Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lonnie and her Kindle

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lonnie Cruse now resides in Metropolis,Illinois, home of Superman. She writes the Kitty Bloodworth, ’57 Chevy mystery series and the Metropolis mystery series. Lonnie is a member of MWA and the Antique Automobile Club of America, and its Southern Illinois Ohio Valley Chapter. Lonnie teaches writing workshops and speaks to writers/readers groups.
Her website is:

My Kindle2, mine, mine, mine . . . back away and no one will get hurt By Lonnie Cruse, mystery author and reader

I received my new Kindle2 on February 27th, one month and twenty-seven looong days after I ordered it. And in case you are sniffling and telling yourself I must be rich because I can afford a Kindle2 and you can't . . . I couldn't afford it either. But I asked for and received Amazon gift certificates for my birthday, Christmas, and Valentine's Day. And any other days in between that I could think of.

Since Amazon was launching Kindle2 to replace the original model, instead of the three week usual wait, myself and several other anxious buyers waited nearly two months, and blogged to each other on Amazon, and sobbed on each other's shoulders, and twiddled our thumbs, and surfed through the list of Kindle books, and gritted our collective teeth, and waited some more. At last, the units began arriving. Some new owners were thrilled, a few were not. Count me among the thrilled.

I plugged the unit in to charge it (holds a charge up to two weeks!) and began surfing Amazon again for books. I'd already chosen July Hyzy's HAIL TO THE CHEF (about $7.) so I downloaded it first thing. And the English Standard Version of the Bible, which was FREE. There are several free Kindle books and books under a buck. Then I downloaded several first chapters of books that looked interesting, so I could read and decide if I wanted to pay for more. I wound up with a Lillian Stewart Carl short story, SARDINES FOR LUNCH, (under a buck) which I loved, and Dashiell Hammett's ARSON PLUS for $.80. I've downloaded several other first chapters and am busily wading through them.

I confess, I accidentally bought a book I didn't intend to, but Amazon always asks if you are sure you want to buy or if you bought by mistake. I decided to confirm and downloaded the book, and I think I'll enjoy it.

The new Kindle2 does NOT come with a cover, like the old model did, but prompted by the advice of other first generation owners, I got the $29 leather cover (also a gift) to keep the Kindle2 safe from damage.

The Kindle2 is easy to navigate, easy and fast to download books, and from the other posts I've read on Amazon, customer service is easy to work with if the owner encounters problems. There is no back light to read in the dark, but my hubby can't abide a light inside the car at night when he's driving, so I'm fine with that. You CAN buy a small light that attaches, if your hubby can take it.

I like that I can make the print as large as necessary. I don't like the "quick blink" when the page turns, but I'll get used to it. I love being able to buy a book no matter where I am in the U.S. without a computer and without visiting a store or waiting for something to ship to me. I'd like to see more mysteries in Kindle format, but the list grows daily, and if you click "I'd like to read this book on Kindle," publishers are fairly responsive to the suggestion.

Kindle2 holds around 1500 books (try carrying that many in a tote bag at the same time!) weighs less than a pound, and is easy to operate. Yes, it's expensive, but I bought it because at the end of each year I usually have a tote bag FULL of books I either read and didn't want to keep (my bookshelves are sagging as I type) or didn't finish reading. I generally give these away or donate them somewhere. And I think of the trees that went into creating these books. With the Kindle2, I can read a book and either keep it or delete it. Yes, someday the units themselves *could* wind up in a landfill, but I believe conscienscous owners will find a correct way to dispose of them, just like we now have the opportunity to properly dispose of old batteries, tires, and cell phones.

I love being able to carry multiple books in my purse or to bed, so I can choose what to read, depending on my mood. Let's face it, I just plain love it.

Oh, and did I mention that one of MY mysteries is available on Kindle? MURDER IN METROPOLIS.
Less than five bucks. I'm just saying . . .

