popular as there is a wait for it! Never thought I’d prefer these to paper books!


8 posted on 08/15/2010 10:39:16 PM PDT by Moonmad27 (That government is best which governs least. - Henry Thoreau)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
here's the latest kindle: Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6
9 posted on 08/15/2010 10:39:16 PM PDT by JPJones (There are no conservative Democrats. Just ones scared of re-election.)
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To: marron

The Kindle is EASILY the most versatile. First, there’s the WhisperNet cellular connection (it’s free) that lets you buy any of a bazillion books from almost anywhere in about a minute. Then there’s the fact that Amazon provides free Kindle apps for iPhone, Blackberry, PC, and Mac, all of which beautifully access your Kindle library. Finally, it’s uber-easy to transfer DOC/PDF/etc. to your Kindle; just email the file to your Kindle email address as an attachment, and it shows up on your Kindle almost instantly.

I’m a big reader who strongly resisted e-readers because I’ve always loved the feel and smell of books, but a couple days with a Kindle converted me into an enthusiastic user. I strongly recommend it.

MM


10 posted on 08/15/2010 11:10:25 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sony is trying to get back into the game, it is the Sony Touch and Pocket products that are sold through Borders.

Apparently there is an update to the product line coming soon:
http://www.sonyinsider.com/2010/08/12/new-sony-reader-ebook-devices-coming-soon/


11 posted on 08/15/2010 11:56:57 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: MississippiMan

Thanks...


12 posted on 08/16/2010 12:07:30 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron

A few Kindle-related links that may be helpful to you. It’s actually pretty flexible in converting formats.

Amazon Kindle:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle#File_formats

Comparison of e-book readers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_e-book_readers

Free Book Collections:
http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_85650291_15?ie=UTF8&node=2245146011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-1&pf_rd_r=0C5J27PKPXFG3GDBPQHM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1271837542&pf_rd_i=1286228011


13 posted on 08/16/2010 12:11:44 AM PDT by Nickname
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; ~Kim4VRWC's~; 1234; 50mm; Abundy; Action-America; acoulterfan; AFreeBird; ...
Which e-reader is most versatile or best? PING!

Please!
No Flame Wars allowed!
Discuss hardware.
Don't attack people!


Apple iPad Ping!

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.

14 posted on 08/16/2010 12:21:12 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: MississippiMan

We’ve just ordered a Kindle and can’t wait to get it. I’m a moderate reader and more into junk fiction but my husband is an AVID reader. I’m looking forward to him going nuts with the stacks and piles of texts available to him.

Of course there will be books that he needs/wants hard copies of but soon I’ll be smiling instead of cringing when he walks through the door with armfuls of virtual books. :)


15 posted on 08/16/2010 12:30:26 AM PDT by Nickname
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To: Nickname

Is this Kindle for you or your husband?

I’ve been thinking of buying a 2nd one for him, since we can’t both read one device at the same time.


16 posted on 08/16/2010 2:10:21 AM PDT by FrogMom (No such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; ~Kim4VRWC's~; 1234; 50mm; Abundy; Action-America; acoulterfan; AFreeBird; ...
Which e-reader is most versatile or best? PING!

Please!
No Flame Wars allowed!
Discuss hardware.
Don't attack people!


Apple iPad Ping!

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.

17 posted on 08/16/2010 2:38:23 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: FrogMom

It’s a his and hers gift for now. I’m an early bird and he’s a night owl so we’ll see how it works out and if we do like the device. I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll primarily be a his Kindle tho. :)

If we do like it I can see getting a second so that we can have separate accounts for “sharing” books with family and friends who have similar interests.


18 posted on 08/16/2010 2:39:54 AM PDT by Nickname
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To: marron

The iPad has several apps which you can use to read books in various formats. More importantly, you can load books (including Gutenberg Project books) wirelessly to the iPad from your computer.


19 posted on 08/16/2010 2:44:06 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

When they are waterproof and sufficiently shock resistant to use in a bathtub or sauna, I’ll be interested.

Not until.


