12/28/2010

Gifts That Keep On Giving

For Christmas, I got my sister and my father-in-law a Kindle. This is what they wanted and since I have been enjoying mine so much, it seemed a natural thing to do. I deregistered my father-in-law's because it is actually unlikely that he and I will want to share any books (our taste in reading not really running in the same genres, though he does enjoy a good spy thriller, as do I, so there might have been a tad of overlap) but left my sister's on my account as she and I have similar taste and one of the nice thoughts since we share dead tree books all the time was that this would allow us to share dead electron books as well.

My father-in-law is not what you would call "technologically ept" (where ept is used as the positive version of inept). And so everything from turning the Kindle on forward has been a barrage of phone calls. Couple this with the fact that he will spend HOURS upon HOURS looking for a free way to do something that would easily be done by spending $0.05 and I'm currently ducking his calls. I have not tried to store non-book material on my Kindle. I do not know if you can (I figure you can, but I don't know how) put a text file on it without using the Kindle email address. I'm not sure if it can play music (again, I assume it can but really haven't investigated said action). I do not know how to convert books from other eReader formats to the Kindle. Because the library we go to doesn't have eBooks for check out, so it's a non issue. It's not like B&N or Borders have a book for sale that I can't also get from Amazon. Yes, in a few tiny cases I might end up paying an extra dollar or two, but it's an expense I'm willing to undertake because I really do think when the eReader format war shakes out, Kindle will be on top. And when I bought my Kindle? I did so to read books on it. Period. Full stop. I have a laptop and a netbook if I need to do other things and Tim has an iPad on basically permanent loan from work if I just need that tablet format. I tried explaining this and was not able to do so clearly, apparently.

My sister and I have been experimenting with the best way for her to buy books for her Kindle (on my account) without using my credit card (the one tied to the 1-click that is required for Kindle purchases.) We thought the "gift a Kindle book" option they have would be great...except it emails me the gifting and so I have to log in and accept the book and deliver it to her Kindle - which I don't mind doing in the slightest, other than the fact that I might not do it RIGHT NOW when she wants said book. She can log in and buy the book as me, except that it's set up to use my CC, so she would then have to pay me back for each purchase (which again, I really don't mind, it's just not the most convenient thing in the world.) So it's a tradeoff between the immediacy of a Kindle download (plus smaller storage requirements physically) and the shipping delay for a dead tree book that can much more easily be shared between the two of us. We've also yet to see what happens if we both happen to be reading the same book - will that seriously mess up the bookmarking? I'm guessing yes, but we'll roll with it if we must.

Regardless, muddling through this has made the joy of Christmas giving trickle into the last week of the year, and really, that's not a bad thing, is it?

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