Cheaping Out

It’s hard to imagine how many Kindle ebook readers were left under Christmas trees this year though I’m sure a little research could find the number. Confirmed Luddite and practicing contrarian that I am, I don’t have one or any of the others like the iPad, etc. And I’m probably not going to ever get one, either. I’m not a gadget fan and I laugh (HAH!) at the idiots that stay up all night in the freezing cold to be the first in line to get the newest digital toy to hit the market.

I’ve been quite content with listening to my books from Unfortunately there are several authors I enjoy whose books are available from that source with narrators I just can’t listen to. I’ve downloaded a bunch of books from the Gutenberg Project and have enjoyed them immensely recently having read Mark Twain’s “Roughing It” which I highly recommend.

Naturally the availability of English language books is limited here in Panama though there’s a very good second-hand bookstore, The Bookmark, in Dolega and you can special order new releases and wait for their arrival.

Now, I’m not saying the Kindle is a bad thing. In fact in a lot of ways I think their wonderful and I hope millions of people buy them because I plan on releasing my book in digital form and look forward to people actually buying it through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But, again, I’m not going to buy one myself.

However, I DO want to be able to read some of my favorite authors and so I downloaded a FREE program called Kindle for PC. It emulates the hand-held Kindle with all the features of the real thing. I’m not sure I’d want to read books sitting at a desk staring at the monitor of a desk top computer, but it’s not too bad doing it on my notebook. I can take it outside and sit on the porch and read, but, I grant you, it’s got to be a lot bulkier than the Kindle and though my notebook has pretty good battery life I bet it can’t compare with a dedicated ebook reader. I downloaded a couple of novels that I paid for and several free books from Amazon and was rather dazzled by how fast they were delivered. Almost instantaneous. So, now I have another way of wasting time when I should be doing something productive.

If you’re like me you can download Kindle for PC here:

And if you’re a Mac user you can do the same thing here:


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3 responses to “Cheaping Out

  1. Hi Richard:

    I have been using the PC version of Kindle with excellent results. The only bad thing is that I have to sit in front of my desktop computer to read my downloaded books.

    As you know, I’m a gadget freak and plan to buy a Kindle as soon as I have enough money saved. It was a Wi-Fi feature, so I can download all the Kindle books I need at very reasonable prices. I don’t have a laptop, and don’t think I need one. Most of my computer work is at my office.

    When your book is out, I could probably read it in my Kindle.



  2. Richard,

    I’ve been using the Mac version of the Kindle reader, too, but I really really do not like sitting at my desk and reading a book. I plan to get the new Kindle when I next go to the states. It’s probably cheaper than an iPod (and far cheaper than an iPad), and it won’t take me long to save the shipping costs for new books (even Harold has to cover shipping costs, and he has to pass them on to the consumer). At this point the Kindle is no more of a “gadget” than a cell phone, in my humble opinion.

    Nevertheless, it’s neat that you’re happy with your system and that you found a work-around for what you need and want.


    I agree with you. As I said, I wouldn’t want to sit at a desk all the time reading on my monitor, but the notebook does give me some flexibility and while the two hour battery life of my notebook does nothing to rival the Kindle by that time it wears down I’m ready to move, anyway.

  3. Morning, Richard,

    Time for a little catching up. Still don’t have my pc back, but the good news is was hard drive failure. Since I have a complete backup that was done in September and more recent files also backed up, it’s actually better than a virus. The nice people at the computer-fixer-upper place will do the work for me and I’ll reclaim it when they’re done.

    The good news is that I’ve found a way to use my laptop that’s comfortable – especially adding a mouse. I hate those touchpads. But, it’s allowing me to do everything except print and scan… HOWEVER, I did print out some VIP work (that would be Very Important Paper) before I turned over the machine, so I have some nice reading to do this morning while I wait for it to stop raining.

    I’m so far out of the loop I hadn’t even heard of Kindle for PC. Good grief. Right now, it’s not going to do me a lick of good to have either one, since I can’t seem to carve out time to read the real book I started in November.
    This year, I swear I’m going to be a better reader. 😉

    I did hear that Barnes and Noble sold more Nooks than paper books this year. By the time you get your book done, everyone may be ready to download it. Well, except me. I guess I could use Kindle for PC 😉

    I think you should assemble a “Best Of The Task at Hand” and put it out there.