Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Great Invention

As an inventor, I am always humbled by the great minds that create so many wonderful things for us to enjoy. Often I think these things go un-noticed, but I would like to share what has moved to the top of my list, the Kindle. This past week I waited with anticipation for my Kindle to arrive. It was a late Christmas present since the newest version was just released. I cannot recall being so excited for a package to come, like a kid waiting for Santa to come on Christmas Eve.

What is a Kindle, you ask?

It is a "powerful electronic reading enhancement" device with a wireless features which allows you immediate gratification. Where ever you go, you have the ability to select a book, read customer reviews, determine where it is on the New York Best Selling list, and purchase or download a sample in less than sixty seconds. Watch out as your credit card charges may escaluate as it has never been so convenient or easy to read.

What features are irresistible, you ask?

Downloading and Sampling:

My favorite feature, thus far, is having the ability to download a sample of any book for free to read the first and/or second chapters. This allows me a chance to see if I like the context of the book and the author's style of writing. If they cannot impress me in the first ten pages, then I've saved time and money by not making a purchase. Often times when I'm shopping in a bookstore, the cover, the title, and what others have to say about the book influence my decision to buy. Once home with the book I learn that the book does not make a connection with me and it is left to collect dust on my end table. In the privacy of my home, I can take the time I need to sample the book to be sure I want to download and pay for the full version.

Cost of Books:

Books on the Kindle are also less expensive to buy. Books that normally costs $15 to $35 in paper back or hard cover are available in electronic version for $5 to $10. Not to mention the endless titles you can download for free. (This I have not investigated yet.) At last count, there were approximately 350,000 books available for download.

Built in Dictionary:

Another great feature of the Kindle is when you are reading and get caught on a word that you don't know its meaning. Since I'm not a walking dictionary, I often find I just let the word blend into my reading based on the context of the sentence or paragraph, but with the Kindle I have a learning opportunity. I move my cursor to the word and a dictionary appears at the bottom of the screen showing the various meanings of the word.

Saving My Page:

When you have grown tired of reading and turn the Kindle off, it remembers your page. Multiple people can read the book simutaneously, but the second reader would have to use the book mark feature. I'm not sure anyone in my household will find the Kindle sitting idle for long. We will be like kids in a classroom all wanting to play with the same toy!

Reference Guide:

When reading a passage in a book that you want to remember, often times we feel we are defacing a book by highlighting it or making notes in the margin. Some of my favorite books are heavily marked, but not often that easy to remember what was inspiring in what book and where. With the Kindle you have the ability to highlight text (underline), and jot notes using the handy keypad at the bottom of the device. This keeps track of your markings in a "My Clippings Page" which footnotes and references the items you've marked. Using the Menu option, you can select "My Notes and Marks" to see what you found interesting, inspiring, or noteworthy.

Audio Books:

Although this feature is not perfected, most books can be turned into audio books by turning on the "Text to Speech" feature. You can decide whether you prefer to listen to a male or female voice, and can also modulate the speed of the audio to match your preference. Now I will be able to continue reading my books when I'm on the treadmill five to six times a week; oh if that were only true!

Text Direction and Font Size:

The Kindle version that I purchased allows me to flip the direction of my screen to improve the resolution of pictures or text from magazines or newspapers. I can also change the font to lessen the eye strain I experience when reading too long.


Adding accessories will increase the cost of your Kindle, but it will enhance your reading experience. I purchased a leather-bound case which opens like and feels like books I've grown accustom to reading. I also purchased a clip-in nightlight. The Kindle is not a "backlit" device. Its technology appears like a computer screen, but with multiple shades of gray on gray, there is little to no eye strain. I also purchased multiple power cords so I could recharge my Kindle from an outlet or in my car. The battery will last a week without a charge, but it is also nice to know that I can read with my device plugged in. I have good intentions to purchase an earplug so that I can listen to the audio version . . . when I'm walking the the treadmill!

Why am I writing this article, you ask?

Why am I writing about the Kindle in our networking blog? Well two reasons, (1) I love my Kindle, and (2) this is an example of Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM).

We as a women's network should strive to create good "WOMM" for each other. Given the opportunity to learn about someone elses business from someone who has experienced with the business owner, their products or services is the most relevant data that we can acquire before making a decision to invest our time or money. In 2010, I would like to find as many ways as we can to provide good "Word-of-Mouth" advertising for not only our members, but others within our community. I will post a forum discussion to allow us to add our Marketing and Advertising ideas. If you search "Kindle" on the Internet, you will find this technique is working very well for Amazon. Add one more WOM to your list, Amazon!

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