Monday, August 18, 2014

Reading Books: My Kindle Ebook Addiction ~ What's on My Shelfari?

I love reading.  When I was a little girl, reading books took me away from my unhappy childhood, even if just for a few hours.  I love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of a new book, and the anticipation of reading a book I just picked up at the bookstore.  When Amazon came out with the Kindle I was reluctant to try it because I thought not holding a book and not physically turning the pages wouldn't provide the same book reading experience.  For my birthday one year my husband gave me the first edition Kindle Reader.  I found it to be a royal pain in the bohiness with the pages accidentally turning every time my finger touched the ill-placed buttons.  I also thought it lacked some of the book appeal without color pictures on the cover to embed in my mind as I began reading the story.  I used it off and on, but it didn't take precedence over real books.

A few years later when the Kindle Fire came out I got one of those for my birthday and things changed.  It had a touch screen so I could actually swipe to turn the pages just like a book.  And the full color image of the cover made it much more like a real book.  But the major factor that swung the pendulum in the ebooks favor was the ability to take my whole library with me in a small thin package the size of a TV Guide (remember those?).  I didn't have to carry a heavy book bag with me filled with the books I might want to read while I was away from home or fret over losing my place when my bookmark fell out.  I now carried my Kindle Fire in my purse and pulled it out whenever I had a few moments to kill.  Waiting at the Dr office, standing in line, waiting to pick someone up, or on vacation away from my physical library.  It was awesome!  I started exclusively buying Kindle books, unless the book I wanted wasn't yet available on Kindle.  I found that my physical bookshelf was dwindling while my Kindle bookshelf was growing rapidly, with over 100 books on the Kindle by this point.

Last year I bought an iPad which had a much larger screen for reading.  With my aging eyes having things bigger is a must.  I downloaded the Kindle App on my iPad and uploaded all of my Kindle books onto it as well.  Then I discovered Pixel of Ink, who sends me an email every day with a list of temporarily free or nearly free ebooks.  You have to shop quickly because most of these books are newly released and the publishers just want to get quick exposure and reviews so the price goes back to normal in like 24 hours.  So now my Kindle Library contains over 800 books!  I have about three to five books that I am reading at any given moment.  Some True Crime thrillers, some self-help, some backyard farming books, and a few just for fun books.  I am never without a good book to read, anywhere, anytime!  I even get kids books to have on hand when I'm with the grandkids.  They love reading colorful kids books in Kindle version at bedtime, or anytime really.

I sometimes lend my purchased books to my daughters or friends.  Amazon lets you do that you know.  I just log in to my Amazon account and find the book I want in my Kindle library, then select 'Lend this book' from the drop-down menu.  I enter the recipients email address and a message and boom, they get an email with a link to download the ebook to their Kindle Library.  If they don't download it within like 48 hours (not sure exactly) then it gets automatically returned to me.  The only catch is that I cannot read the book while it is out on loan.

And just when I thought the Kindle eBook thing was at its best...I discover Shelfari by Amazon.  Its been around since late 2006...why am I just learning about this now?!  I'm sharing it today because maybe you have been in the dark like me.  Have you heard of this?

Its a virtual bookshelf displaying all of the books I have read before, or am reading now, or plan to read in the future. Here is mine...

I have added a Shelfari widget there in the upper right side of my blog. [You can just look up there if the image above isn't visible.]  You can click on the little scroll forward and backward icons at the bottom to see more books on my virtual shelf.  As I add new books to my Shelfari it will update the widget here too (remember I have over 800 books so its gonna take a while).  If you hover your mouse over one of the books it will pop up a little box that tells you the book title and author, along with my personal review (or just a few thoughts) of the book, and at the bottom of that pop-up box is a link to add it to Your Shelfari.  So if you also have Shelfari on your blog and I see a book I would like to read I can add it to my shelf with just the click of the mouse.  If I want to read all the details about a book on your Shelfari and even buy the book on Amazon I can just click on the book image and be taken to the Shelfari site page for that book.  Is that cool and convenient or what?!

The Shelfari website had a book club and forums to connect with other readers and even some authors.  I am having such fun with this.  I see my Kindle Library growing even more now...there are so many great books out there that I didn't know about before Shelfari!  If you already have a Shelfari account let me know your user name so I can go follow you there.  Or just follow mine (by clicking on my Shelfari) and I will follow you back.  Just leave me a message (here or there) so I know you came over after reading this blog post.

Happy Reading!!

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!