It was a perfect storm: 1. I realized I could save well over $200 a year on seminary text books purchasing them on the kindle store. 2. I found $100 off deal when you subscribe to Audible 3. I made the decision to wait until the next revision to buy the iPad. It culminated in the purchase of a kindle. The first question I had was, how do I get news and free books onto it without having to manually copy and paste, and transcode into the Amazon format blah blah blah.
That is the problem for which Calibre is the solution. Calibre is an ebook management program that allows you to automate all the tedium of dealing with ebooks. After doing some basic setup, all you do is import files and then click the “send to device” button and voila! It appears on your reader.
But it does more than convert and upload ebooks; it will also manage fetching your favorite news and blogs. It comes preconfigured with a myriad of news sources in 25 languages complete with a place for login information if that service has a paywall. Once you select the news source, you tell Calibre how often you want it to be retrieved, and it will download the news and automatically send it after it is obtained.
Want to keep up with your favorite blogs that are not listed already in Calibre? No problem! Just click on the triangle next to the “fetch news” icon and you can choose to add a custom news source (think rss) and it will then appear in your list.
The only problem I could find is that the user interface is not totally transparent. For example, you should be able to click and hold the icons that have the dropdown options. Add to that several other oddly located things and you see where the future improvements will need to be focused.
That being said, it is the best implementation I could find of these features. And it’s free!