Amazon Kindle is a great reading device—for the past two years it did wonders for me as it did for other book lovers and writers, judging by the Kindle reviews I’ve read.  But I’d like to talk about  the Text-to-Speech feature of Kindle, a software that reads your Kindle books aloud. The Text-to-Speech displays and automatically turns the book pages being red.

I’m still amazed at how close this is to a real person reading. It pauses at commas and periods and it almost reads with natural intonation. Yes, it’s not perfect, but the fact that it’s not a real person reading helps me focus on the content. The Text-to-Speech  is superior to Audio books, at least from the perspective of someone who reads to become a better reader and writer. With Text-to-Speech you can follow the text, sentence, and paragraph structures of books.

How My Time Spent in Traffic Turned to Quality-Reading Time

Using my Kindle’s Text-to-Speech, I was able to turn my commutes in my car from frustrating experiences to much needed, quality reading-time. I spend 70-90 minutes commuting a day most of it stuck in traffic jams on Los Angeles freeways,  and I’m not fond of the idea to listen to commercial-stuffed, brain-washing radio programs. In the past year I read and listened to more than 30 titles including two long novels: War and Piece and the Count of Monte Cristo, and most of this happened in my car. The best part is that the slower the traffic, the better. In traffic jams, I look at text while it’s being read. As for road safety, I’m getting away with it because I never tailgate and leave a lot of space between my car and the one in front.

Here’s how I prepare for listening/reading in my car. First, I place my Kindle on the dashboard tray of my car. I use only one earplug—the one for the right ear. I follow the text and turning pages only in slow stop-and-go traffic, leaving plenty of space in front of me.

Every professional writer will tell you that without a fair amount of reading, no fair amount of writing can be done. Thanks to Kindle the reading is fun and easy. So far I’ve owned three generations of Kindle devices.

Video: Reading and Listening to Kindle Books While Driving My Car

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