TagKindle

Piles of Digital Books

I love to read. I fell out of it for a long time in college when I was overwhelmed with underwhelming books and papers to get through. But now that I am past all that, I have found my love for reading again.

I have torn through books on the cheap. I love the Kindle Paperwhite. Despite it’s silly name, the backlit device is perfect for reading in bed, on a beach, at the pool, on a subway train, or anywhere at all. It is light enough to read for hours without even being any heavier than a paperback. The light makes it ideal for reading at night or in low light.

But the Kindle is not the whole story. I also read a lot on my phone. I use the Kindle app for the iPhone. First on my 4, and now on the 5 with a taller screen, the beautiful Kindle letters are crisp and I can take it with me anywhere.

It’s perfect for reading over lunch, or when I can steal a few minutes out of the day to catch up with the character’s lives I have become a part of as I follow their tale.

To feed my reading addiction on a small budget, I use a couple of resources.

Book Gorilla

The first is Book Gorilla. The site is deceptively simple. When you sign up, it asks you to select categories of books you enjoy reading. Then, every day you get a single email from them with a list of discounted or free books from the Kindle store that match the categories you’ve chosen.

It’s not perfect and many days I don’t buy anything, but there have also been days I’ve picked up a half-dozen books for less than $5.00. I look forward to seeing that Book Gorilla email everyday because I never know what to expect.

Lendle

I haven’t used Lendle as much as when I first wrote about it due to the lack of books that are lendable thanks to the publisher’s restrictions. However, it is still my go-to place to see if a book is lendable and to find someone to lend it to me.

The idea is simple. Kindle books can be lent once to anyone. All you need is an email address. Lendle puts those people with books to lend and those seeing to borrow together.

The Kindle Lending Library

The Kindle Lending Library is the only one of the bunch that requires having a physical Kindle. Both Book Gorilla and Lendle will work with the various Amazon Kindle apps, or the web-based reader.

The The Kindle Lending Library works just like a library with some restrictions. First, you must own a physical Kindle device and have an Amazon Prime account. Once you have both, the selection is still small but often many popular books such as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series are on it.

The Lending Library allowed you to borrow one book at a time and only one book per month. I will often look to see if any of my Book Gorilla suggestions are included if I’m on the fence about purchasing them.

I love GoodReads not so much as a social network to talk about books and to share them with people. But I love it as an introvert’s network. I keep track of [what I have read](http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4729067-carl-holscher?shelf=read). I like to know how many books I have read. I keep a healthy to-read list there and I dutifully mark down each book I’ve gotten through so I can look back and feel proud at all the time I’ve spent reading.

The Amazon eBook Cycle

It starts out innocently enough. I am reading a story about the boom in dystopian fiction for young readers. The story focuses mainly on the Hunger Games trilogy but also touches on a handful of other books and series.

Many of the books mentioned I have read but I am interested in some of the others so I take the logical progression of search the name, find the Amazon link and add it to my book wish list.

This is where Amazon gets you.

Most of the time, the book is $5 or $10 so I add it to the list for later. I figure when I am on the hunt for something new I’ll pick it up.

Only, today when I found The Knife of Never Letting Go I found the book was $1. Normally, it is $10 but today, it was a single dollar. I don’t know for how long or why but it was.

So I bought it.

This is how Amazon gets you. Ever since the Kindle and their iOS apps reignited my love of reading, I’ve added to my list of books to read. Sometimes I look for sales, other times I use the wonderful book-lending service Lende which I reviewed.

My list of books to read is growing out of control and every week I am adding more and more. I love to read and I love Amazon’s enabling of my reading but they need to stop the madness. I have too many books and there is no sign of stopping.

Is there such a thing as reader’s guilt?

Sites I Love: Lendle

When I was young I would tear through books. Then when I got to high school and college I had to do a lot of reading for school which mostly killed my delight in reading. Reading went from a pleasure activity to a rush to keep up.

The Kindle has completely changed the way I read. It reinvigorated my desire to read for fun. It opened my eyes to all the amazing books out there. I don’t even mean Amazon’s Kindle device. I do all my reading on an iPad at home or the iPhone when I used to take the subway to work. Despite owning a Kindle, I haven’t actually seen it since the day we got it, my wife entered her credentials and said, “This is my kindle now! See? It says Annie’s Kindle.”

My renewed love of reading did not come with a budget to match so I turned to Lendle to borrow Kindle books so I don’t have to pay for everything I read. Amazon announcing they would allow lending of Kindle books for two weeks was a partial answer. Just because Amazon was allowing lending of books doesn’t mean I could find people to borrow books from. Lendle has filled that gap in a really simple and elegant way.

What is Lendle?

Lendle is a free book lending service. It is the online equivalent of handing a physical book to a friend.

How do I sign up?

You can join Lendle by signing up via email or using a Facebook or Twitter account.

How much does it cost?

Lendle is free to use. You can sign up and start borrowing books for free. When you lend books, Lendle will actually pay you per book lent a small sum to urge you to continue to lend. There are other book lending sites that require you pay them for the privilege. Lendle is not other book lending sites. Lendle is completely free.

How does it work?

To understand Lendle, you first need to understand Amazon’s Kindle; both the device and applications.

