Dear blog…I am having an affair…

…with my Kindle!

I have had my e-reader, Amazon’s Kindle, for nearly two months. I bought the Wi-Fi-only, Graphite version which has a 6″ display and features Amazon’s new E Ink Pearl Technology. I have waited this long to write my review because I wanted to make sure that I really took the time to try it out and explore all the options, which, for the most part, I have.

Before I get to the good, the bad and the ugly, I should add a small disclaimer: I have no emotional attachment or connection to the physical book. In talking to a lot of people about the new e-readers on the market, I have come to learn that there are many folks out there who love the experience of reading an actual book including the weight, the feel, the smell, and even turning the corner of the pages to mark them. I respect these folks greatly but I am not one of them. To me, the book is a means to an end: the story and the characters. Also, know that I can’t compare the Kindle to the Kobo (Chapters Indigo) , the iPad (Apple), or the Nook (Barnes and Noble) since I’ve never seen or tried any of them.

So let’s get to it. What do I think of the Kindle?

I absolutely, whole heartedly, 100% ADORE and LOVE IT!

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, here’s my low down on the Kindle and all its functionality!

The Screen (E Ink Pearl Technology)

Amazon claims the screen reads like paper and they aren’t kidding; it does…if not better! The screen is crystal clear, crisp, without glare, and the fonts are clean, crisp and dark. You can read in bright sunlight or in low light just as easy. Not to mention you can enlarge your font, how many words appear per line, and the justification – it’s customized reading for your ultimate pleasure and I love it! No more reading glasses for me!

Design/Weight/Page Turn

Amazon claims this latest version to be “thinner, lighter, faster, better than ever before.” Now I can’t attest to how it stacks up against earlier versions but I can say that the design and weight is very comfortable. I actually have mine in a case with a light (great for those nights at the camp when we shut down the power) and I find it extremely comfy. One of the issues I had with books is that I like to read in bed, on my side and sometimes holding a book opened or positioned just right was awkward but with the Kindle, it’s easy as pie!

The speed of the page turning makes for seamless reading. I couldn’t physically turn a page on a book faster than my Kindle turns a page. I find it extremely seamless and unnoticeable. There are two large buttons on either side for going forward and two smaller ones for going backwards and they are perfectly positioned and are easy to click.

Built-in Wi-Fi/Book Ordering

The website claims that you can shop and download books in less than 60 seconds and they ain’t kidding. I downloaded the Sookie Stackhouse series of eight books in 10 seconds flat. With Amazon, you can set up a prearranged account so that you can quite literally order books with one click and I haven’t seen a book take longer than 10 seconds to load yet. I was quite amazed. I want to finish reading all my books just so I can have the fun of ordering more.

Massive Selection

In the US, there are over 850,000 books including 107 of 111 New York Times best sellers plus audio books, periodicals, and blogs. In Canada, there are over 660,000 books. Add to that, there are 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright books with classics such as Pride and Prejudice.

I love how I can search by any means I like and I haven’t been able to not find a book I wanted yet. I do however tell people who are considering an e-reader such as Kindle to go on the site and search out the types of books they read to make sure they are there before they buy an e-reader.

Also, you can download and read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy so it’s just like shopping at the book store.

Cost

Books on average run from about .99 cents to $9.99 USD for new releases. I recently bought Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol for $7.99 USD and the Sookie Stackhouse 8-box set by Charlaine Harris for $36.24 USD (that’s $4.53 per book). I priced this box set at Chapters Indigo for $110 Cnd.

The Kindle itself comes in three versions. The version I bought which has Wi-Fi only for $140 USD. Kindle also has a model with 3G and Wi-Fi for $190 USD. It also comes in a 9.7” model with 3G for $379 USD.

Scott and I figure with how much I read that the actual cost of the Kindle will be recuperated in book cost savings in less than a year.

Dictionary Look up/Notes/Highlights

Now this is something I didn’t think would matter a whole lot to me but I am now IN LOVE with! I love Dan Brown’s books but I usually find there are a lot of words within the text that I don’t understand. Now, I can usually get the jist of the meaning from the context of the paragraph because I am certainly not going to read a book with a dictionary beside me. But now with my Kindle, I don’t have to settle with getting “the jist of it” anymore! Using my cursor, I just put it before the word I don’t understand and voilà: the definition (with the expansion option) appears at the top of my screen! WOW! I love this and used it extensively while reading Dan’s book. I felt like it enabled me to really enjoy the story while I also easily and without compromising the story flow was able to learn new vocabulary.

I haven’t used the highlight and notes section much yet. This is a feature where you can highlight text you’d like to “clip” out and save in a folder – say an inspirational paragraph or something you’d like to refer to later. Or you can make a note, which is like writing in the margin. So far, I haven’t used either but both look as user-friendly as all the other options.

Charging

Amazon claims you can read for up to a month on a single charge and again they haven’t disappointed. I got my Kindle on Jan 26, 2011 and fully charged it in three hours. I read every night for 30-60 minutes and on the weekends for about three to four additional hours. One month later, on February 26, I recharged it but I had a quarter of a battery bar left. I haven’t charged it since and I am now, over a month later, at a quarter of a battery bar. Honestly, this thing has got all the juice I need.

What Page was I on?

No more cornering pages or wondering where I left off if I fall asleep while reading. With my Kindle, I can read three books at the same time and Kindle always remembers what page I left off in each and opens right to it when I launch the book.

And if I fall asleep, my Kindle goes into “sleep” mode after 10 minutes so as to not waste the battery. When I wake up and turn it back on, it’s right where I left off. This is huge convenience for me.

Organizing Books

To organize my books, I created folders on my home screen for what I am currently reading, what I’ve read, and what’s waiting to be read. I am sure in time as I amass books, I will organize perhaps by genre or some other meaningful way. I love this digital storing and organizing – everything is easy to find and right at a finger tip; quite literally!

Storage

It claims to store up to 3500 books. So far I have about a dozen on it with no issue. I’ll keep you posted if I ever start to max out.

New Webkit-Based Brower

This is an option listed on the Amazon site that says you can browse the Web over Wi-Fi and lists it as “experimental”. Honestly, I haven’t even tried it yet. I couldn’t see using my Kindle to surf the Wet unless I was in a real pinch.

In conclusion

Ok, so I think it’s pretty obvious I am a huge Kindle fan. The device lived up to every expectation I had and then some. As well, I felt it really exceeded every claim on the Amazon site. For me, it comes down to the fact that I love the convenience, immediacy, and flexibility that it allows me. When I travel, I no longer have to worry about how many books I bring, running out, or the weight in my luggage because everything is stored in one place taking up less room and weight than most hard covered books. Even if I am running to the doctor or dentist, it’s easy to bring anywhere with me. I find it more comfortable than traditional books and all the functionality really brings more to the reading experience for me.

If the “love of the book” isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend trying an e-reader and I give the Amazon Kindle two very large thumbs up!

How about you: tried an e-reader yet? Which ones and what do you think?

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Comments

  1. I got a Nook for my birthday/Valentine’s Day in February and I adore it. Really. It’s so much easier than a pile of books. I never realized how much time is wasted turning pages. I know that sounds super nerdy, but it’s true! I’m in love with e-readers.

    -Fringegirl

    • Woot woot!!! I have seen the Nook and it looks amazing as well. I agree with you 100%…it is true!! I love e-readers as well but the “book” wasn’t difficult for me to give up. Glad to hear you are enjoying them as well! 🙂

  2. Glad you love your Kindle! I’ve developed a better appreciation for mine now. I just took it on a trip (flights) and I loved that it wasn’t a thick book I had to “fit” somewhere and also the choice of options to read. I’m going to take your tip and set-up some organization folders. Did your cover come with the book light or was it separate? I’m looking for a good light option, but already have a Kindle carrying case/cover.

Trackbacks

  1. […] he keep it. I mean…he deserves a new gadget considering I have a pink mini laptop and a Kindle. But…well…what can I say? He simply wouldn’t let it go. What could I do?! I didn’t want to […]

  2. […] these posts. Blogging has become energizing, fun, and exciting. Hubby says I am not only having an affair with my Kindle but with my blog as well. […]

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