Kindle Fire HD, displaying the book cover of Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

I love to read and never thought that I would have a need for a Kindle or any other e-reader device. There’s nothing like the feel and smell of a real book. I like to look at the bookshelves and know that I completed most of those displayed. A few years ago, just for kicks, I added the Kindle to my wish list at Amazon.com. Then, for my birthday, I received an original no frills Kindle from my in-laws which I fell in love with. I couldn’t believe how nice it was not to have to lug around a number of books or try to hold a real heavy one above your head while lying on the sofa. With the Kindle being so lightweight, a book like The Cider House Rules by John Irving (which is 560 pages in the original hardcover version) I didn’t have to worry about injuring myself.

Another thing I like about the Kindle is that you can check out books from your local library. I usually log in to the library and put on hold the most recent books that I come across and want to read. The book that I just started is one that we saw on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It is Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr. Bill Dedman was on the show talking about this fascinating story. The conversation between the author and Jon really got my attention. Shortly after that show aired, I logged into my library account and looked to see if the e-version of the book was available and put it on hold.

I recently received a Kindle Fire HD from Mark’s sister Maria and her husband Wayne. This new Kindle is really a Cadillac version of what I previously had. My original Kindle did not light up, so if I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to read, I couldn’t without disturbing Mark. (He has the Kindle Paperwhite and has been reading about the history of cancer.) The Kindle Fire is more than an e-reader, it’s a tablet computer. I can get my email, surf the web, watch movies, access my calendar and play games! (I feel kind of embarrassed that I have been sucked into the Candy Crush addiction.)

When I received the email telling me that Empty Mansions was ready for me to download, I went to the library website and found that the version available was not in Kindle format, but an EPUB book, so I didn’t know how I was going to read it. Searching Google, I found a help page which directed me to theย free OverDrive Media Console app. Using that, I’m able to read the book, and it is so stinking cool to have the pictures all in color.

So far I am learning that the W.A. Clark family was one of the richest American families in history. This book tells the mysterious life of heiress Huguette Clark, the daughter of William Andrews Clark, who made his fortune from the copper mines of Montana and Arizona. I am not sure why this interests me so much. Most of my reading has been fiction. Maybe it’s time for me to start learning some history.

I know some people are purists and will never use an e-reader, and that’s fine. I still love books and will never give them up completely. I really enjoy spending time at the library and bookstores. I just feel that since I have entered the world of e-reading, I have been able to read more books than ever.

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