20 posted on 08/16/2010 2:48:02 AM PDT by Ronin (If it werenÂ’t so gruesomely malevolent, Islam would just be silly.)
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To: MississippiMan

I would love to be able to convert several books that I have as PDFs into Kindle format. I have the Kindle app on my iPad. However, I note that in the Wikipedia article about Kindle that the conversion service is only available for owners of Kindle hardware.


21 posted on 08/16/2010 3:10:02 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: Ronin

I’ve heard of people putting a Kindle in a ziplock bag and reading it in the tub. You can work the controls and read the screen with no difficulty, and there’s no way it can get wet.


22 posted on 08/16/2010 3:21:15 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: ClearCase_guy

What a great idea! I’ve been seriously thinking about getting one. The first day at the pool at the beginning of summer, I was sitting on the edge of the pool and dropped my book into the water. In that split second, realized that I would not be a good candidate for an ebook!

Your solution sounds like it would help a klutz like me!


23 posted on 08/16/2010 3:36:01 AM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I ordered mine on July 30th. Looks like a month will go by before it's shipped. I can't wait. I already have a ton of free Kindle books I'm reading on my Kindle for PC application. If you check the Kindle store every day, you'll find free Kindle books just released. Download them quick, because in a day or two, they'll put a price on it. Once you "buy" a free book, it's yours, even though they charge for it later. The new generation Kindle will also read PDFs natively that can be transferred over a USB connection.

The next generation Kindle


24 posted on 08/16/2010 3:47:14 AM PDT by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: marron

The iPad goes beyond being _an_ ebook reader. It becomes all of them.

Turn it into a Kindle for free.
Turn it into a Nook for free.
Read PDFs.
Run Stanza, or any of many other reader software.
Full price or discounted or free, there are way more book sources available on the iPad than you imagine. All wireless.

The iPad goes beyond the need for USB and other media. Physical is passé.

Set up email on it and email the books to yourself. In the next release of the OS (a couple months) a PDF attached to an email will be automatically added to your library. Likewise Word files.

Install the Dropbox app on both iPad and desktop. You get a special folder: anything you put in it appears on your iPad - instant and wireless.

And again, multiple ebook readers will run on the iPad, all getting books wirelessly and without physical media.

BTW: on a tangent, look into portableapps.com asap.


25 posted on 08/16/2010 3:54:48 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (+)
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To: FrogMom

Can you surf the entire web on a Kindle or do are you limited to their choice of sites like Wikipedia?


26 posted on 08/16/2010 4:05:55 AM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sony looks to have wifi readers soon.

They are already in every Walmart.


27 posted on 08/16/2010 4:29:02 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd

Neglected to point out that sharp is getting into the game...with a solar powered model (probably no wireless connection) supposedly hitting in the fourth quarter.

Given the low power consumption of ereaders, someone should have done this before.


28 posted on 08/16/2010 4:33:38 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Being able to carry a large library around and read whatever you want, when you want, is great, and will be the force that drives commercial sales of any of these devices.

What I see as really attractive, though, are the potential commercial and educational benefits.

From the commercial world, anyone who works in a field where important information changes relatively frequently could benefit from having "books" that are updated (possibly via subscription fee) as data changes. Doctors can always have an up-to-date version of the Physician's Desk Reference in the palm of their hand. Software developers and computer technicians can have reference books that aren't out of date practically by the time they come out of the box. And so on.

For education, specifically at the college level, one of the main cost factors for textbooks is the high price of "short run" printing. Going all-electronic can reduce the costs tremenously. Also, students can carry all of their "books" around easily (including books from previous courses, for reference). The likewise can gain the benefits of having their books be made up-to-date as changes are made.

29 posted on 08/16/2010 4:34:41 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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And, I should have added, get the college students used to e-readers for their textbooks, and they’ll be the launching point for widespread adoption for regular commercial use.


30 posted on 08/16/2010 4:36:25 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

If you are looking for an e-reader don’t look at the iPad first. You’ll be spoiled.
That’s what happened to us.

