Author Stephen King announced today that he is releasing a novella, “Ur,” which will only be available on Amazon’s Kindle. At the center of Ur is lovelorn college English instructor Wesley Smith, who can’t seem to get his ex-girlfriend’s parting shot out of his head: “Why can’t you just read off the computer like the rest of us?” Egged on by her question and piqued by a student’s suggestion, Wesley places an order for a Kindle. Smith’s Kindle arrives in a box stamped with the smile logo and unlocks a literary world that even the most avid of book lovers could never imagine. But once the door is open, there are those things that one hopes we’ll never read or live through. Ur is available for pre-order beginning today and will be released later this month. For Kindle customers who pre-order, King’s new novella will download automatically when it becomes available.
2 thoughts on “Stephen King’s UR, Exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle”
Steven King uses a pink e-book reader?
I first heard about the Amazon Kindle from my mother. She had considered buying it for me as a Christmas present, but then decided against it. When she mentioned the device, I was intrigued and got on the computer to find out exactly what a Kindle is–I had heard mention of it on occasion, but never really knew what it was. After a little thinking and a lot of saving, I went ahead and got myself a brand new Kindle2, coupled with a leather M-Edge Platform Jacket.
When my Kindle arrived in the mail, I carefully opened the package, looked over the device, and found my first moment of confusion regarding the Kindle. All I saw in the box was the Kindle, the owner’s manual, and a plug. I thought there was a USB cable included. How was I supposed to connect to my computer?! Roughly 36 hours later (I promise that I didn’t spend all 36 hours staring at the cable.), I realized: The plug IS the USB cable! You just remove the wall adapter from the cord and voila– you have a computer USB cable. Since I tend to lose cords if I have too many of them, I really appreciate this feature. I can leave the wall adapter in the wall and only remove the USB cable when I need to connect to my laptop. How awesome is that?
The device itself is really neat. The Kindle2 is really, really lightweight. I prefer it to be slightly heavier to keep the feel of an actual book, so I keep my Kindle in the Platform Jacket while I read. However, it is easy to see that the lightness of this device could be a huge asset to the elderly and physically disabled. Aside from the keyboard, whose buttons are very small, the buttons are clear to see and easy to press. There are “Next Page” buttons on either side of the Kindle, accommodating people of either handedness. I’ve also found the buttons on either side great for reading in bed–If you lie on your side, you don’t have to scrunch your arm in an uncomfortable position just to turn the page. Pertaining to the keyboard, however, unless a person is an avid texter, it will take a while to get used to typing on the Kindle. The upside to becoming experienced with the keyboard is astronomical, though: With the keyboard, you can type notes onto a page (you can also highlight). These notes and highlights are then saved to your “My Clippings” folder, which you can then access for use on your Kindle or computer via the USB connection. As a college student, I’m really excited to use this feature for essays.
The screen is fabulous. I was surprised at how much like the page of a book the display is. Reading on a computer is straining on a person’s eyes, but the Kindle screen is simply amazing. If small text overwhelms you or your eyes can`t take the strain of reading something small, you can change the font size anywhere from a small font (dictionary-sized font) to a huge font (early childhood book sized font).
The “Home” screen shows a list of your books, which you can arrange alphabetically or by how recently each book was accessed. Under each book is its title, the name of the author, the length of the book (in a line of dots), and your progress (shown by the dots bolded in). If you press the joystick to the right on a specific book, you can see details and options regarding that book in detail.
If you click on a book with your joystick, you will be brought to the most recently read page of that book (the beginning if you haven’t yet started it). On the screen, you will see the title of the book in the top left, the battery power and connectivity in the top right, your progress in the bottom, and the book in the middle. The progress bar is really cool. Not only does this bar show you what “location” you are at (more on that in a moment), but it shows you the percent of the book read and the length of each chapter. I’m a habitual progress-checker. I don’t know why, but I always need to see how far I am in a book. It’s great that the Kindle doesn’t rob you of the ability to “look at the spine” to see how far you have gotten.
Oh, locations! Locations are kind of difficult to conceptualize at first, but it`s easy enough to understand why they have been implemented. Basically, they take the place of pages. Unlike pages, though, locations are much smaller. I have my Kindle set on the smallest font, so each page shows me roughly ten “locations”. In my current book, I’m on locations 4865-4874, so about page 487. If I were to decide to switch to another size font, the Kindle would keep me on the page starting with location 4865 (where I am reading) instead of taking me back to what would be page 487 with a modified font (where I was reading several days ago). Because of locations, I never have to worry about accidentally losing my place.
Another feature I really love is the “Archived Items” folder. Amazon stores every e-book you purchase from them online. If you decide to clean up your Kindle (I know I hate clutter on my electronics), but then want to read something again later, you can turn on your free wireless internet, open your “Archived Items” folder, and re-download any e-book that you bought off of Amazon.com–straight from your Kindle!
One thing of great concern for people my age (college students) is whether or not they can download their textbooks onto their Kindle. Since the Kindle supports diagrams and pictures, textbooks are becoming more and more readily available for the Kindle. However, they are not all available. I have about half of my books for next semester downloaded. When it comes to the others, though, I personally keep getting on public computers with different IP addresses and clicking the “I’d like to read this book on Kindle” link, but it isn’t a guarantee that I or anyone else will get every book on Kindle. Your best bet for textbooks is to keep requesting a Kindle-book version, cross your fingers, and buy a hard copy if it gets too close to the beginning of a semester.
So, I’ve explained a lot of great features. The most common nay saying that I hear about the Kindle is “It’s too expensive!” While I admit that the Kindle2 was pretty costly, I would still buy it if the decision were presented to me again. After reading about some of the features that I like the most, you can make that decision for yourself as well.