About my Kindle

When Amazon first introduced the Kindle, I thought it was pointless and expensive.  Who would want to read a book on a handheld device?  And pay for it?  Craziness.  I don’t like to own a lot of books, and the library serves my needs just fine, thanks.  Three things changed my mind:  (1) my library stopped acquiring new entries in several genre series I enjoy, (2) my mom got a Kindle that I got to play with a bit, and (3) the price came down.

I thought my mom’s Kindle was neat, and if I was going to have to pay for books anyway to keep up with some series, I still didn’t want to have the physical books cluttering my house.  I understand that with Kindle you don’t own the book — you merely license it — but I’m comfortable licensing genre titles that I’m likely to only read once.  In the end, the price drop was less important since I received the Kindle as a gift (thanks Mom!), but I had started to think hard about getting one for myself because of the lower prices.

I have the wi-fi only version of the 3rd generation Kindle.  I like that it’s not white.  I also like the way the eInk mimics the look of a printed page.  When I’m reading the Kindle, the physical object recedes and doesn’t distract from or interfere with my reading.  The feel of the Kindle in my hand is comfortable and pleasant — if it weighed any more or less, I think it would be difficult to hold.  The placement of the page turning buttons is a bit counter-intuitive at first, but makes sense the first time you use it while laying down — you can easily page forward with either hand at most any angle.  Paging back is a bit more cumbersome, but since I do that less often, it works just fine.

Having the wi-fi only version was a bit of an irritant at first, since I was at my Mom’s house and she does not have wi-fi.  My husband and I hopped in the car and drove around until we found an open network — I used that to register the Kindle and download my first books.  I used it a lot over the holidays and the trip home, and I love it.  It was especially nice to use on the airplane, since I could hold it in either hand and turn the pages easily without bumping my drink or knocking into the person sitting next to me.  With a bit of planning, I think having the wi-fi only version will work out just fine.

It’s incredibly easy to download books from Amazon for it, and only slightly more complicated to download and transfer free books from archive.org and Project Guttenburg.  I’ve loaded it up with classics that I’ve always meant to read, like The Three Musketeers and Cranford, out of copyright books by more contemporary authors (like Phillip K. Dick and Ben Bova) and favorites like Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve also downloaded a couple of thrillers, zombie novels, and mysteries that my library doesn’t have.  It’s a well-designed device that just works.

One slight irritant is that I keep trying to touch the screen to select things — I’m used to my iPhone.  I hope that I’ll stop doing that in time, although even if I don’t it’s not a big deal.  I notice that Amazon uses the lack of a touchscreen as a selling point (no fingerprints!) which makes me laugh.

As much as I like my Kindle, I don’t intend to give up physical books any time soon (my Mom only reads Kindle books).  I’ve spent a couple hours today lazing on the couch reading physical library books, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself.  However, I’m very happy to have the Kindle as an option, and expect that I’ll never travel with a library book again.

Posted on December 30th, 2010 by Katxena