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:
- I will never stop buying real books
- I will never get rid of my bookshelves of wonderful real books
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment below!