Saturday, June 27, 2015

Knitting and listening

 Recently, every time I go on Amazon through my Kindle, they've been trying to sell me Kindle Unlimited. I've mostly ignored it, but finally opted in for a free month's trial. What it is, is a $9.99 monthly fee to download and read any of the books in the Kindle Unlimited catalog, so for the price of one book, I can download and read multiple books. The fact that I won't "own" them is fairly irrelevant to me in the digital format. When I care a lot about a book, I'll buy a physical copy.

I'd been trying out some Georgette Heyer mysteries. I've read her romances since I was about 12, but never even looked at her mysteries. They're not as good, but they're not bad. I like them just because I like that older English vibe--country houses, servants, people who change their clothes for dinner, and so on. So I had read a couple of the "Inspector Hemingway" books, and the next one I wanted to read, Duplicate Death, cost $9.99 as a Kindle book, same as the $9.99 monthly charge (which I won't pay till next month anyway). Then when I downloaded it, I was also offered the audible version. I have sometimes been tempted by those with other books, but never got it because it added another several dollars to the price. I tend to buy and read Kindle books at the rate of one every few days. I buy Kindle books that I might not buy in a paper copy, just for something to read. Sometimes they're cheap, but often they're $9 - $10 or more.

So anyway, I got both the screen and recorded versions. When the recorded voice was reading, the screen version would highlight the text as the voice progressed through the book, so I could follow along if I wanted to. If I left the screen untouched long enough, it would go into sleep mode and go black, but the voice would keep reading. If I turned the voice off and read from the screen myself (as during my lunch in the break room at work), the next time I wanted to listen, it started from where I stopped reading (not from where I stopped listening).

It was entertaining because the reader had an English accent, so it helped give that Anglophile emphasis that I like. She varied her diction for the characters, so they each had a recognizable "voice." One policeman in the story was a Scot, so she did the Scottish accent.

I also had been reading lately about Jane Austen's family and her society in general, when one person might read aloud while the ladies, in particular, did their "work"--i.e. needle work of some kind. So as the novel progressed, I allowed the Kindle to read it to me while I knitted. So that was fun. I'll probably keep it up. And who knows how much knitting I'll get done.

Pros: Multiple books for the price of 1 book per month. Cons: You don't, technically, own the book--if you unsubscribe, the books you downloaded will be removed from your device. And only the book in the Kindle Unlimited catalog qualify, not every book on Amazon; however, there are more than 800,000 books in the catalog.

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