Amazon Kindle E-Readers fabulous  resource for anyone interested in local, social  family history, genealogy  and any special interest and a perfect compliment to paper…  It was a family gift and I was being scrutinised so I had to try…An avid reader, I am reading more than ever on screen and paper and here is why this has worked for me and my wide range of interests both fact and fiction…I was in a life long love affair with the printed word and this was a bit of an intrigue, a temptation and whilst part of me wanted to embrace the new technology, another part held back. This is my experience and conclusions…I wouldn’t want to be without my E Reader ideally ever again and I still love special books on paper:

  • Just two months down the line and I have been totally won over by this machine, I have never read so much both on the reader and in books.
  • Research Resource for Family, Local and Social Historians: Notes and references have never been better, I can read, make notes, capture citations and store and review the notes all on the Kindle. I can even share them with fellow history buffs on the major social networks. I can search across the text to find specific references, take highlight and make reference notes on text, little mental joggers, linked to the correct page paragraph, line and exact words. Bookmarks are there as well, simply brilliant.
  • Genealogical and History Books Blogs and Publications: you don’t get weighed down with the paper, you can switch reads easily, you can access all the best blogging material and find special interest books very easily. I have heard people argue about which one is best, but whatever you go with make sure it’s one where there is lots of content and it is easy to download and access or purchase. Amazon sure know how to make that work. From purchase the item is with  you and read to read in moments using their stunningly good Amazon’s Whispernet. (My techie colleague tells me that’s what makes the download so fast and easy over my wireless connection. If you have wireless do g et that version of the reader it makes it seamless from demand, search to obtain download and start reading,
  • The Guttenberg Project: (FREE E Books with no catches! ) Rare Books Library Collections and Archives Around the World too:  The Guttenberg is just one example but there are many free sources and easier access to some very rare texts I would never have been able to source otherwise.First stop for me was the British Library where I bought Mercator’s Atlas of Europe, the complete version for a mere £5.99, wow….
  • Bought books on the Reader I would never have bought in a bookshop: the classics, my first venture into reading Charles Dickens ever, why, because I was able to download his entire works for free, how brilliant is that? I have read different books that I would not necessarily have chosen, why, because they have been suggested to me by Amazon as they follow my reading interests.
  • Found obscure and specialist publications authored by informed specialists:  this self publishing platform provides a cost-effective way for specialists with small audiences to make available their knowledge expertise and insight on subjects where the paper costs of production would just not have made sense. That is a real bonus for me, with specific family local and social history interests. These publications are deeper than the websites but conveniently available and collated on my Kindle.
  • I have entered  book club forums, something I would never have done before, sharing thoughts with others who are interested in similar subjects.
  • What of the printed book? I confess I have bought more books than ever, probably because I am reading previews to amazing books I never knew existed, specialist map books spring to mind. I spend money on better quality books.
  • My reader and my printed library are are now both my trusted companions, I love them both equally and see them as complimentary and certainly not mutually exclusive…

Useful Links and Takaways:

  • Register Now for Intriguing Family History Updates: get free email updates, no catches, and a passion to explore learn and share the experience with like-minded souls intrigued about history…
  • IT For Historians:  this is a major IFH Theme for our Intriguing Resources blog, as whilst I am expanding my use of tech to fuel my passion f or the history, my colleagues have a stream of ideas knowledge tips and know-how to share with anyone who has an interest in history be it for your genealogical, local, social or special interest history project.
  • Ebook Reviews and some straight forward advice are available here, worth a browse if a Kindle or similar is a temptation.
  • Takeaway points :
    • Make sure you get Wireless connectivity and the Keyboard version, it is well worth the extra.
    • Amazon Fire – Yes there is a touch screen version in the pipeline and the reviews even from leaders in the field have been great, or so my tehc friends tell me…
    • Amazon and Content is an opportunity not a con, huge amount available at great prices
    • 3G maybe not so necessary, as if you download from home or hotel, you dont really need the 3g (cellular version.)  Depends probably on how much you are away from home on public transport etc…
    • Android Iphone and Blackberry: yes they are alternatives but they dont do the e-reader bit as well at the moment as a dedicated device. You can see the differences if you come along to our stand at WDYTYA.
    • Kindle has an apps so you read also in sync with your laptop:  handy when you want to do other stuff as well.
    • More forth coming articles to follow: in our blog throughout and beyond the show we will continue to post snippets of news and how to’s on tech as a resource for history projects so take a look and if you can do come and have a chat, all welcome…WDYTYA  @ London’s Olympia , it is the largest Fanily History Show there is!


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