Monday, June 01, 2009

Kindle: Wishlists

Kindle by It's no secret that I ordered a Kindle in January 2007 and received it 6 weeks later—nor that I am a rabid fan of the Kindle and all things related to electronic books. In 2008, of the 140 books that I read, 49 were electronic editions for the Kindle.

One thing that the Kindle has in spades over all the competition is the ease of buying books. Of course there is the obligatory Internet shopping site—using my browser to find a book I want, click the “buy it now” button and Voila! it's queued for transmission to my Kindle over the cellular Whispernet service. If my Kindle's antenna is turned on and I'm within the service area, my new book is downloaded to the Kindle and ready to read in just a few seconds. But that's not all, I can use the Kindle itself to browse the store and select books to read—no computer or Internet required. I've bought a book while traveling on the The Carolinian Route between Washington DC and Richmond. I've bought and downloaded a new book while seated on an AA flight waiting for the rest of the people to hurry up and get aboard so we can take off. Talk about immediate gratification!

But not only does Amazon make it easy for me to buy a book right now, but it provides a very easy way to build a wishlist of titles I want to read later. Actually, there are two different ways I can make note of a title that sounds interesting so that I can revisit it later and make a decision whether to purchase it.

Save for Later

The first Wishlist facility is the Kindle “Save for Later” list. When using the Kindle to browse the Kindle bookstore, when I see a likely title, I can click on the “Save for Later” option and Amazon will add this book to my growing list of books I want to buy; but just not now.

Here's how it works: I usually take a quick look at the “Kindle Best Sellers” and “New & Notable” links in the Kindle storefront. Today, I again noticed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in the list of best sellers. Since the paperback edition just came out, I figured maybe the price had dropped and sure enough, it's now selling for $7.70 instead of the $9.99 it had been at for so long. That's enough for me to add it to my Save for Later items.

First, I need to follow the link to the book's own page in the Kindle store. I move the cursor to the “Save for Later” link and select it. In just a second, I see confirmation that the book has been added to my list. I can review my list at any time by selecting the “Menu” link from any place within the Kindle store and then picking “Save for Later items”. And there it is— at the top of my list.

Kindle screen shot #1 Kindle screen shot #2 Kindle screen shot #3 Kindle screen shot #4


The second way that I keep up with books that I might want to purchase later is to download samples. This has two benefits: not only do I get to read a portion of the book to help me make up my mind, but I can also ask for samples through my Internet browser or through the Kindle's Whispernet connection. But, the only way to transfer a sample to the Kindle is through the Whispernet. When I'm outside the USA or just in an area where the Whispernet is not available, I can transfer any books by downloading to my PC and then pushing to the Kindle over the USB connection. This is not true for samples—they are only delivered through the Kindle's own wireless network.

Samples are usually a chapter or two, which is enough to whet my appetite and let me know if the book is one I'm likely to enjoy. I did download some samples from the new Offbeat Guides being offered for the Kindle and was disappointed to find that the samples didn't include the Table of Contents. It seems to me that it would be important for a sample from reference book to include the TOC; particularly when the book description doesn't contain much detail. Needless to say, I didn't buy those books and will look at other options for travel guides.

The coolest part of the samples, however, is that at the end are two links to the Kindle store. The first will allow you to buy the book right then and the second link will take you to the book's description for further review.

Kindle screen shot #5

To be continued

So, what books are on my “Read for Later” list? And which samples have I downloaded as reminders to buy books later? Those sound like good ideas for later posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment