24.11.10

Kindle Review Part 2: Confessions of a Bookaholic

I have now owned the kindle for just over one month and I am going to share a few more thoughts about it.


First of all, it is still an amazing little device.  No question there.  I have not become disappointed nor disillusioned in this last month at all.  If anything I have become more impressed, which is a little bit frightening. With that said, let me share 4 sets of observations/reflections.

1. Ease of Use - "I can't believe it's not butter"  and I can't believe this isn't paper.  Everything about the kindle makes reading easier (I didn't even think that was possible).  For a while after e-readers became a reality I insisted that there was something about paper, about holding a book, which I would never give up.  Maybe there still is... but, if so, there is much less to it than I told myself before I actually owned the Kindle.  The Kindle is lighter than all but the smallest of books, making it easier to hold.  Turning pages becomes a click of a button, and while that is a fairly minor detail you would be surprised at the difference it makes. One-handed reading is now easy.  The 'ink on the page' is customizable; think about that.  Depending on your lighting conditions, sitting position, personal preferences, etc. you can change the size, spacing, and font of the text you are reading.  Taking notes and highlighting are easier on the Kindle.  Suddenly my notes are legible, searchable, changeable, and shareable (because we all need more status updates and tweets).  And they are not limited to the size of the margin! Frankly, the seductive power of this device is scary.  

2. Accessibility -  I can carry around one hundred books, or up to 3500, in one small package.  For me, that's a big deal; I like to pack book.  I can go on the internet, download samples, buy and begin a book within seconds. I can search all my books.  When I run across a word I don't know all I have to do is scroll to it and the dictionary definition appears on my screen.  I can actually read all that free material on the web. So much goodness, so little time.  

3. "Mine, all mine" - "I am rich! I am wealthy! I am independent! I am socially secure! I'm rich, I'm rich, I'm Rich!"  Not only does this device encourage hoarding (of both free and paid for books), but you really can't lend them out.  This is a big deal.  I want to lend out most of my books.  I am a pastor, and more often than not I am reading with other people in mind.  I have realized that out of the three categories of books I read, only two halves can be bought on my kindle.  Let me explain.  I have my relaxed reading, mostly science fiction and fantasy.  About half of those I can buy on my Kindle because no one else reads them anyway.  I also read academic works.  Again, about half of those I can buy on my kindle; no one else will read them either.  Thirdly, I read Christian non-fiction of a less academic sort.  I know, that is a broad category. It covers everything from devotional literature to apologetics to biblical studies and more.  I can't buy any of those on my kindle, as I want the option and opportunity to lend them all out.   This means I have to think about whether or not it is a good idea to buy any particular book on my Kindle or get a hardcopy.  Mistakes loom large on the horizon.

4. Batteries - Lastly, the batteries have lived up to the promises, but I learned a few things along the way.  I am now on my third charge of the Kindle, but it's only bee 5 weeks.  So, what happened?  Well, it turns out that leaving your wi-fi on lowers the battery life to about 2.5 weeks.  But what really sucks up the power is downloading new books.  Apparently there is some sort of inventory process which occurs every time you download something and it kills the batter fast.  I have exactly 100 books on my Kindle right now, almost entirely downloaded in the first 3 weeks. On top of that, I have a case with a built in light, and I like to use the MP3 player while I read, all of which use battery life (but are sweet and convenient, like so much else when it comes to the Kindle).  


The conclusions from my first review all stand.  These are just further thoughts and observations about the device.  

3 comments:

Justin E. Chan said...

I don't own a kindle... yet, but i've read 2 books now on my kindle app (iphone). I enjoyed searchable highlights and love notes "beyond the margin".

So what case did you settle on? M-edge or the amazon kindle 3 case?

Been thinking about this purchase throughly, I realize I do a lot of online reading; blogs. Can you comment on this, as a Kindle user.

Justin E. Chan said...

I don't own a kindle... yet, but i've read 2 books now on my kindle app (iphone). I enjoyed searchable highlights and love notes "beyond the margin".

So what case did you settle on? M-edge or the amazon kindle 3 case?

Been thinking about this purchase throughly, I realize I do a lot of online reading; blogs. Can you comment on this, as a Kindle user.

Andrew said...

I got the amazon kindle 3 case, as shown in the picture. More expensive, but nicer.

As for blogs, I can't really say. I haven't loaded any up on my kindle. For online stuff, if the article is long enough I just email it to my kindle and read it there. I am on the computer all the time for work anyway, so it doesn't much extra work not having it automated.