For pure reading only probably the Kindle or Nook is better...
But the versatility of the iPad sold me. Got one a few weeks ago.
I got the cheapie, wi-fi & 16 gigs. Love it .
They read many formats, B&N, Amazon, Borders, etc. so you’re not limited as to where you get the book.
And I go online and use it as a laptop.

Bought my first book, Atlas Shrugged. It’s a keeper.

My biggest problem w/ the whole concept is there are few books I want to read twice.
If the book stores would rent them at a reduced price, say $5 for 30 days.

But wait! Our library has started doing just that, free.
The selection is very limited, best sellers right now and limited copies .
Depending on the book, 1 week or 3 week checkout. At the end of that period the book goes away.
Everything done from your home computer.

We just rejoined the library, and I still have to finish Atlas.. before I try it out.


31 posted on 08/16/2010 5:06:42 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: kevkrom
...get the college students used to e-readers for their textbooks,...

Apparently at least some of the teachers unions are fighting ereaders for textbooks.
May have something to do w/ royalties. Most of the textbooks are written by teachers/professors.
Royalties could go to zilch.

The ereader idea seems logical though. Logic is foreign in education.

32 posted on 08/16/2010 5:20:27 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: kevkrom
The main problem with Readers for college books is you can't highlight them.

My daughter is in grad school and she can't use her reader for textbooks. She adores it for regular reading, though.

33 posted on 08/16/2010 5:32:57 AM PDT by CAluvdubya ("Sarah Palin fights, we cannot spare her."--GonzoGOP)
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To: CAluvdubya
The main problem with Readers for college books is you can't highlight them.

I don't think that's correct. For example, the Kindle can (according to Amazon):

By using the QWERTY keyboard, you can add annotations to text, just like you might write in the margins of a book. And because it is digital, you can edit, delete, and export your notes. You can highlight and clip key passages and bookmark pages for future use. You'll never need to bookmark your last place in the book, because Kindle remembers for you and always opens to the last page you read.

Apple claims that with iBooks/iPad:

If you read something especially interesting or inspiring, use the Bookmarking feature to highlight the text and make notes — perfect for students.

I just tested the latter on my iPhone, and it does work, although it'll take a little practice to get used to the controls. Probably a lot easier on the larger screen of the iPad.

34 posted on 08/16/2010 5:52:41 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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35 posted on 08/16/2010 5:55:57 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: kevkrom
Hmmm. I know you can bookmark whole pages but didn't think you could hightlight certain passages within that page.

I guess I'll have to look into it further. I have a Sony and DD has a Kindle. I thought I remembered her saying she couldn't underline or highlight text for studying.

Maybe she doesn't know that it will do that.

36 posted on 08/16/2010 6:13:50 AM PDT by CAluvdubya ("Sarah Palin fights, we cannot spare her."--GonzoGOP)
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To: kevkrom
Just saw your #35. I'll have to tell DD that she can get her books online! Beats carrying all those heavy books around campus!

Thanks for the info!

37 posted on 08/16/2010 6:15:14 AM PDT by CAluvdubya ("Sarah Palin fights, we cannot spare her."--GonzoGOP)
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To: esquirette

I haven’t tried to surf the web on my Kindle.


38 posted on 08/16/2010 6:17:58 AM PDT by FrogMom (No such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: CAluvdubya

No problem. The little yellow box off to the side is a note attached to the same text. You can do either, both, or neither, it seems.

To be fair, I didn’t know this was possible myself until I looked it up, but it seemed silly not to include the functionality, given that the devices have internal storage. I’ve used a similar reader in the past on my desktop (Zinio), and I could at least add notes, if not necessarily highlight text (though I didn;t try the latter).


39 posted on 08/16/2010 6:22:35 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: marron
I’d like to find an e-reader that was more comfortable than my laptop, that I could transfer files to (including word files, pdf files, and so on). I want to back up my files on my computer and maybe on a thumb drive.

The iPad is a bit big and expensive just for an e-reader. Being designed exactly for it, the Kindle does better. Personally, I think a touch-screen Kindle, removing the keyboard (how often do you type and read?) would be the best. The Kindle only understands the Amazon format and PDF for books.

