Monday, December 28, 2009

So You Received a Kindle for Christmas – Now What?

As readers of GeekTonic know, we’re fans of the e-Readers – and the Kindle by Amazon is one of the most popular options.  It appears that Amazon has had a stellar holiday season and the Kindle was their number one seller this year.  I watched as many of my co-workers received or gifted the Kindle – many of which never shop online.  I also observed that many on twitter and facebook received a Kindle or Nook this season.  So for those of you who received a new e-Reader – particularly a Kindle, what do you do with that thing?

The Kindle (and any e-Reader) isn’t for everyone.  Some just want the smell of the old books or the nostalgia of holding that book in your hands.  Or you’re one who trades your paperbacks among your friends.  For the rest of you, you are going to love your Kindle, Nook or Sony e-Reader.  Here’s a few things to know about your new Kindle:

1. Instant gratification.  You’ve probably already discovered this, but shopping for a book through your e-Reader or computer is super easy, fast and painless.  No need to trudge out in the snow to buy the next book in that series and it’s always in stock.  The ability to browse and purchase a book 24/7 from the comfort of your favorite reading chair (or from the airport) is very nice indeed.

2. Kindle without the Kindle - iPhone App.  The Kindle app for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a great app by itself.  But if you have a Kindle as well the iPhone app makes that book even more mobile.  Waiting in line at the store or waiting in a doctors office but don’t have the Kindle with you?  Pull out your iPhone, select the book you’ve been reading and it automatically takes you to the farthest point in the book you’ve been reading.  It’s not as nice to read from your iPhone since it isn’t the comfortable-to-read-on e-ink screen and quite a bit smaller screen.  But it’s a great way to always have your book with you.

3. Finding Free Books – There are many ways to find and save free e-Books on your Kindle.  One of my favorites is Project Gutenberg.  Just save this url to your Kindle web browser and you can search, browse and download free e-Books right to your Kindle without a computer.

4. Kindle Covers that Work.  One of the first things you should get to go with your Kindle is a good cover.  We’re not fans of the standard Amazon cover because it’s difficult to lock into place and if you drop it, the Kindle is still exposed to the fall since the cover doesn’t latch into place.  Here’s a few of the best covers in my opinion:

5. Book Light? – We don’t have one for our Kindle, but my Dad’s Kindle sports the very popular M-Edge e-Luminator2 Kindle Booklight for $25


6. If you’re into Podcasts, be sure and add theKindleChronicles to your list.  Len Edgerly has one of my favorite podcasts that focuses on the Kindle and e-Readers in general.  It’s enjoyable to listen to and I amazingly learn something new each week.

7. Check out this list of Kindle tips & tricks for other tips on making the Kindle work for you

If you have a tip of your own regarding the Kindle let us know in the comments