I bought an Amazon Kindle in January. Here’s why I think they’re awesome. Since January, I’ve read 17 books on the Kindle; it has been a long time since I have read this many books per month.
Why? I’m reading more because of the Kindle’s accessibility.
|Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three||Abercrombie, Joe||still to read|
|Before They Are Hanged||Abercrombie, Joe||still to read|
|Chronicles of the Black Company||Cook, Glen||March 14, 2011|
|The Wise Man’s Fear||Rothfuss, Patrick||March 7, 2011|
|Hero of Rome||Jackson, Douglas||February 26, 2011|
|God is Not Great||Hitchens, Christopher||March 28, 2011|
|The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One||Abercrombie, Joe||February 22, 2011|
|The Name Of The Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1||Rothfuss, Patrick||February 22, 2011|
|Gardens Of The Moon||Erikson, Steven||February 17, 2011|
|Clash of Kings, A||Martin, George R. R.||February 4, 2011|
|Game of Thrones, A||Martin, George R. R.||January 30, 2011|
|The Complaints||Rankin, Ian||January 28, 2011|
|Exit Music||Rankin, Ian||January 25, 2011|
|Shining Ones, The||Eddings, David||January 13, 2011|
|Domes of Fire||Eddings, David||January 13, 2011|
|Sapphire Rose, The||Eddings, David||January 11, 2011|
|A Question of Blood||Rankin, Ian||January 9, 2011|
|Ruby Knight, The||Eddings, David||January 9, 2011|
Display: the Kindle’s screen, if you have not seen it, is remarkable and a key selling feature in its own right. Unlike the iPad which uses a backlit LCD screen, the Kindle is dull and reflective like a real paper book. Thus, you can read at the beach or in bright light. At night, I read with a little torch built into the protective case I bought.
The Kindle e-ink display is very high resolution and a delight to read from.
Form factor: if it were made of paper, you can have trouble reading a very thick book with one hand, turning its pages and keeping your place. At the gym, for example, it’s awkward to keep the book open at your current page. This is not a problem for the Kindle, obviously.
Reading your own documents: this is lesser known. You can email your own Kindle any pdf or word document, and have it converted for free into the native Kindle format. Once native, features like varying its font size will work. PDFs are viewable unconverted, too, with their graphics shown as intended, but note this is not as enjoyable as on an iPad since you have no pinch-zoom.
However, for reading my University text book, which I convert, it’s superb. It has no graphics, it’s just text, and it is much more practical to carry the Kindle around than my very massive Uni text.
You can highlight sections of a text, and then later review those highlights through a single convenient view. I found this helpful.
Caveats: in Australia, and some other countries, the books you can buy from amazon’s store are a subset of those available in the USA or UK. You can try pretending you are based in those countries (they do not check your credit card address to verify) but they do check your GPS and only allow about six purchases while out of your nominated country. This is a bit annoying. That said, though, the range of available books is still quite massive.
Reading on many devices: you can read the same books on iPhone, Android, Mac and Kindle. You save which page you are up to on your Kindle by going to its ‘home’ page, which sends a mark up to the cloud. Then you can grab your iPhone and keep reading. Really neat.
In closing: it has great battery life. It can provide a plan B web browser, based on webkit, and play mp3 files if you want. I don’t use it for those functions. You can twitter highlighted sections of a book.