Hey neighbor!! I'm in a far western Chicago suburb too. Got my Kindle on Feb 1 and have been ignoring the rest of life since then (meals, bedtime, social life, etc...)
Enjoy!! There is a ton of good information here, and also another ton of books in the mobipocket format (which is what you need for your Kindle). Download them, stick them on an SD card, and enjoy! Oh -- folder should be named "documents" at the top level of the SD card.
Holler if you need any help. Lots of people here will oblige, including me if I know the answer.