Friday, December 30, 2011

Miscellaneous Paraphernalia: Kindle Fire is Fantastic

I can't believe I haven't posted since December 5th. It's just been one of those months, you know? But at least all of the frenzied preparations led to what would arguably be called the best Christmas the McCabe household has ever had. I've been cleaning up the debris ever since.

Among other things I got a much needed upgrade in computing power. A brand new computer with... lots of fancy stuff that my husband could tell you all about. But alas, all of my documents are still on the old computer and I'm not sure when I'll be able to get them transferred over. That includes my current WIP so I'm a bit at a loss when I start thinking about writing. Though I've written an outline for a short story that I started working on yesterday.

My husband got both an IPad and a Kindle Fire for Christmas. He's been having fun with the IPad so I've had the opportunity to play around with the Fire. Now, I've really loved my regular Kindle since I got it. The convenience of carrying all those books around in a little package is the best thing for readers since... words. Plus there's all the free and affordable books on Amazon. I've been in heaven.

But, guys, the Kindle Fire is AWESOME.

I've seen a lot of people say they just can't imagine switching to an ebook reader because the paper book experience is too different and too special to them. I can certainly understand that sentiment. I've always loved the way that paper books appeal to the senses. The way they feel and smell. And the early Kindle models certainly were a huge departure from that. My regular Kindle, with it's little keyboard and the flat way the screen displays the text, almost looks more like a glorified calculator than anything else. So while I love its convenience, I'm not enamored with how it feels to read on it.

The Kindle Fire is completely different. Now, I'm not very tech savvy so I don't know what the technical difference is between the way the screen displays in the Kindle and the Kindle Fire, but the Fire's text looks much more like all those books on my shelf. Is it the font? The layout? The way the screen is lit? I don't know, but the display looks so much more like a book. It even has the book's title at the top of the screen.

Of course the most obvious difference is the lack of buttons. You operate this baby by tapping and waving your hands like a Jedi. (And yes, that does make my inner geek squee a little.) And it struck me almost immediately how similar the motion I make whenever I turn the page on the Kindle Fire is to the actual motion of turning a physical page. The moment I realized how close the Fire had brought me back to the experience of reading a physical book (as compared to my regular Kindle) I knew I was hooked forever.

And I begin to think that this is the device that is going to convince all but the most die hard physical book devotees. This is the one that is going to tip the scales for now and forever. Once you go Fire you don't go back. (Speaking of which, you don't mind if I sort of commandeer your Kindle Fire, dear, right?)

Plus on the home screen you can see a nice two inch tall cover picture of all the books on there. And you can make them spin round and round. My son loves that. (He's not the only one.)

Millions of people have been getting new Kindles for Christmas and the ebook market this next year is going to soar. I'm very hopeful about the future, especially the future for self publishing authors. 2011 has been a rough year for me in many ways. (It's always tough adjusting to a new baby in the house.) And my writing which I had been so fired up about a year ago really suffered. But I've begun to make more progress again this fall and I'm absolutely determined to publish in 2012.

My goal for 2012 is to get my first novel and as many short stories as I can manage self-published. I'd like to get the first story up before the end of February and then move faster after that. (I still have to learn a lot about the actual mechanics of doing it, so I'll give myself some slack for the first one.) I am going to spend time write and/or editing every day. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it has to be time spent making forward progress. I want to get to a place where I have the discipline necessary to write more than one book a year. 

I hope you'll all be here to encourage me during the year ahead. I'll do my best to encourage you as well. Good luck in 2012!


  1. Glad your inner geek is happy!
    Once I purchased my iPad, I was hooked. I had no trouble switching to eBooks only.
    Good to hear from you, Sarah - you've been missed. Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks very much, Alex. I didn't have any trouble either, but I think this new device will make a difference for those who did.

  3. It's always important to nurture your inner geek. :) Happy New Year!

  4. If I could afford it, I would make the switch to a Kindle. As long as it's something I can read in bed. The desktop just doesn't work for that :(

  5. Good luck with your writing!

    I've noticed a lot of bloggers seem to like the Kindle Fire . . . I don't really pay much attention to the newest gadgets, but it does sound like it could be handy.

    Happy New Year!

  6. A great post esp. since I'm still waffling on the Kindle/Kindle Fire issue. Sounds like our goals are exactly the same for 2012. Still...there is something to be said for "wishful thinking". Check it out at begin...begin again. Have a great New Year!

  7. I love my Nook Color. My daughter prefers her regular Kindle because it's not backlit, which bugs her eyes. I like the backlighting and the ability to adjust it, since I read before I go to sleep and it's not very bright so causes less trouble for hubby.

    It's really something, this new publishing world, isn't it?

    And good luck with your focus this year. As the mother of six kids, I know how much time those new babies take both in time and energy.

  8. Another post singing the Kindle Fire's praises. I'm hoping I get one for my birthday next month. Happy new year!

  9. Ooh, sounds cool! I am one of those die-hard paper book people, but I want to get one for traveling. Happy New Year!

  10. I love the Kindle Fire I got for Christmas. Since I already had several ebooks from Amazon (books on writing, of course) that I was reading on my PC, I had instant content. Thing is, I (and my family) have been playing Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies so much, I haven't gotten around to readiing any of the books yet.

    Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you make your goals. Good luck this year.


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