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Crazy About Kindle!

February 4, 2011

Here it is: the long-awaited Kindle review post! Before I start, you should know that I am in no way being endorsed or rewarded for the sentiments expressed here and I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way (except in the lusting-after-everything-they-carry way). This is just my true view on the product. Enjoy!

I love to read. Reading is my true love. So before we get into why I love the Kindle, I’d like to start by clearing up the following:

  1. I will never stop buying real books
  2. I will never get rid of my bookshelves of wonderful real books
  3. I too, am a sucker for turning musty-smelling pages made of paper

So… it’s not like I hate books or anything, it’s just that there are so many situations where the Kindle is so much more convenient. Examples?

  • You’re a journalism student, forced to read upwards of five newspapers a day. Rather than wrestle with the dastardly pages of print newspapers, you simply subscribe to them on your Kindle and they are delivered overnight via WiFi, at cheaper rates than print subscriptions.
  • You’re an english lit student, forced to read several million classic novels per semester. You get them all for free on the Kindle store (since they’re old and out-of-copywrite) and bring your 8.5 oz device around instead of lugging novels to the library.
  • You’re a business woman who loves reading, and who must go on several business trips per year. You simply browse the selection on the Kindle store, download on the go, and read!

Okay I have to stop. I feel like I’m writing a Kindle ad campaign. A cheesy one. An unsuccessful one. So let’s move on to the review portion of the post, shall we?

Features I Love..

  • I can read with one hand. This may not seem like a big deal, but consider this: no more do I have to worry about the book closing if I don’t hold down the pages. I can read all like “Look Ma, no hands!”. It’s way more fun than it sounds, I promise.
  • I can highlight whatever I want, and those highlights get collected for my later perusal. When I read A Fraction of the Whole, I underlined tons of enlightening paragraphs. But the only way I can find them now is by flipping through the book – frustrating. When I read Crazy Sexy Diet on my Kindle, I highlighted a whole bunch of tips on everything from veggies to exercise, so now I have the Sparknotes version on both my Kindle and my computer.
  • I can search for whatever I want. With any books, I am forever flipping back through the pages, in search of that one sentence that stuck with me or that one character introduction that didn’t seem important at the time (but now I can’t remember who they are!). On my Kindle, I can search for anything on any page, and it’s actually a surprisingly reliable function.
  • I can learn new words easily. Whenever I don’t know a word, I just move the cursor next to it and voila! A definition from the New Oxford dictionary.
  • There’s a web browser, so whenever I have WiFi, I can look at anything I want online! And websites render surprisingly well on the browser.
  • It has the capacity to Tweet or Facebook any highlights I make, if I choose. So get ready to geek out with me if I post my favourite passages from Alice in Wonderland!! Hehe.
  • It has a stellar battery life. Since getting it mid-January, I’ve only charged it once, and it’s still going strong. If you keep the WiFi off except when you’re using it, I’m told this prolongs the battery even more.
  • It’s really easy to buy content on the go – Amazon uses a one-click system which makes it simple to buy things without the hassle of typing in credit card numbers every time.

Wishes..

  • I wish that the Text-to-Speech function was a little more refined. As it stands, almost any ebook you download from the Kindle store has the capacity to be read aloud to you by a robotic voice. As much as I adore the idea behind this feature – hello, reading while doing chores!!! – it doesn’t work very well right now. I’ve tried it several times now, and the voices (your choice of male or female) tend to blur words together, making it very hard to understand. But it’s such an innovative feature, so hopefully updates will come out soon!
  • I wish the keyboard was a bit faster, it lags slightly. Not enough to really impair anything I do, but enough to be noticeable.

Content..

I’ve gotten most of the content on my Kindle online, for free. If you become the lucky recipient of a Kindle, the first place I would look would be Kindle’s own page on where to find free Kindle content. My favourite of these would be the Kindle Popular Classics page, or Project Gutenberg. Both websites specialize in free, out-of-copywrite classics – everything from Emma to Dracula.

I have a whole category of PDFs that I’ve gotten from various websites – Focus from zenhabits, A Brief Guide to World Domination from Chris Guillebeau, and various other personal documents (notes to self, lists, etc). Kindle supports most file formats (for a complete list, click here), and other formats are usually convertible to one that Kindle does support.

Newspaper and magazine subscriptions seem to be priced much lower on the Kindle than in paper, and most come with a free trial period, anywhere from 14 (Globe and Mail) to 60 (New York Times) days.

