Friday, May 13, 2011

Hooked on eBooks: Learning to Put Down the Paper

So my bedroom has two good sized book cases, packed beyond belief. They look like this:

1. I like reading, and I like owning books.
2. I buy a lot of books (new & used) that sit for months on my "to read" shelf in the book case or in a pile of books on the floor. (I finally have gotten through enough books that the floor is clear, and everything is on the shelf.)
3. I want to keep most books after reading, but some of them I am completely happy to pass on, and, in a couple of cases, throw out.
4. Books can take up a lot of room (and weigh down) my purse so I tend not to carry a book with me for the train, my lunch break, or waiting in doctors' offices, etc.

Wait a minute, scratch that last sentence. Back in February, I used my Federal tax refund to buy a book reader. I had made a list of the pros and cons of the three big book readers: Kindle, Nook, and iPad, and the Kindle made the final cut. I already used Amazon a LOT and am happy with their prices and service. The Kindle came with free 3G service (meaning you pay more for the 3G reader, but there isn't a monthly service charge...looking at you, Apple). Lastly, it is easy to read in bright sunlight, perfect for both the neighborhood park or the beach.

Things I really like about the Kindle:
1. Very easy to read. I can read it without my glasses!
2. Lightweight and takes up very little room in my pocketbook.
3. Easy to buy books from Amazon and many titles are available for purchase.
4. Even more classic novels are available for Kindle for FREE on websites like Project Gutenberg and Girl ebooks.
5. The battery holds a charge. I am constantly recharging my iPod, but I haven't had to recharge the Kindle in almost two weeks.
6. Easy to transfer content onto the Kindle from your home computer. No proprietary software is needed.
7. The screen savers when your Kindle isn't in use are fabulous.
Things that I feel Kindle could do better:
1. Advancing the pages by pushing buttons. This feels a bit old school for me, and there is a lot of "stop and go" with it when browsing through the menu. I still catch myself forgetting that is how you advance and reverse. I prefer the fluidity of the touch screen on my iPod Touch or even the scrolling wheel on my classic iPod.
2. Copy editing for Kindle needs to be improved. Newer books seem to be fine, but older books that are "retrofitted" for the Kindle have errors, most notably, BLATANT punctuation errors involving commas being the most common, but not limited to, as there are missing words and unintentional line breaks that aren't in the print editions. (I checked one book against the hardcover because it was making me spazzy.) This is not Kindle's fault; I blame the publishers, rushing to fill the demand with a less than perfect product.
Well, that is my 2¢ about the Kindle. I am really happy with my purchase over all. While it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the Nook Color or the iPad, it is a fraction of the cost, and it does have web surfing capability and will play music and audio books. The Kindle certainly isn't going to replace print books for me, but for book club selections or summer beach reads, the Kindle is my new favorite toy.

1 comment:

  1. Melanie, I'm so low-tech and always resist new tech things until I'm the last person on the planet without it! Thanks for clarifying this device for me. If I were to buy one today, I'd simply take your word for it and go with the Kindle!



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