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Friday, June 15, 2012

How do I like my Kindle?

Not so long ago, I wrote about breaking in my new Kindle

It was a story of persistence and eventual success.  After failing to load books onto the little gadget via USB cable, I bought another little gadget -- a wireless router -- and somehow managed to get it to work. Feeling extremely proud of myself, I set up the whole house, including my creaky old laptop and the brandnew one we have just acquired. Everything was wireless. Including, of course, the Kindle.

I even managed to set up my amazon account to comply with eBook-buying, and settled down to see what it was like to read a book on a six-inch screen.

It felt odd.  I'm used to holding an open book, so having something one-page-sized felt strangely uncomfortable.  The solution was obvious: I went onto TradeMe (the Kiwi equivalent of eBay) and placed a bid for a Kindle cover. I specified pink, and it arrived promptly as ordered.  I then stuck a butterfly on it, to make it feel like personal property, and settled down again.

This next book I loaded was bought in a fit of generosity -- it was Douglas Reeman's H.M.S. Saracen, which is apparently the only one of Reeman's impressive oeuvre that Ron hasn't read.

And my husband took over my Kindle.  Pink cover, butterfly and all.    He adores the machine. He raves about it to all and sundry. He has read books on that Kindle on planes and in airports and hotels. 

So guess what he is getting for his birthday ....


Mark Hubbard said...

I swore I'd never leave dead tree books.

When I got my Kindle, I swore I would not read on any device other than my lovely Kindle.

... Anyway, the only thing I read on now is my gen 3 iPad ;)

Judith said...

I too adore my Kindle, it goes everywhere with me!

Joan Druett said...

Maybe I'll buy Ron an iPad!

Mark Hubbard said...

You do have some serious issues to consider.

Kindle is great for traveling as with eInk (not backlit) I can read a whole novel on a single battery charge (or, normal use, reading in bed every night, probably three weeks to a month on single charge. Plus you can read outside (but not in the dark unless you buy the cover with the light - which you must.

Main problem with Kindle: you can only read Amazon Kindle books, so you're stuck buying basically all content there.

iPad: lousy for battery charge. When I'm working I'm charging every three days just to read in bed (though I'm doing email, browsing, etc, so slightly unfair).

But the major advantage of iPad is there seems to be an app for every reading platform, so on mine I have Kindle loaded (for Amazon books), Kobo (for books from Whitcoulls), also Overreach, which is brilliant, as through that reader I'm linked through my Christchurch library card to ebook library loans - same terms as dead tree books, you download a book and have 21 days to read before it locks itself. So you can have library lending - no charge - from anywhere in the world, which if really handy as my reading budget is constantly going over the limit.

As much as I love my Kindle that multi-platform and library lending capability for iPad wins for me (other than traveling).

Also, another tip, as you sound to be new to ebooks: make sure you and your husband buy all your ebooks through the same Amazon account, then you can download your whole purchased library to any machine(s) you own. My wife and I both have kindles and iPad's each, so it makes good sense. One of my sisters has herself, two sons, the in-laws and grandchildren all on the same Amazon account so they basically can buy and build their own library for all the family to read. If you don't do that, then you can only take one ebook purchase to one specific machine.

Have a good weekend ... (sorry for any typos above, no time to proof).

Joan Druett said...

Brilliant post, Mark. It doesn't need proofing -- as far as I noticed -- but it you would be willing to tweak it until you are really happy with it, I would be really happy to put it on the blog as a guest post. I would give it the subject line "Kindle pros and cons."

A good friend has an equivalent of an iPad, which is fun and easy -- but also so easy for emailing and surfing that I notice he is distracted from reading a lot. And unfortunately I am easily distracted, particularly if it is a book for review ...

I hadn't heard about the battery business before, so that was really interesting.