Kindling it..! :D (The real Kindle post)

So this post has been a long time in the writing. But here I am, at last! I guess the title already tells you what I’m going to be writing about – My new-found love for Amazon’s Kindle.

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This post is going to sound a little bit like an advertorial, but rest assured that it is not. Even when I used to work at Amazon, in the Kindle department, I wasn’t a very big fan of e-readers per se. Although I liked the concept of e-readers, I personally remained a staunch reader of physical books – you know, the smell of paper, the feeling of turning pages and getting lost in them etc. I categorically stated that an e-reader, despite all the convenience, can never match the feeling of reading a physical book.

And I continued ordering books from Flipkart. And I continued reading them. But then there came a point where I had 2 shelves full of books, and some more stacked in my clothes cupboard, and no further space in my house to store them. And there also came a point where I was reading a book which was such an edge-of-the-seat page turner, that I never had the heart to stop reading it and go to work. I wanted to continue reading it while I was travelling to work, and during work (whenever I needed a mental break).

But let’s face it – books are heavy and cumbersome to carry, and lose to other more important stuff depending on the size of your bag. And as much as we’d like to read a million books, it is not really practical to keep borrowing your husband’s cupboard/shelf space to store your books. This is where e-readers win you over. 🙂

I know I’m a little late to join the e-reader bandwagon; but I was a little hesitant to try it out at first. However, once I created an Amazon account and started reading my first Kindle ebook, I was hooked! You don’t even have to burn a hole in your pocket in order to buy a Kindle. It comes as an app for most of the common devices we use, like PC, iPhone, iPad, Android phones etc. You can download the app free of cost, and start downloading and reading books right away.Alternatively, you can buy a Kindle device and carry that around too.

To know more about the free apps, please visit this page: http://www.amazon.in/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kinc_3?ie=UTF8&docId=1000659093

To know more about the devices, please visit this page: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00CTWCGWM/ref=topnav_storetab_kinc

I’ve been using the Kindle app on my Android phone, and it is delightful. For someone like me who recently started complaining that I no longer have time to read books, there are no further excuses. I can read anywhere, anytime and anything I want. If you suddenly hear about a book and want to read it, you don’t have to wait until the next time you go to Landmark, or the 3-5 delivery time of Flipkart. The whole process of finding the book on the Amazon Kindle Store and downloading it to your device/app takes only about a minute.

You can view the Kindle Store here: http://www.amazon.in/ebooks-kindle/b/ref=sa_menu_kbo3?ie=UTF8&node=1634753031

Of course, the only e-reader I’ve used so far is the Kindle, owing to my partiality as an ex-Amazon employee; however, a number of different e-reader devices and apps are available on the market, and you can take your pick! 🙂

Last, but not the least, e-books are much cheaper than physical books! 😀

The Cons: I’m not going to lie. In order to read a book, you really do need more than a 5-inch screen. Therefore, permanently reading on your smartphone is not the best idea. If you intend reading e-books in the long term, then go ahead and invest in a Kindle device, which has a much larger screen size, and replicates reading a physical book.

Also, reading on any device is not going to be good for the eyes in the long-term. For a sporadic reader who wants to read a good book once in a while, e-readers are fine. But if you keep reading books back-to-back like me, then ensure that you don’t strain your eyes too much. Adjust the settings of your e-reader so that it is optimal for the eyes, and get your eyes tested periodically too!

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I am a Kindle-beginner. I first wanted to test it by reading a few books on my smartphone, and then deciding whether it is worth buying a device. So far, I’m loving the whole Kindle experience, and I’m sure you will too! 🙂

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Kindling it… :)

When-did-blogging-become-such-hard-work

I’ve been trying to get out of this blogger’s block for a while now, and I’ve actually tried do that a million times in the past 7 years (with my 5 previous blogs combined). Oh wait.. I think the current one is my 5th.. or is it the 6th? :O Oh well.. it is a little hard to keep track.. but anyway.. as you can see, I haven’t been all that successful in getting past it. However, today as soon as I logged into WordPress, the first thing I noticed was this article on busting blogger’s block, and I found it enormously useful. 🙂

These lines in the post describe me as a blogger to the T – “The thing is, you almost never have nothing to say. What you actually have are a whole bunch of somethings to say — you just don’t think they’re funny/clever/engaging/profound/whatever enough.” Truer words have never been spoken! When we are idle and let the mind wander, a million “somethings” slip in and out of our stream of consciousness, and we idly think of some of them as “Oh I can blog about this!”. But then we become busy.. and life gets in the way, and that “something” is forgotten about. The next time we find a little time, log into WordPress, click on “New post” and stare at the blank screen, that “something” either doesn’t strike us at all, or suddenly strikes us as too feeble to blog about! 😦

It is here that the post’s tip to “list it out” comes in handy. I personally recommend using Microsoft’s “OneNote” (it comes default installed, like MS Word, Excel etc).This software basically helps you organise, by making lists, notes, tasks etc. The tasks have a tag called “topics to blog about”. So you can just key in any topic that suddenly strikes you, and tag it as a topic to blog about. Later when you stare at the blank screen, you can just open this list and start writing about one of them. Like how I tried to do here, and completely went off-topic! 😐

I wanted to write about reading e-books vs. physical books, and how Kindle is my favourite e-reader; but I got a little sidetracked (intended to write one line/paragraph about blogger’s block, but ended up writing a whole post!) Ah well.. the ink started flowing once I put pen to paper (figuratively), and that’s what matters right?! 🙂 Anyhow, for anyone wondering why the title doesn’t match the post, here is your reason. 😉

As a blogger, one of the biggest challenges that I’ve experienced is “the fear of what other people think”. When you write a post, you’re supposed to write from the heart.. whatever comes to your mind.. in your own style.. without having to conform to any expectations/standards set by others. It is my strong belief that when we write like that, we will tend to write more and better, as that is when we reach a dangerously awesome level of freedom. Trying to think of what other people will think when they read your post – whether they will see it as “cool, intellectual, interesting, good writing style” etc is in fact crippling to an alarming degree!

I am no expert on all this, but blogging (or rather, trying to blog, and kindling the interest in others to blog) has given me a certain amount of experience that I find that I myself haven’t been implementing! 😛 Anyway, better late than never!

I swear I’ll write the post on e-reading soon. Toodles! 🙂

 

When life throws you for a loop…

and puts you in a life-threatening situation (NOT kidding.. I mean I could have actually died!).. but you come out relatively unscathed.. then you know it is time for one of the many cliches in life, but one that you seldom acknowledge anyway!

Apologies for that extremely long sentence – but I am truly blessed! To be 25 and alive, to have a loving awesome husband, a supportive family and friends, limbs that function, the intellect and ability to be employed in one of the best companies in the world, to be financially independent.. and the list is endless! I’ve been blessed just to have come out of this life-threatening situation without going under a knife…

I guess there are a few things I don’t have.. but they just pale in comparison to the above list. Sometimes life gives you some such worst moments, but then that is also the time when you realize how truly lucky and blessed you are, compared to so many less fortunate people. And it is also these moments that give you that sense of purpose.. to treasure your life and live it optimally, and to help other people to the best of your ability.

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me – but today, I feel like a new person! And I’m grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to find that greater purpose in my life.

I know I’ve used a lot of big words in this post, and although I didn’t know how to make it sound less ingenuine, I truly am a changed person from today! 🙂