Books, E or Otherwise?

Today, John Cole at Balloon Juice posted a call for recommendations for “something to read, but I don’t want anything but light crap- something like David Baldacci, Michael Crichton, Grisham, etc. Anything new that fits that genre that you would recommend?”

His readers did not disappoint; the comment thread is worthy of bookmarking if you’re interested in that sort of stuff. As I often do when I come across book recommendations that sound interesting, I went to amazon and read a few reviews.

But since late December, I’ve added something new to this process: I now head to the Kindle Store, download a few sample chapters to see if I want to purchase a book, and then buy the e-book You see, Mr. Desert gave me an iPad for X-Mas and since I have become a big fan of using it to read novels, blogs, and newspapers. The iPad comes with iBooks, but I don’t like searching with that app as much as I do using the Kindle for iPod app. iBooks searches the books available in the iTunes store, while Kindle for iPod searches Amazon’s Kindle store. Perhaps it’s just that I am use to amazon’s interface, but as long as I can search there for my e-books I will.

I can’t speak to the differences between the two apps. I tried using iBooks


once or twice, and its search functions just didn’t suit me. It may well be a perfectly fine app–its graphics are certainly cool–and I just may be a creature of habit who is slowly making her way into the e-book environment. Whatever the case, I like the Kindle for iPod app, and its graphics aren’t bad either.


The first e-book I purchased and read on my iPad was John Sanford’s Shadow Prey. I’ve read every one of the now twenty book series. I wasn’t sure I was going to like reading a novel without an actual book in my hand, but within a few minutes I felt really comfortable reading off the iPad. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m giving up on print books; I will continue to buy and read print books, especially those books I want to make notes in, pick up and read when I want, and have on my actual bookshelves. But as far as light reading goes, unless I’m going to be reading on the beach or at the pool, it’s the more inexpensive e-books for me.

After Shadow Prey, I read a free chapter of Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games, and immediately bought the book. I read it and the other two books in the series–Catching Fire and Mockingjay— in 2 days and have recently discovered it will soon hit the big screen. Now, if you take the time to check, you’ll see the kindle version of these books are about the same price as the print versions. But I’ve also downloaded and read around in The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, all seven volumes in a single file ($0.89 ), The Island of Doctor Moreau (free), The Complete Dialogues of Plato Gorgias–26 dialogues ( $0.99), Aristotle’s Rhetoric ($3.26), and The US Constitution (free), just to name a few of the freebies and cheapies I’ve downloaded.

It’s nice to be able to pull up the Plato’s Dialogues, search for Gorgias, and pull up the text while talking with a student as we leave class.

Now I’m off to see what’s new in the Kindle Store.


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2 Responses to Books, E or Otherwise?

  1. Pingback: E-Reading | Thinking it Through

  2. Pingback: Book ‘em | Thinking it Through

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