Well, I did it. I bought a Kindle e-reader.
What I like about it:
- It is the perfect size and weight for a “book”. Obviously someone at Amazon worked up a lot of focus groups to get the proper dimensions.
- The screen is easy to read. Text is about the size of what you’d see in one of ye olde fashion paper books. Plus, it’s adjustable, so when I allow myself to admit my eyesight ain’t what it used to be, I can enlarge it. Also, since it’s not back lit, I can read outside in the sunshine and still read the text as easily as though I were reading on paper.
- It has a built in dictionary. Just move the cursor to the word you’re interested in and a definition pops up. No more having to pretend I know what the author is saying.
- You’re able to annotate and highlight areas of the text, and navigate through annotations later.
- I no longer need to struggle with where I’m going to store my books. No longer will I suffer from increasingly crowded shelves as books get piled on books, and increasingly crowded rooms as book shelves get added to book shelves.
- Books are cheap. Cheapest one I found was $2 (1984 by George Orwell). Most books are below $10, many below $5.
- It is SO easy to buy books. All you need is an Amazon account. The Kindle comes automatically linked to your account. With your Kindle hooked up to the internet (via WiFi or 3G), navigate to the Amazon bookstore, find the book you like, click the “Buy” button and *BAM* it’s downloading to your Kindle. The cost is automatically charged to your credit card.
What I don’t like about the Kindle
- It is SO easy to buy books. The click-now-pay-later purchasing system is a clever way for Amazon to dissociate the acquisition process from the paying process in the customer’s mind. I’ve bought 11 books over the last 2 months! The adult-side of my brain would prefer if Amazon made it a bit more difficult for the kid-side of my brain to spend my money.
- I’m married to Amazon. With the Kindle, I can’t buy books from anywhere else.
- Not every book is available in e-reader format. Most are, especially the new ones, but some older books are a bit hit and miss.
- You can’t loan your books to your friends (or if you can, I haven’t figured out how), and you can’t sell them to a 2nd hand bookstore when you’re done.
All in all, I’m enjoying my Kindle immensely. I’m a voracious reader at the best of times, and this really helps me feed my addiction.