Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Monday, October 3, 2011

In which my day is ruined, and then decidedly un-ruined

I have a meandering and slightly bookish story for you. It begins with my friend and fellow book club member Renae, who gave me a card from Starbucks which promised a free download of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have been bombarded by this book (and its beautiful cover!) everywhere I look, so of course I'm curious about it, and hey, free? That's my thing.

So I spent part of Saturday in trying to figure out how to download this book and transfer it to my Kindle so I could (eventually) read it, only to find that, apparently, that won't be possible. If I would join the new decade and buy something from Apple that I could use to read books, I'd be good to go. But for now I'm stuck with a flip phone that thinks I should be impressed because it can take pictures, and I don't see an iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch in my near future. And I gathered that the free download wasn't the entire book anyway--it was just an "extended sample." Not so interested.

MEANWHILE, in the midst of discovering that I won't be able to read The Night Circus (even just part of it) for free after all, I ever-so-gracefully knocked my Kindle off the desk. I keep my Kindle in a great case, but the great case was flapped open, which is a not-so-protective state for it to be in. As it fell, of course my poor Kindle struck the edge of the PC tower, and of course the screen was the part of the Kindle that hit first, and of course this made a weird mark in the (normally amazing and magical) E Ink. And then I found my Kindle was in a coma from which I could not wake it, no matter how many times I tried to slide and release the power switch. I even tried the hold-twenty-seconds-to-reset thing . . . nothing. Just John Steinbeck looking at me accusingly, throat slashed, as if to ask, "What have you done to me?"

Oh dear. What a day. And what now? I mean, other than throwing my former Kindle and current useless trash against the wall? Do I spring for a new Kindle? (At least I timed it well, as the Kindle Touch has just been released.) Or do I do the budget-conscious thing and live a Kindle-less existence, no matter how grudgingly? I must admit I don't use my Kindle that often. Maybe it's just an old habit, but I nearly always reach for a paper book before the Kindle even crosses my mind. But I still have tons of books on my Kindle that I haven't yet read!

Before I gave up on my injured Kindle completely, I had to at least try to google my situation to see if anything could be done. After a bit of research, I came across a forum that recommended calling Amazon to see about a replacement. I'd already noted that their 1-year warranty only covers defects, not damages, so I figured it was a lost cause. Plus, I couldn't remember when I got the thing, but I feared it might have been more than a year ago. But, having nothing to lose, I called anyway.

Lo and behold, I came in just under the wire for the warranty (I'd gotten my Kindle last October 4th!) AND the nice customer service man told me he would send me a replacement! I didn't even have to beg! Amazon saves the day. My replacement Kindle should arrive Wednesday. Kathy is happy.

What have I learned?

  1. The Starbucks free book downloads are only extended samples.
  2. Those samples are DRM-locked .epub files which can't be read on your Kindle. (OR, if they can, tell me how!!)
  3. Don't drop your Kindle face-down on the hard and unyielding edge of a PC tower. (BUT, if you do, call Amazon and tell them your story! As my friend BR says, Amazon has amazing customer service. Use it. Only, don't tell them I sent you, as I'm not sure they would appreciate it.)
  4. Happiness is often merely a matter of perspective.


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

That's a perfect way to round out the day - glad it all worked out! I have a Nook Color that I got for Christmas last year and I couldn't live without it when I travel for business. Imagine carrying the 700-page The Passage by Justin Cronin through an airport? Nah, not for me. So for any of the big chunkster books, I download it to the Nook Color no matter what. Glad you're getting a replacement!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I'm so glad that your kindle was still under warranty! That was cutting it close. I also tend to grab paper over my kindle, but I'm trying to make more of an effort.

Ti said...

Being able to add Net Galley titles and library books to my Kindle has made me fall in love with it all over again. I am so glad yours was replaced.

Kathy said...

Natalie--e-readers are certainly more convenient than lugging around a bagful of real books! I'm glad it all worked out too. Amazon definitely made my day.

Melissa--I KNOW, I couldn't believe I was just 3 days shy of losing my warranty. Knowing my luck, I'm surprised this didn't happen three days AFTER my warranty expired. THAT would have sucked!!

Ti--what is this Net Galley of which you speak? Sounds like something I need to look into!!

Amanda said...

So you haven't read the book yet?? Good story, I bet you can play back the Kindle falling in slow motion in your mind!!

Kathy said...

Nope, Mandy, I never did read The Night Circus (nor even the excerpt). But my new mother-in-law got a copy just this past July and I'm looking forward to hearing what she thinks of it.