Amazon revolutionized the electronic book industry when it introduced the Kindle in 2007. The Kindle gets abundant praise for its near instantaneous wireless downloading of books, fast growing library of more than 350,000 books and ability to hold over 1,500 books on a device a little larger than a paperback. Besides these well known attributes, the Kindle offers many more benefits that make it a joy to own.
Amazon advertises that most books on the New York Times best sellers list are priced at $9.99 for the electronic Kindle version. Compared to the price of a newly released hardcover, the Kindle version is usually significantly cheaper. The economic benefit of owning a Kindle does not stop there. Amazon has made literally thousands of public domain titles available for free. Classics such as The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are completely free to download and enjoy.
Besides the classics, there are many other free or amazingly cheap books available for the Kindle. Amazon allows independent authors to self-publish books on the Kindle. Many of these authors either give their books away or charge as little as $0.99 in order to gain a following. Also, books of some well known and mainstream authors are available for free. Many publishers will give away older titles when one of their authors is about to come out with a new book. Although the publishers are doing this for promotional reasons, the Kindle owners benefit. Many Kindle owners find that they are expanding their reading horizons and trying new authors as a result of the plethora of free and cheap books. Kindle owners have a risk free opportunity to give a fledgling independent author a try.
The Kindle has another great feature that is often not talked about. Users can download the first chapter of any book for free. Like reading a few pages of the book in the bookstore, Kindle users can sample a book without risking their hard earned money. If the user likes the first chapter and he wants to buy the book he can do so with one click and the entire book will be downloaded within sixty seconds. The ability to read the first chapter for free is especially useful when deciding whether or not to buy a work of an unknown independent author.
Recently, Amazon began offering a free app for iPhones. The app allows iPhone owners to buy Kindle books and read them on their phones. Although reading on a backlit phone is not ideal and will drain the phone’s battery fairly quickly, this iPhone app actually makes the Kindle a better device. If a reader has both a Kindle and an iPhone, Amazon will automatically synch the two devices. So, if you are reading a novel on your Kindle and then you want to continue it on your iPhone, Amazon will open the iPhone version of the novel to the last page you read on your Kindle. Now, even if you forget to bring your Kindle with you, you will always have your latest novel at your fingertips. Do not despair if you do not have an iPhone. There are rumors that Amazon is developing Kindle apps for the Blackberry and Palm smart phones.
The Amazon Kindle is truly a life-changing device. It changes the way we read and how we obtain our literature. Eventually it will change the entire publishing industry. While we wait for this to happen we can enjoy the amazing benefits that the Kindle offers.