The Great Rock n’ Roll Kindle (part 1)

Nice cover. What happened to it?

My Kindle arrived just in time for a week-long business trip (I leave today), and I must say, I’m already a convert. This thing is simply terrific. Once I got the screen set up to my liking (fourth smallest font size, condensed typeface, medium line spacing), I got to readin’, and I found the experience to be just as pleasant as reading a paperback. I’ve never come close to thinking that about reading on a computer monitor, so I was a bit taken aback by the discovery.

Now, I’ve got to read when I fly, and I’ve got to read when I’m staying in some strange hotel for a week. It stinks hauling around a bunch of books, not least because those books are highly likely to become damaged. No worries this trip–I’m all stocked up.

And it cost me nearly nothing to stock up. I purchased:

Wolf Moon by Ed Gorman ($2.99)

East of A by Russell Atwood ($4.99)

Eightball Boogie by Declan Burke ($0.99)

Bye Bye Baby by Alan Guthrie ($0.99)

Star Soldiers by Andre Norton ($0.00)

Five well-reviewed books for ten bucks, and I could have done it for less if I hadn’t “splurged” on the Atwood title.

(Hell, I haven’t read science fiction in more than a decade, but I seem to remember liking the Witch World novels as a kid, so I thought it might be fun to give Ms. Norton another read if I didn’t have to pay for it. If I end up enjoying it, I’ll pay for some of her others.)

I do have some complaints. For reading PDFs, I’ll have to look elsewhere, alas. And, really, producers of digital books could stand to put a teensy bit more effort into their products. The tags are often screwed up–according to the Kindle, I own the novel “Eightball Boogie by Declan Burke,” by Declan Burke, and the title of Wolf Moon shows up fine on the Kindle, but shows up as New Title 1 in the wonderful calibre software I use for organizing and editing my e-book collection. And I can’t fix either due to copy protection.

And where are the covers? Of the titles I bought, only East of A has a proper cover. The freebie Andre Norton has a half-assed cover (which I was able to replace with a decent one using calibre). The others? Well, they have nice-looking covers on Amazon, but on my Kindle, they all look like this:



Declan Burke

Exciting stuff, right?

Call me old fashioned, but I want a damn cover. I want the virtual experience of holding a book in my hand, looking at the cover, and then cracking it open. They all have covers on Amazon–why not on my Kindle? (Hell, the Guthrie doesn’t even exist in printed form! They made a cover for the e-book that isn’t included with the e-book!)

This post, largely aimed at the unconverted, is already long enough, so I’ll stop here. Time permitting (ha!), I’ll soon have some followup items of interest to the converted, which is why this piece is optimistically subtitled “part 1.”

(Star Soldiers is available directly from Baen Books.)