And the huge plethora of paid content is nothing to scoff at either! I mentioned that I read Crazy Sexy Diet, it was one of the first books I ever purchased on my Kindle. After seeing the price in the bookstore (about $30 Canadian), I decided to save myself some money, and bought the ebook version for $9.99! Sure, it won’t be an addition to my paper book collection, but I still got all the same information, and at a significant discount. It’s good for us students!

Your Thoughts?

Anyone out there have an eReader? If so, what do you use it for? What do you like or dislike about it? I’d love to hear any tips/tricks/hacks you have to share with a newbie owner!

And if you don’t have one, would you ever consider getting one? Why or why not? Let me know what you think about them in general.

As always, feel free to email me at effieboo.inlimbo@gmail.com or leave me a comment below!

xoxo,

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Isabelle permalink
    February 5, 2011 3:32 AM

    That thing is gorgeous! What do you think of the screen? They say it’s just like paper, is that true?

    • February 5, 2011 12:21 PM

      It’s totally just like paper! It’s completely matte, so it never has glare in light, but then again it’s just like paper – you always need a light source to read by. It is gorgeous though, isn’t it? :)

  2. February 5, 2011 4:44 PM

    I have been going back and forth… whether or not to buy a Kindle. I’m still not sure. I like seeing my nice, full (er, overflowing) book shelves. If your Kindle/e-reader dies or you choose to upgrade, what happens to all the content your purchased?

    • February 5, 2011 6:52 PM

      Well, I’m not sure about other eReaders, but Kindle has applications for both Macs and PCs so that all your content is available on your computer in addition to your Kindle. And also all your history of what content you’ve purchased is stored on your online Amazon.com Kindle account, and can be sent to either the Kindle or computer whenever you want! So I’m guessing that if you were to upgrade, it would be easy to send the previously purchased content to a new Kindle. I’m not sure if it would work to transfer it to a different type of device though. And I’m totally with you, I love seeing my bookshelves!! :) Us booknerds.. hehe. But mostly what I like about the Kindle is that it lets me squeeze more reading into my day cause I can take it anywherer!

  3. February 5, 2011 7:58 PM

    Just a note about getting the free classics: Sometimes they aren’t formatted correctly. This may just be me since I’m picky about presentation and such, but I hate it when the paragraphs are indented irregularly or the chapters aren’t separated properly.

    • February 6, 2011 2:44 PM

      I’ve noticed that too! Most of mine have been okay, but I have definitely seen some that were a bit odd. Good point. There are usually a whole bunch of different sources though, so sometimes you can find a better version. :)

  4. sprawlingshade permalink
    February 5, 2011 9:01 PM

    Hm! I’m glad your kindle is treating you well, and you’re enjoying it! I’ve decided to stick with books for now though. And, omgosh we have the same edition of 1984 :O

    • February 6, 2011 2:45 PM

      Cool! I liked that book a lot. :) And I don’t blame you for wanting to stick with books, they’re so beautiful! Although, I do love my Kindle now too (!!) who would have guessed?

  5. February 7, 2011 10:01 AM

    Great post!
    I have a Kobo and I love it. I considered getting the Kindle but I found some of the features unnecessary. I didn’t like the keyboard on the Kindle. I thought it took up a lot of space on the face of the device and I preferred the cleaner look of the Kobo. I agree that I will never get rid of paper books, especially for things like cook books or books from my favourite authors but the convenience of being able to carry a literal library of books in my purse has become indispensable.

    • February 7, 2011 10:12 AM

      Thanks a lot for your comment! Glad to hear from someone else who has adopted an ereader, it’s nice to hear your point of view too. I never really investigated the Kobo too much, my decision was mostly made between the Sony Ereader and the Kindle. I think I was sort of drawn more towards the device that has been around the longest, and seemed to be one of the best in the field. But I’ve seen the Kobo and you’re right that it is a bit more streamlined. I have a question though – how do you type things on the Kobo? Is it possibly an electronic keyboard on the screen? I’d love to find out more about it. :) Thanks for your thoughts!

      • March 3, 2011 11:04 AM

        Sorry for the delayed respone here! :)
        When you need to type, for example to look up a book to purchase, a keyboard appears on the screen and you use the navigation pad in the lower right hand corner to select the letter you want. It is rather cumbersome but for the amount of times I use it I am not that bothered by it.

        • March 3, 2011 11:59 AM

          Okay, that makes sense! For me though, I tend to type quite a bit so I prefer to have the actual keyboard. Glad to know yours works for you. :) Thanks for your comment.

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