Monday, January 5, 2009

Santa Brought a Kindle

Similar to my Father, I love gadgets. And, Santa brought me a humdinger this Christmas — an Amazon Kindle . (Actually, my husband gave it to me, but I promised that I would never write about him in my let's just call him Santa.)

Anyway, I had time off over the holidays to test it out, and I can report that I really had a lot of fun using it.

In case you don't know what a Kindle is, it's a portable reading device that wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. It uses e-ink technology that is as crisp and clear as a newspaper. What's more, most of the books that you can download cost only $9.99. You can even subscribe to newspapers from around the world. (The New York Times is available for $13.99 a month).

Things I really liked about the Kindle are:
  1. The text really is crisp and clear. Plus, you can adjust its size to suit your needs. For example, later in the day or without glasses, I prefer a bigger text.
  2. You can look up word definitions with its built-in dictionary.
  3. You can search for words in the book, or even look things up in Wikipedia or search the web. This was helpful when I couldn't remember who a character was in a book that I was reading...I just typed in her name and easily found the first occurrence of the name.
  4. About the size of a trade paperback, it's lightweight and easy to hold.
  5. It's especially nice when reading in bed. I like to lie on my side when I read in bed, but always was annoyed because you would have to hold a book at different angles depending upon whether you were reading the left or right page. The Kindle only has one side, so it's easy to position.
Thus far, there has only been one small problem. I discovered that I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing how far I am in a book. There's something about seeing those pages flipping by and knowing that you are a third, halfway, three quarters of the way, etc. through the book. The Kindle has an indicator that shows your progress; but somehow that's just not the same.

All in all, I give it a solid thumbs up!


Charlotte said...

I'm glad to hear more about Kindle. I've been curious. I love that “new book smell” but in this economy I’ve been unable to justify $30 every time a favorite author publishes a new book. So maybe I'm a candidate. Meanwhile, I found and I’ve LOVED every trade I’ve made there. I like that they arrange the trade and stand behind each one; other sites I looked at left it up to the traders to resolve any disputes. The website is beautiful and I encourage you to take a look ( They also trade DVDs, which also has worked well, but I love finding new homes for books! It’s the ultimate recycling project!

Anonymous said...

I have thought about a Kindle, but I know I enjoy the feel of holding a book or newspaper in my hands. I will be quite sad if/when the demise of the printed word ever occurs. There is nothing like a good cup/glass of tea or other beverage and reading. I guess I am old fashioned...but then you probably knew that!!