A Kindle in My Computer – And Then Some

I’ve had my Kindle for nearly a year now, and I’ve been happy with it.  It’s easy to read, light-weight no matter how many books I add to it, and it’s only run out of battery power once, when I absentmindedly left the wireless connection on for a week.  I’ve downloaded a wide variety of books, some brand new, some old favorites, many of them free.

The Kindle is great for reading novels, but I’ve had some frustrations (and heard the same from other Kindle users) with non-fiction books, particularly books on writing.  Sometimes I just want to flip back to that earlier chapter on a related topic, and while it can be done on the Kindle, I don’t find it easy.  I miss page numbers, too.  (I have recently discovered that page numbers are available, at least for some books, but only when I hit the menu button, and they vanish after a moment, returning me to the percentage meter.)

So when I finished reading James Scott bell’s excellent new book on Conflict and Suspense and wanted to browse back through the high points, I decided to try something new.  I downloaded the Kindle reading app to my home computer to see if it offered any advantages.  It does.

The download process is very simple.  Go to Amazon, find the reading apps page, pick out the one you want, and click on download.  After the software installs, it will offer you the chance to register it.  If you already own a Kindle, registration will cause the reader to download the covers (not the books, not yet) of everything on your Kindle.  To download a particular book to your computer, just click on it.

It was just a bit disconcerting to see that array of books covers (87 of them) appear before my eyes, reminding me just how many books I’ve bought (or at least downloaded–quite a few of them were free) for my Kindle, my invisible To Be Read shelf.  And beautiful–all of them in full color.

I found Conflict and Suspense in the collection of covers and clicked it onto the computer.  It opened to the page I’d been reading when I last connected my Kindle to Amazon.  And it looks even more like the printed page than the Kindle does.  Navigation is quicker and easier–you can click on either side of the page to go backward or forward, or you can scroll through the pages with your mouse wheel.  You can look at two pages at a time, like an open book.  And you can highlight and COPY text!  Oh, joy!

I downloaded another of my non-fiction collection, A History of the World in 6 Glasses, by Tom Standage, a book with a fair number of illustrations, and found the picture quality vastly better on the computer.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m looking at a very large high resolution computer monitor.  (When I bought this computer a couple of years ago, I told the young Fry’s salesman, who clearly came off the assembly line after my first computer did, to go in the back and find me the largest Hewlett-Packard monitor in stock.  He did a good job.) 

Even on a small computer, a lap top or notebook, the Kindle app offers definite advantages for non-fiction or research books.  And if you don’t own a Kindle, this free app (which came with three free books) will let you collect all the ebooks you want, and add them to your Kindle if you buy one in the future.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl Bolen
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 11:31:03

    Fascinating post! John (my wonderful dh) can put things on the computer and convert them to something (which may be pdf, but I’m not sure, being a computer ignoramous) to make them searchable. He did this with my digital 1845 Burke’s peerage, which I used to have to wade through all 2,000 pages of.

    You are such a smart cookie. Jack was one lucky guy!



    • Kay Hudson
      Mar 07, 2012 @ 11:41:52

      I’m quite impressed with the PC version of Kindle. I didn’t realize that it offered more than just a copy of what I see on my Kindle, but I expect it to be very useful in quite a different way, particularly for reviewing books and doing research.



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