Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kindle Review

I recently dropped close to 350.00 dollars on a Kindle. (The Kindle was actually 299 bucks, but the cover was 29.99.) I am an English teacher/ technology geek, so the idea of having 300,000 books at my finger tips that I could download in less than a minute gave me a rush. Seriously, the day it was set to arrive, I was at work day all dreaming about all the things I would do with my new electronic book.
And I know the question that you’re asking is was it worth it?

The answer is a resounding YES and NO. (Note: This article is divided into two sections “Was it worth it? Yes“Was it worth it No.)

Was it worth it? YES

There is a Large Selection of “Books”
They have over 300,000 books, and they are constantly adding to the list. Most of books that I could dream up, they have.

You can download books anytime, anywhere in a minute or less.
Lately, I’ve had a problem of getting all excited about purchasing a new book (and yes, I do get excited about books) only to go to the book store and find out that they don’t have it in stock. Of course, the kind sales person will be happy to order if for you, but “I WANT THE BOOK RIGHT NOW!” I don’t want to wait 3-5 days for the book to be delivered.

It’s almost as if you are reading a real book—I promise.
The pages are so realistic looking: when I first got the Kindle, there was a “Welcome to Kindle Page” on the screen, and I thought it was an actual piece of paper. I was trying to pull the darn thing off, it was HILLARIOUS (okay, I guess, maybe you had to be there….)

There is a built in dictionary.
If I’m reading, and I come across a word like lugubrious (Well, actually I already know what that word means, but let’s pretend that I don’t) Anyway, the point is when you find a word you don’t know, all you have to do is click a button, and the definition of the word shows up at the bottom of the page.

It saves space.
Lately, I’ve started to declutter my life, and it has made me kind of happy actually. (But that’s a whole different story, for a whole different blog) Anyway, I DON’T LIKE JUNK ANYMORE, and this fits my apartment lifestyle. You can store up to 1500 books on the Kindle at a time. (That’s a lot of books.) If you have more than 1500 books (Let’s say you happen to be a library or something.), well you can still have them stored on your account page, but they won’t be on your actual Kindle.

Was it worth it? No

Most of the books are 9.99 or less. But in this day and age, Umm hello Mr. Kindle maker, that’s not such a great deal. You can buy books online for like four bucks (and that’s including shipping and handling.)

Wikipedia Function
I was SUPER excited when I found out that you could access Wikipedia on the Kindle. (Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I look up random stuff on Wikipedia like Dolphins and Giraffes for fun.) However, the darn thing is so slow, and the screen is so small. I’m like, I’ll just look it up on one of my computers later (yes I have three computers, don’t judge me!)

You don’t get the bookstore experience
I always had this idea that I’d meet my future husband in Barnes and Noble—maybe in the computer section. But now, I just don’t go to the bookstore as much. There is something to say about browsing through the bookstore looking for a good book. But it’s also exhilarating to download a book in a minute. OH, SWEET AGONY, I’m soooo torn!

You have to pay extra for the book cover—29.99
I must say, Mr. Kindle maker, that was sneaky. You kind of have to buy the Kindle cover. I mean who’s going to pay three hundred bucks for a Kindle and then leave it uncovered??? Why, Why, Why couldn’t it just have been included in the price?

The bottom line is…
I am glad I bought the Kindle. I had a few extra bucks, so I decided to treat myself. If you are buying it because you think it will save you money on book purchases, I say no, don’t buy it. If you are buying it because you love the idea of having all of those books at your finger tips AND you have some extra money, then I say go for it. Happy Kindling!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do You Want Fries with That? (Short Story)

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I just added a high interest short story on my worksheets page. It's about a teenager who is forced to work side-by-side at a fast food restaurant with her father, after he loses his job.

It also has questions at the end of the story.

My students liked this story, and hope yours do too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Free Worksheets

Free Worksheets

I just compiled a number of worksheets that I've created over the years. I hope that they are useful to you.