I like books more than the average bear. At any given time, I have several books in progress…one or two on the coffee table, one on my bedside table, one in my meditation space, and an audiobook on the iPod that I can play in the car or while I’m on the exercycle. I get books online, in local indie bookstores, in chain bookstores, at the library and from friends. I volunteer time to the Friends of the Brown County library booksale so I can get some free books — and I still spend an average of $20 a sale (which is a lot of books). Most precious is my bookcase full of signed first editions, most of them collected in person with wonderful stories that go with them.
You’d think that someone who loves the touch, feel and smell of books would resist modern reading technologies, but I have lusted after the Kindle from the moment it came out. It took a long time to justify spending the money, though. I downloaded the free Kindle app on my iTouch, and found it to be perfectly satisfactory until I had the chance to handle a real Kindle (Jeff Harkins – I blame YOU).
My Kindle was under the tree last Christmas, and it has rarely been out of my sight or hands since. I have found it to be an extraordinary device for traveling in particular, but I use it every day no matter where I am.
There are some problems with the Kindle. One major drawback is that if you read a book on Kindle, you can’t share it with anyone (at least, anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle, and even then the process is pretty clunky). Another problem is that if you want to get an autographed copy of a book, you have to buy the real thing.
Or at least I thought you did. But booklovers have come up with a wonderful way to have their Kindle and autographs too. According to this New York Times article, after noticing booklovers asking authors to sign their Kindles and iPads, T.J. Waters came up with a program called Autography, which allows users to snap a photo of themselves with an author using an iPad or external camera, which is transferred to the author’s iPad where a special stylus is used to sign the photograph. The photograph can then be incorporated into an e-book, and (bonus!) shared on Facebook and other social networking sites.
Why am I writing about Kindle in a blog about arts organizations? Because I think that no exciting territory should go unexplored when it comes to delivering the arts. Kindle content can easily be made available to arts supporters and audiences in a variety of ways:
- We can create PDF brochures, study guides, program notes and artist bios which can be downloaded and transferred to the Kindle
- We can publish our blogs to Amazon (which I have now done, and it took about 15 minutes to set up)
- We can offer e-books through our website related to our programming
I know there’s more…what have you done?