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Like many others, I’m hooked on ebooks. Whenever I remember the massive (not to mention heavy) stack of books that I carried in school, I shudder. High school left me with permanent elbow problems from the stress of carrying that load. That was back before backpacks and messenger bags. I used a monster briefcase then. Now, I carry a huge library in either one Kindle Paperwhite that weighs in at under 12 ounces, case included, or an iPad mini that weighs in at under 15 ounces, case included. Big difference.

Many people think that you must buy all of your books from Amazon if you use a Kindle, or from the iTunes store if you use an iPad. Wrong. I get my books from a bunch of different sources, including the University of Chicago. They offer good freebies each month. The last one was Bill Veeck’s Crosstown Classic – Chicago Shorts. (If you know anything about the Chicago Cubs, you know the name Bill Veeck.)

With the iPad comes the option of a bunch of different reader apps. I know. I’ve tried most of them. I always end up going back to the Kindle app. It just works better, with the exception of creating collections. That’s where iBooks is far ahead of the others. But for plain old reading pleasure, I always manage to go back to the Kindle app. It’s just a more pleasant experience for me. Plus, I can keep my current book in sync between the Kindle I use at home and the iPad mini that goes everywhere with me.

Back to books from other sources — how to get them into your Kindle or iPad (or iPhone, iPod touch, Android tablet, etc.). You can connect your reader to your computer and drag and drop them. You can also email them to your Kindle account. The easiest way? “Send to Kindle” from Amazon. They have free versions for Mac, Windows and Android. It will even change your PDFs to Kindle format. The file that I tested even kept the hyperlinks intact. It’s easy to use. Just drop your files on it and choose where you want them delivered. I generally send to both my iPad and Kindle. Simple. Give it a try.

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  • Kathy Singer

    The biggest problem I have with ebooks is the inability to pass them on to strangers. I get many of not most of my books used – library book sales, Goodwill and other resale shops, yard sale, used book stores. They are a great source for children’s books as well as adult reading. I use the library too, but there are some books I want to hang on to. I enjoy passing on books I no longer want to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to read them. I’m exposed to a lot of books I would not otherwise be aware of through used books and I can thumb through a book for free to see if it is worth my time. Reading needs to be available to people who don’t have access to technology or can’t afford it (my monthly internet only bill is outrageous). As we move toward a technology society, we need to figure out a way to make knowledge available to people of all income levels.

    • Phyllis Evans

      It is one of the downsides to ebooks. Some, but not all, are lendable for a single, 2-week period. It is an evolving situation. The publishers have really shown their greed when it comes to ebooks. Not only are the prices they charge the libraries over-inflated, they also dictate the shelf life of each title. A number of authors have rebelled and are self-publishing — minus the DRM. There are ways to strip DRM controls, but it’s still not the same as recirculating a printed title.

      My husband doesn’t go near ebooks. He has a couple of used bookstores that he supports, and recycles his books by donating them to our local library society.

  • David Nelson

    I like e-books. I mostly use technical books, computer, graphics and photography in my work. When e-books were first proposed we were told how they would be much cheaper than printed books since there wasn’t the cost of the printing machines, all the supplies, paper & ink, all the labor costs of printing and then all the expenses of the distribution and sales. E-books were going to be a quarter of the price of printed books. But now, they are maybe 10-20% less than the printed book.

    Where is all this savings? Not counting the self published books, are the authors getting all this extra money? I don’t think so. I love not having the books around. It much easier find the info you need in e-books than in printed.There advantage don’t out way the small reduction in price.

    It’s the same old story, the end user has no way to win. We get the crumbs and are supposed to be happy while the “man” get the steak.