I am a Kindle fanatic, let's just get that out there. I am also an avid reader from way back…I taught myself how to juggle and do calligraphy from reading books when I was a kid. I LOVE BOOKS. So like many fellow bookworms, I did not expect to love the Kindle because it didn't have that "book feel" that you'd want to "curl up with." Well, never mind about that! It just doesn't matter. Once you are used to it, you might actually prefer it like I do!
Here are nine ways I use my Kindle to reduce clutter in my life, be more efficient, and even keep off the pounds…
- Obvious one out of the way first… buying books on the Kindle means I do not have physical books taking up space on a shelf or table. I have at this point saved well over 3 feet of shelf space buying books this way. I love books, but they are bulky and are hard to discard once you have collected them!
- The "staying slim" part… I use my early morning treadmill time as my main reading time, and the Kindle is easy and light enough to hold with one hand and turn pages with the one thumb. I can enlarge the font size so that even though I am moving quickly, I can easily read what is in front of me. And because it's moving with me, it's not like having a magazine propped up on the console that I am bobbing up and down in front of and fussing with pages.
- I read the news during this treadmill time, so I quickly control how I get my news and what I want to skip over, etc. I used to watch TV news on the treadmill and was at the mercy of commercials and the timing of what news they wanted to cover at any given moment. You can subscribe to various newspapers and news blogs and they are delivered fresh when you turn on your device. (Bonus: No newspaper clutter!)
- I read my favorite blogs on the Kindle. (Pssst: This blog has been the #1 Home & Garden blog on the Kindle since Sept. 2008! And today, it's even #12 OVERALL! Thank you so much!) It costs $0.99 – 1.99 per month per subscription, depending upon which blogs you want to subscribe to… but if time is scarce, it's wonderful to have that content delivered to what I think of as my "centralized reading device." I don't really want to sit in front of my computer reading everything.
- I read long documents on the Kindle too. You can e-mail documents as attachments to your Kindle's special e-mail address (look in "Manage Your Kindle" on Amazon's site to find it), and they will show up your Kindle! PDFs, Word documents, and other formats translate really well. I especially love reading eBooks this way– there are lots of downloadable PDFs that you'd otherwise need to print out to read comfortably. There is a small charge for this (I believe it's 15 cents per document to send them), but that is very worth it to me (probably save that much in paper and printer ink alone). Full instructions for this process are in section 8.3 of the Kindle user guide.
- I read web articles this way also. Constantly throughout my workday I get wind of articles that would be really fun to read but would interrupt my workday to stop and read them. There is a fantastic free service called "Instapaper," at www.instapaper.com, where you create an account, put in your special Kindle e-mail address and set it up, and get a button for your toolbar that says "Read Later." When you find an article on the web, press the "Read Later" button, and the article gets sent to your Kindle for reading when you're ready. This is my new favorite thing!! I am so excited about this service. (This also is subject to the 15 cent Amazon charge per emailed item)
- I travel with the Kindle and it reduces clutter in my carry-on bag. I am such a bookworm I used to travel with multiple heavy books and magazines to read on the plane or train, and I now have lightened my load considerably! (Bonus: I always have a dictionary with me too.)
- I save time buying books wirelessly, because I don't have to drive over to the bookstore to purchase something I want to read. And if I am traveling, I don't have to spend time hunting down a bookstore in an unfamiliar city. The Kindle works on the cellular network, so you can download a book from almost anywhere.
- I get text clippings of my notes and highlights right on my computer. While I am reading, I use the Kindle's little "mouse" control to make highlights on passages and write notes to myself about what I think on the small keyboard. I can plug in my Kindle with the USB cable and grab all of the text from these notes and passages from the "My Clippings" file. Since they are already in text format and "paste-able," I can use this information much more quickly and easily. Instructions for this are in section 8.2 of the Kindle user guide.
I did not expect to like the Kindle as much as I do! Hopefully you see why now. I think of it as an "iPod for books." I recently treated myself to a really cool "Gelaskin" applique for mine, for fun but also to protect the surface when I read it at the nail salon and can tend to get nail salon gunk on it. 🙂
What do you think about the Kindle? What are your favorite tips for using it to save time and reduce clutter in your life? Share in the comments! (Kindle photo above from Amazon.com)
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