• Category Archives simple gadgets
  • Why I Bought a Kindle

    Late last week, my desire to simplify came face-to-face with my love of books:
    e-reader venn

    An obvious solution was an e-reader. An e-reader would cut down on physical stuff, pay for itself (in savings of e-books compared to hardbacks) over a period of time, and save untold numbers of trees from being harvested for paper.

    But the question was, which e-reader? After ruling out the Nook (slow page-turning; no browser) and Sony (no international access; no e-book sharing; cost), I had narrowed my choice down to the Kindle 2 and the i-Pad. The dismal reviews of the i-Pad as an e-reader, especially in sunlight, led to the following list favoring the Kindle 2:

    • Instant e-book delivery
    • Great visual clarity
    • Portability
    • Huge selection of titles
    • Excellent battery life (7 days)
    • Audio book vocalization
    • Basic web browser
    • Near-instant page-turning

    venn diagram

    But, still, I was not convinced until I happened to see a photo of the Kindle at Kent’s Bike Blog (via Rowdy Kittens) (you can scroll down to the pic of the Kindle and the hardback book. And be sure to read his excellent Kindle review) . Before that, I had no idea of how very compact and portable the Kindle was. Seeing it next to the book put it all in clear perspective.

    So, I took the plunge, placed my order with Amazon, and received the Kindle 2 yesterday. It’s been fun exploring all its options. And I have been amazed at the extensive list of free books in the public domain available for download. Some free e-books and magazine and newspaper articles require an additional step of formatting to be read by the Kindle.  But this is super-simple to do and I will be writing about it in a later post.

    Here’s a my Kindle 2 (and its random screen saver image) with cherry blossoms to give a sense of size and scale:

    Kindle with cherry blossoms

    And if I may just make a comment about how very futuristic this feels:  From my computer, I just now went to the Amazon selection of free popular Classics and selected The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Before I could even get to my Kindle, the book was downloaded and ready to read.  It was a very Jetson’s moment…

    The word on the street is that the Kindle will be soon be available at brick-and-mortar stores. It is rumored to be available at Best Buy and Target on April 25th.

    Your turn: Have you considered getting an e-reader? Or, if you have one, which one did you buy? Are you happy with your decision? Has it simplified your life?

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