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We at Vellum Publishing, Inc. are pretty happy with Amazon’s tablet and e-reader combo, the Kindle Fire. The operating system is intuitive and smooth and the web ability is a plus, making the device more than just the buying machine its critics claim it is. But we buy lots more than books from Amazon all during the year anyway, so to each his/her own! Of course, we’d love to have a phone, a camera, a microphone, more memory and text-to-speech , but understand that at $199 it’s not an iPod at $200-600 more. So, we’re happy. Besides, with the Cloud, and Amazon Prime at $79 a year, the 12 free books and free product shipping make the Fire a sweeter deal. This is especially obvious with the startlingly brilliant color and fine resolution evident when using the available apps, playing games or reading our favorite magazines.

On Vellum’s shelf, two books are especially suited for the Fire: The Tooth Fairy Legend: The Touch of Kindness (a delightful color-illustrated children’s chapter book) and Changing Tides (a graphic memoir of debauchery and deceit in the Caribbean, which is loaded with color photos). They shine on the Fire.


Well, here we are, living in the technological present that makes everyone’s daily life fodder for the social networks. We may not be as important as we think we are, but books surely are. We need them for knowledge, entertainment, idea exchange and a lot more than we are really aware of. Whether it’s a bound book or a Kindle in your hand, reading imparts a special satisfaction doesn’t it?

But there’s a delivery medium issue that most of us intellectual content consumers may be ignoring. Digital publishing has presented both opportunities and drawbacks that must be realized, considered and dealt with. Now, it seems, everyone can be an author and self-publish. That’s great. It even fosters our right of free speech! However, it increases the reader’s choices to a mind-boggling degree, shakes up the established book industry and maybe even disrupts the economy. Changes never come easily and often they create problems that temper the positive impact of their improvements.


For those unfortunate souls who still haven’t taken the “Kindle Plunge” to purchase and experience the best e-readers on the market today, Vellum Publishing, Inc. wants to remind you that all is not lost because Amazon has even made Kindle books available to you. That’s right. Don’t forget that you can always download a FREE KINDLE APP that will allow you to use your Amazon account to purchase the same digital books for many of your favorite devices that are available for Kindle owners.

In fact, you’ll be amazed how pleasant it is to read books on your mobile phone using the Kindle app. Yes, in spite of the smaller cell phone screen, the print is clear and easy to read, and during those times when you’re waiting for an appointment, riding on public transportation, or just have time on your hands, it’s nice to be able to use your phone’s Kindle app to catch up on your reading. And then, if you have an e-reader or tablet, the Kindle app will instantly sync to the place where you stopped reading on another device. What could be better or more convenient than to be able to read whatever, wherever and whenever you want? The Kindle app makes that possible.


Ah, September! Summer’s coming to an end. Classes are beginning again. Maybe it’s time we ALL went back to school, started thinking about education from a new perspective, and got ready to make some radical changes for improvement along the way.
From our vantage point at Vellum Publishing, Inc., that means, “How can digital books and Kindles play a significant role in the teaching/learning process?”
The answer leads to our Vellum Fantasy for the new millennium: no more bookbags or backpacks in schools. This, of course, is predicated upon the wild supposition that textbook publishers, Amazon, and the educational community could all agree to forge a Utopian academic future -- one that already has inroads in colleges, but has not had a chance in tax-funded public education. This possibility presents many questions. How would the lives of students and teachers change? How would educational institutions be affected? What would have to happen to make the Complete-Curriculum-Collection-in-your-Kindle days a reality?

1. PUBLISHERS: the digitizing of literature and recent texts for sale at the lowest possible prices.