Postscript, a week or so after the Kindle arrived:

One of the things I liked right away about the Kindle was being able to download sample chapters to see if I think I'll like a book. Recently I downloaded a sample of CREPES OF WRATH by Tamar Myers and nine or ten other samples. I usually read several chapter of a book before going to sleep each night, but that night I decided to read the samples instead of chapters from the book I was involved in. The Myers chapter quickly had me biting my lip to keep from chuckling out loud and waking Hubby. I wanted that book right then and there, but the nearest book store is in Paducah, KY, twenty minutes away, across the river, and it was closed. No problem, I clicked on my Kindle to turn on the wireless Internet connection and ordered the book directly from Amazon. They charged it to my account and downloaded it to my Kindle in minutes, without being connected to the computer.

What I felt for this gizmo thingy before was merely puppy love. Now I was fully enamoured with this gadget! Imagine, buying a book while sitting in bed, just before midnight! Doesn't get ANY better than that. And I'm still chuckling over the book. Now, sigh, I gotta find the rest of the series either on Kindle or in paperback, if it isn't on Kindle. Life is tough. Particularly at midnight.


Meredith Cole said...

The Kindle sounds terrific! I love the idea of instant gratification (reading a teaser and then getting to download the book right away--no matter what the time). I may have to start saving up for one, too.

My grandmother had glaucoma, and I think she would have loved to live to see this gadget. She hated to give up her reading habit, and found that not everything she wanted to read was available in audio book form.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Meredith, I neglected to mentione it but I made the text quite a bit larger on my Kindle2 and I can actually read without my reading glasses. Another perk! Thanks for stopping by, Lonnie

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

You know I'm with you on all of this, Lonnie. My love has grown to adoration. It simply MUST be by my side when I go to bed at night or I just can't, ummmm, rest in peace, as it were. I love being able to read bits of so many things, page through the latest Ellery Queen Mystery magazine, and look up words at the press of a thumb.

caryn said...

Well, it will be awhile before I can spring for a kindle, but I'm enjoying listening to everyone's experiences. I'm still not sure how I would feel about not having the actual book to hold, and at cons, you can't have an author sign a kindle edition. Hmmm. But if I have a chance int he future, I'm pretty sure I could adjust.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lonnie:

I'm following your Kindle adventures with great interest.

I just finished FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN and sent a review to DorothyL (with a copy to you). Also posted it on Amazon.

I'll send you a couple of photos but just have to tell you now -- last night my sister and I had burgers and fries at Sid's Diner here in Yukon, OK. The owner, who's an Elvis impersonator, performed, and had a gorgeous yellow 1958 Caddy parked out front.

But best of all -- I finally got a photo of the Superman poster he has affixed to the restroom door inside. It's a hoot!

Good luck with the new series --

Pat Browning

Lonnie Cruse said...

Pat that is hilarious about the restaurant and thanks for your wonderful review of my book.

Hi to Pattie and Caryn, thanks for stopping by. Caryn, you gotta save your pennies for this baby.

Oh, and I mentioned in the post that the "page changing" bothered me, but now I don't even notice it. I'm too into the reading.

Kenette said...

My name is Kenette ... and I'm a Kindle addict! No cures wanted, but husband suggested slowing down a bit on the spending.

I'd had the Kindle2 only 3 days and already I had bought 16 books. And already read two of them. (All mysteries, of course.) Now, less than a month after receipt, I've got 53 mysteries on it!

Lonnie, I've already read (and enjoyed) the Metropolis series. Maybe you can encourage your publisher to get 57 Heaven for us Kindle fans.

Suzanne Adair said...

Lonnie, thanks for the terrific feedback on the Kindle. You love to shop, :-) so I'm curious how Kindle impacts your pure sensory enjoyment of the shopping experience. For many readers, touch, smell, and sight play big into a book purchase. I'm sure publishers consider that factor when they decide whether to provide a Kindle version of books.

Suzanne Adair

Lonnie Cruse said...


Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure about '57 arriving on the Kindle book list but I'd love it. You might click the link that says "I'd like to read this on Kindle" and it might get them moving. I'm so glad you like my books!

Lonnie Cruse said...


Well, to be honest, I love nothing better than browsing through a book shop, handling the books, trying to decide what to buy. The smells, the feel, ahhhh.