Lendle only works with Amazon’s Kindle eBooks. No Nook, no Sony eReaders, and no plain PDFs are supported.

For the book to be lent through Lendle it has to be a currently available title on the Amazon Kindle Store and the publisher has to have enabled the lending rights to the book.

Most books Amazon sells through the Kindle store are lend able. The only exceptions being books which the publisher or the author have specifically asked not be lend able because they’re still living in the dark ages of technology where the internet is scary.

Amazon will allow you to lend each eBook one time for two weeks. ((This is an Amazon limitation, not Lendle’s.)) While this is nowhere near as good as handing them the physical copy but it attempts to replicate the experience.

Lendle’s role in all this is a middleman putting those who have books to lend together with those who want to borrow books.

How does the Lending work?

When you sign up, you are given a several Borrows. This is the number of times you can request a book from other users. You search Lendle by author, title or keyword for books you want to borrow and click the Borrow button.

When you select a book to Borrow, Lendle looks at the list of people who have made the book available to lend and will email the borrow request to a number of people. The Lender will click a link in the email taking them to an Amazon page to lend out the book.

They complete the lend and the book is sent to the Borrower’s account on Amazon. The borrower is then notified by email the book has arrived and can download it to their Kindle, or a Kindle application running on any device. ((Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android device, or Amazon’s own Cloud Reader.))

Then in two weeks, when the loan has ended you will receive an email stating the loan is over and the book has been returned to your library and the Borrower will receive notice the book is no longer available to read. The entire process is completely painless.

How do I add my eBooks to Lendle?

Adding books to Lendle is as simple as searching the title, author or keyword of the book and clicking I Own it. The book is then added to your library. As a perk, you get additional Borrow requests for making more books available. In addition to encouraging growth by handing out more Borrow requests Lendle also pays you for each successful lend.

Wait, I can make money just by lending?

Yes. Lendle Pays You To Lend Books!

The money you earn is based on the value of the book lent. In addition to earning money when you lend, the site is completely free to use. Whereas some other sites will try to make you pay to get books lent to you, Lendle lets you join and borrow books for free.

What are you waiting for?

No really, why aren’t you at Lendle signing up?
Go to Lendle.me and you would be so kind, use my referral code NDI3KLZP. I get more Borrow requests, no cold hard cash or anything but it also adds you as my friend. And I like to think of us as friends.

Reverence for the printed page

I have a great reverence for books.

I will not defile a book with marking it up. I will not highlight, underline, circle, or scribble in the margins. I treat a book as a sacred collection of thoughts painstakingly assembled by its author. In a recent conversation with a friend ((And published author)) we discussed our love for eBook.

Me: I love Audible. I love Kindle too. SO MANY BOOKS!

R: And this coming from a guy who told me he didn’t read anymore!

Me: Kindle changed all that. True Story: My dad gave me a book to read and review. I couldn’t. I bought the kindle book and am halfway through.

R: You know, I have an actual library. I mean, probably close to, if not over, 1000 books. And I prefer the Kindle too.

Along with our love of the electronic book, we also share a reverence for the printed page.

Me: My dad has a library in his house. I want to have a library one day. I still love the sight, touch and feel of the physical book. But the benefits of eBooks are too much. I also have a certain reverence for the printed page. I will not defile it with highlighter, or pen/pencil marks. eBooks mean I can highlight without lasting marks. ((Yes, I know I’m weird))

R: No, you’re not weird, you’re RIGHT. I HATE people who defile books.
I won’t even fold the page down to mark my place.

I love the ability to highlight and make notes on Kindle books. I can mark up the book without a permanent smudge on the book itself. In addition, I can also see popular highlights throughout the book if I choose. I can read a book for review, mark it all up, and in the end, the book remains exactly as I received it. A pristine book, ready for the next person to enjoy, or me to re-read.

The Kindle app for the iPad has reignited my love of reading. According to GoodReads I have completed 15 books so far this year. That is more books than I’ve read in any single year since I graduated college in 2004.

The Kindle app is so amazing because in addition to allowing me to mark up a book without the permanence, it opens whole new worlds through the printed pages. In an instant, I can buy and start reading nearly any book my heart desires. For each of those books I can tweak the font size to make it easier to read through sleepier eyes. As flexible as physical books are, the fact remains I may not have the book with me.

If I leave my book at home I will not be able to read it at work or on the train. However, with Kindle books, I can read on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer within arm’s reach. I mainly read on my iPad or iPhone. The phone is an ideal reading device for a crowded subway car or those moments when I am waiting in lines.

I constantly have my phone or another electronic device on or near me so reading electronically is never a problem. The Kindle’s syncing and ubiquity stack up well against the pros of physical books without many of the cons. ((As I consider them.)) In addition, they do not need a large amount of space in my home to keep.

One day, when I have a house to call my own and I’ve given up the nomadic lifestyle of apartment living I will have a library. I will collect the great books I have read to fill the shelves. Who knows, I may even prefer reading on paper again by then. I want to have the quiet, comfortable room surrounded with the tomes I’ve spent my life reading and learning from.

But until then, I prefer the portability of Kindle and an endless library I can pick up and move once the lease ends.