Amazon KindleI first heard about the Amazon Kindle when I was reading through posts from PASIC (Published Authors Special Interest Chapter). They were discussing the revision process and one author said that she liked to upload her manuscript on to her Kindle for a read-through, looking for mistakes. I’m not sure how she could correct the mistakes she found, or if she could mark the mistakes and then download the manuscript with the tagged errors back onto her computer — but I will research that out.

Anyway, I looked for the Kindle and found the description of it with a nice little video of the mechanism where it tells all of the features. It sounds fabulous. You don’t need wifi, where you have to be within range to the service to access it, or where you have to have a password. Instead, you can download anything anywhere you are through the same cyberspace waves that your cellphones use. Pretty neat, huh. It only weights about 9 ounces. It has paperback-looking pages that aren’t hard on the eyes. It holds 200 books. The downside to all this is that the gadget costs $400, (they quote $399 just to make it sound cheaper, but it is essentially $400).

Last year I was salivating over the new Sony Reader. I had to look it up to compare. Sony ReaderI think when I first saw it, the thing was about $400, also. Now it is $300, (or $299). Sony Readers have paperback-looking pages. It is about an ounce lighter than the Kindle. It only holds 160 books, but can hold more if you get a memory chip. Looking at the specifications, it sounds like you can upload your manuscript to the device as long as you have Microsoft Word. The description mentions a usb port, so it sounds as if the Sony Reader doesn’t use the cellphone waves to download like the Kindle does, which might be slightly inconvenient if you travel a lot.

I would like one of these gadgets. But I just got a new Toshiba laptop for Christmas from my dh. I guess I’m behind on my technical gadgets. I am really hoping that in another year the price of these items will go down! Surely they will. The Kindle sounds pretty convenient. Maybe I will get one next year for my Christmas present.

Something to look forward to. Do any of you own either a Kindle or a Sony Reader? If so, do you like it? Which one do you like better?

Oh, another thing. What I would really like to see is school textbook publishers to issue books in ebook format. My son has a huge backpack loaded down with heavy textbooks that he has to lug back and forth from home to school every day. It must weigh at least 120 pounds. One school I visited tried to help students by ordering classroom copies so the kids didn’t have to take their home editions back and forth. But really. I don’t understand why the publishers are so backward. They could charge just as much for each download and I’m sure lots of parents would buy that format for their children. Of course, the problem would be the exorbitant prices of eReaders . . . .