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Reading on the Kindle: Notes from a Beacon Press Staffer

Beacon is now selling several hundred books a month via Amazon's Kindle program--Man's Search For Meaning, Sowing Crisis, and Kindred are among our best-selling titles in the Kindle store. So far, we have one resident devotee of the elegant e-reader: Sales Assistant Sara Hatch. Beacon Broadside asked her a few questions about Kindle and what she's using it to read.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
At Beacon, I work with our marketing department on Sales, Ebooks, and help with updates to our website. I’m a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. I grew up in Connecticut and have lived in Boston, D.C., and London. I’ve written for several publications including Roll Call and the New London Day. I got my start in publishing at MIT Press. In my spare time, I read and watch movies and TV on my computer.

How long have you had a Kindle?
I’ve had it for about a week now.

Speaking as a consumer--and not as an employee of a publishing house--do you think that the $9.99 price for a new book is a good value?
A lot of the books I've bought aren’t $9.99, more like $5 or $6 dollars, which is a nice value. I think if it's a brand new hardcover and you can get it for $9.99, it's a steal. Books are so expensive, and they're my one extravagance, so it's nice to be able to spend $5 or $6 dollars on a book that would cost me $7 or more in a store. I can also carry several books around with me at once, which is good for me since I generally don't read just one book at a time.

What books do you have on your Kindle?
I have the collected works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen and sixteen Dickens novels. They have relatively cheap collections of several authors like that. It cost me about $7 total for all of those, a great deal. I also have two books by Charlaine Harris from the “Sookie Stackhouse” series (which is the basis for the HBO series “True Blood”) and a sample of a book by Kim Harrison, another fantasy writer. You can download a sample from any book on Kindle for free, which is a really nice feature.

Has using the Kindle made your bag lighter, or do you still carry a bunch of traditional books around?
I’m not sure if my bag will ever be light but I definitely don’t carry as many books any more.

Have your reading habits changed?
I don't think they've changed. I think it’s a lot easier to read on my morning commute since the Kindle is a lot less cumbersome. I have a 45 minute commute both ways so I can get a lot of reading down.

Do you have any Beacon Press books on your Kindle?
Not yet, but I hope to put some on at some point. I can email manuscripts straight to my Kindle—an awesome feature.