BUT I cleaned out my closet this week (after the hot water heater died and the only access was through said closet) and I wound up with TWO HUGE bags of books to give away. That's too many.

So I'm really working on only buying books from authors I've already read and know I'll want to keep and getting books from authors I don't know on Kindle first. That way I can read a sample and decide to buy or not. And IF I don't like a book, I can delete it. It remains in my account on Amazon, should I change my mind.

Much as I love the feel of books, I've gotta cut back for the sake of my closet and my bank account.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lonnie Cruse said...

PS to Suzanne, more books show up on Kindle every day, so I think more publishers will get on the bandwagon pretty soon.

Suzanne Adair said...

Hi again Lonnie,

You said, "I'm really working on only buying books from authors I've already read and know I'll want to keep and getting books from authors I don't know on Kindle first. That way I can read a sample and decide to buy or not. And IF I don't like a book, I can delete it. It remains in my account on Amazon, should I change my mind."

Verrrry interesting. Kindle has facilitated a change in how you purchase a product, and you've adapted your shopping experience accordingly.

Some authors post the first chapters of their books on their web sites. But Kindle makes fetching such a reading sample easy for you because you aren't hopping around different web sites.

Also, Kindle removes some of your risks of purchasing what may turn out to be a less-than-satisfying read. And you still have the option of purchasing the physical product and partaking of the feels and smells you enjoy.

The value of first chapters as a marketing tool will significantly increase.

Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne Adair

Chester Campbell said...

Interesting stuff, Lonnie. Do I remember your saying you didn't have one of my Greg McKenzie mysteries? They'll all available for the Big K. I need to get the new book uploaded, too. Don't know if I'll be getting a Kindle, but you sure make it sound great.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Chester, I do NOT have your newest book on Kindle yet, but it's on my list to get. Thanks for stopping by. You and Sarah might enjoy sharing a Kindle.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Kindles are the new thing - I wish I had one. If I traveled a lot, I know I would splurge and get one. Sure beats carrying around a lot of heavy books. On the other hand, I am addicted to books and like how they look and feel.

Kent Lucas said...

I see that Pat Browning left a comment here about the Kindle, but being the humble, self-effacing author she is, she forgot to mention her OWN book, "Absinthe Of Malice," is also a Kindle title. By the way, if any of you happen to read Pat's book on Kindle please drop me a quick email and let me know how it looks! Unfortunately, for publishers Amazon doesn't yet have a way for us to look at our Kindle uploads exactly as they will appear on a Kindle screen. Unless of course we buy our own Kindle.

elysabeth said...

Interesting post. I'll have to check out the Kindle at a future date (hopefully when I'm traveling to every state with my children's series and can afford it and would need reading material when I travel). I usually don't buy books and so don't have many books around (the ones I do are from being a book reviewer a few years ago and the few that are gifts or that I have purchased). I look forward to hearing more and more about the Kindle2 - thanks for sharing - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series

STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of 50 now available.
STATE OF QUARRIES, book 2 of 50 coming spring 2009
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, book 3 of 50 coming 2009
STATE OF HEIGHTS, book 4 of 50 coming 2009

WHERE WILL THE ADVENTURE TAKE YOU NEXT? (series newsletter forum)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I definitely should have a Kindle, my books have been e-published for years. I had an old Rocket E-book, but when I switched computers couldn't get it to work right. Had two other e-readers after that, both had to be hooked up to the computer to download books and battery life was short.

I'm saving up.

And thanks for the plug about reading Deadly Omen on the Kindle.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

Glenda Council Beall said...

I saw my first kindle last week when a student of mine gave me a tour of all its possibilities. I was amazed and I, too, loved the enlarged print.
Just as another reader said, I can't resist buying books. My house runneth over with books! I'm have a huge garage sale Saturday to get some books off my shelf -- so I can buy new books.
Kindle would help me unclutter and I understand the newest one will allow me to read magazine articles without having to buy the magazine which I also horde.
I've asked for one as a gift for anniversary or birthday.
Thanks, Lonnie, for sharing your enthusiasm.