The iPad will read your files and synch to your computer, and do a ton of other things a Kindle can't. You can also get non-Apple e-reader software from the iTunes Store if you don't want to use Apple. The iPad's dock connector has USB in it, so you can buy an adapter to plug in an SD card.

One warning: With a book you know you can keep it forever, no matter what, nobody's taking it from you. Amazon has shown it can and will revoke your purchases if desired, and there's nothing you can do about it. You will of course get your money back, but the idea that they can and will remotely wipe a book from my system is disturbing. This may be true for any protected-format e-books.

40 posted on 08/16/2010 6:24:49 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
On the e-reader and e-book biz...

Behold ‘The Amazon Effect’: Now Murdoch’s Gunning for the $10 E-Book

I won't buy an e-reader until the price of e-books drops. Precipitously :)

41 posted on 08/16/2010 6:29:25 AM PDT by mewzilla (Still voteless in NY-29. Over 400 roll call votes missed and counting...)
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To: CAluvdubya

A decent reader these days will have note taking and highlighting built in. Above that I’d like to see voice notes — select your text and talk to have it saved as an mp3 (or AAC or whatever) and hooked to that bit of text. Get a ToC of your comments, showing chapter, page and a text excerpt, touch to listen. Extra credit if the system automatically runs speech recognition and saves and indexes the text for later searching.


42 posted on 08/16/2010 6:32:03 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Vinnie
Most of the textbooks are written by teachers/professors. Royalties could go to zilch.

I've seen that. I've also seen a textbook written by family of the head of a department and, presto, it becomes the required textbook for that course. They could charge whatever they wanted because they had a captive audience.

43 posted on 08/16/2010 6:34:37 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
Above that I’d like to see voice notes

The forthcoming tablets based on the Android OS (a good thing, sorry google haters) should have its voice recognition technology built in to actually transcribe your voice notes to text if you want.

Personally I am holding off as long as I can stand it before buying anything in this category. I think the eReaders will drop as low as $99 by Christmas and the tablets that also have eInk screens are just around the corner.

The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts.

44 posted on 08/16/2010 6:35:37 AM PDT by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality Now: Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: antiRepublicrat

If only you could get the patent on that!


45 posted on 08/16/2010 6:44:04 AM PDT by CAluvdubya ("Sarah Palin fights, we cannot spare her."--GonzoGOP)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
My wife is an avid reader, so the family bought her a 2nd gen Kindle for her birthday a year ago. There has only been one 'bought for' book on it. I'll go on Amazon and look at their free book selection for mysteries, etc. They have a Top 100 list with ratings. I'll investigate the higher ratings and if it looks good, I'll buy it for $0.00.

She must have about 60 books on the Kindle now. I have the Kindle app for the Mac on my laptop and the iTouch app. The great thing is that they'll all sync up. If I read up to Chapter 32 on the laptop and fire up the iTouch to read in bed... the iTouch will go straight to Ch. 32!

Kindle has some free word games available for download, too.

46 posted on 08/16/2010 6:52:50 AM PDT by AJ504 (The Constitution was NOT written on an Etch-A-Sketch!)
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To: CAluvdubya
If only you could get the patent on that!

I probably could. Patents are one reason I write stuff like that. This way if someone else ever decides to patent stuff that I think is obvious, then that posting would be "prior art" to kill the patent.

47 posted on 08/16/2010 7:03:04 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

smart!


48 posted on 08/16/2010 7:05:41 AM PDT by CAluvdubya ("Sarah Palin fights, we cannot spare her."--GonzoGOP)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; ShadowAce; Swordmaker

Mine's the best, and that's that.

49 posted on 08/16/2010 7:10:41 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: AJ504

I bought a Kindle for my son when he was on a recent deployment overseas on a ship. He did/does nothing but rave about how great it is. We are both avid readers and I am thinking about getting the Kindle for myself now. My son loved it. He had access to so many different venues of reading. Just my 2 cents...


50 posted on 08/16/2010 7:10:51 AM PDT by MarineMom613 (RIP Sandra Sue, my fur baby 12/31/1999 ~ 7/2/2010 - See you on the other side!)
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