color abacusI’m not a big e-reader. I will read from my iPhone standing in line at the grocery store or waiting in my car for the ATM. And despite what you might think, it’s a pleasant experience. I was so skeptical of the small screen but try it if you haven’t already.

Years ago when they first came out, I bought a Kindle, but it wasn’t until I was reading Infinite Jest that I was able to enjoy reading from it. And I think that’s because I was going back and forth between the real book and my Kindle, depending on whether I was at home or traveling.

My Kindle came in handy once when one of my sons needed a book for a paper he was working on…and he needed the book right that second if you know what I mean.

But when the smaller, touch-screen Kindles came out, I thought I would try again. I bought a case with a light that is so awesome–the rest of the room stays completely dark. [Now there are even newer Kindles that come with a light.] In addition to locations, the new Kindles show page numbers if they’re available (and most are). And now you can organize your books into collections–here are some of mine:kindle touch

  • 2 Read
  • Classics
  • Favorites
  • Library
  • No Interest
  • Reference
  • Writing

I’ve ordered Kindle copies of books I already own for two reasons: 1) So I can search within the book for specific things, and 2) So I can carry my favorite books wherever I go–a portable library.

kindle sampleAnd here’s the reason for this post today: Kindle Samples. Did you know you can download the first chapter (often more) for free? So what I’ve been doing is this: If I’m interested in a book, I download the sample onto my Kindle. If I love it, I order the real book. If I don’t love it, I slip it into my No Interest Collection (see above). A book is like a bottle of wine–I can often remember I tried it but not whether I liked it or not.

And you don’t even need a Kindle to take advantage of Kindle Samples. If you have any sort of device that downloads Apps, just download the Kindle App, and you’re all set.

Happy Summer Reading.