Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So What Do I Think of This Here Kindle?

I took a sick day today (& now I'm pondering whether the cure is worse than the disease – darn Mucinex!). I'm not terribly sick, but I decided to keep my coughing self home out of the snow. Speaking of snow, all the way home last night I was composing this incredibly witty piece about driving in the dark with the snow blowing all over the interstate so that you're unable to see the lanes. And yet, somehow, still driving 60 mph. But I decided that might be too hair-raising. Not to mention that I don't really remember what was so witty about it. The fact that I'm warning you from ever driving anywhere near me?

So instead of that fascinating topic I'm going to do my little Kindle review. I've read one and a half books & now consider myself an expert (this is so not true – I haven't even tried most of its extra features). But nevertheless, here is a list for your consideration.

*The Kindle by itself is very lightweight, easy to carry around, read in bed, in the tub (unless you think you might drop it in, but I've only ever dropped one book in so I think the odds are in my favor).

*The screen is not backlit. In fact it's a lot like reading a regular book in the way that it looks. Apparently it's supposed to be easier on the eyes this way (and easier to read out in the sun). However, this does mean that you need a book light if you're reading in a dim room. I bought a cover for mine that has a slot for a book light and that works very well for me. The cover does add to the total weight, but it's still only about as heavy as a paperback.

*I chose my particular cover for its function – you can prop the Kindle up and read during lunch! Which is exactly what I did today.

*I find that going back to look at previously read pages is a pain in the patootie. Partly this is because I'm a non-texter, so the little keyboard is hard for me to navigate (such tiny buttons!). I think if you're a little more competent you might have an easier time of it. There is a highlight & a bookmark feature which might help, should you know which portions you might want to look at again. Since I'm always thinking things like, "now what state is this book set in?" bookmarking might not be as useful for that purpose.

*If you'd like to hear your Garmin read to you, then there is a text to voice feature. It's not quite the same as listening to an audio book. Heh.

*When you leave it idle, or turn it off, a cool screensaver comes on. The screensaver is usually a portrait of a writer – who knew Alexander Dumas looked like that?

*There are convenient buttons on both sides to turn the pages backwards or forwards – but it does make handling it a bit tricky when you're moving around (I like to walk around the house & read) – I'm always turning pages inadvertently just from picking it up.

*Hands down, my favorite feature is that you can increase the text size. No more reading glasses! Except for those pesky buttons…

*I am intrigued by the fact that the two free random mysteries I downloaded are both by Christian writers. I didn't set out to select those types of books, but that's what I got. In any case, I really enjoyed the first one I finished (sort of like a Baptist Mrs. Pollifax).

In conclusion, I'm inconclusive. I don't know yet whether the pluses (light weight! Big letters!) outweigh the minuses (flipping through pages). Hmm – if being able to flip through pages is the only con perhaps I've just convinced myself. I will say that I'm allergic to book mold so that wonderful aesthetic of being able to enjoy a great find at a used book store is fraught with peril for me. The Kindle is probably hypoallergenic LOL.

Ok, I'm going to stop talking now – back to my book!


  1. One of my sisters just got one, and she loves it. I downloaded the kindle online, but don't actually have one yet. And, since I just started a "real" book, it's going to be a while before I download one.

  2. Clever and fun review, Dana. I've been hankering after one and I have to see that enlarge text feature would be at the top of my list too, but I still crave the feel of a book in my hands. On the other hand, trying to read in bed is fraught with difficulty since I have to take off my bifocals to see (don't ask) and flipping the pages isn't easy and like you, I do tend to go back and forth - especially with mysteries where I'm trying to work it out ahead of the detective and think I'm clever enough to piece it all together by rereading some things. Chances are, I'm usually falling for the proverbial red herrings and I don't think even a Kindle will do me any good on that score!

    Hope you feel better soon!


  3. My top favorites with my Kindle:
    5: It's nice to know that I'm carrying around 56 books (at the moment) and they only weigh a few ounces TOTAL!
    4: Large text (Obviously. I DID just get bifocals!))
    3: I can lend someone a book and not worry about them having to give it back.
    2: It takes up WAY less space in my purse!
    1: I can read all the cheesy romance books I want and no one is the wiser because they can't see the cover!

  4. Very nice review, Dana! (And I really hope you feel better soon.)

    I love love LOVE my Kindle 3!!! I see what you mean about turning pages, but it's totally worth it to me just for the ease in carrying around a bunch of books. (That way, if I get bored with one, I can just start reading something else instead.)

    Your cover is very pretty! I got an apple-green Amazon leather cover with the built-in booklight.

    One more "con" I discovered to the Kindle - you can't go to a book-signing and have the author sign your Kindle. Oh well. That probably won't seem like such a bad thing the next time we move and have to pack up a hundred boxes of books.

  5. Do you have the 3G or the wireless? I'm still debating... & now a friend has told me she likes the NOOK Color better... I cant handle decisions... I probably just need to stick with paper.

  6. the biggest drawback for me is you have to purchase the books. going to the library doesn't cost me anything. But I like that you can change the print size and you can prop it up.

  7. I love my Kindle, especially for travel. I have driven myself crazy trying to find a book in English in too many countries to count! Now I can download umpteen books and carry them with me in one small package. I love my purple leather cover.

    I'm a book person, but the convenience wins me over.

  8. Here's another downside (or maybe it's an UPside for some of you) - I'm used to my electronic devices having a little clock in the corner. There's not one on this thing - why, I could read until all hours & not even know it :)

  9. I'm still on the fence but know that sooner or later, this is the future of books. Sniff. One day, my grandchildren will look at my book stash as though they're relics.

    The Kindle doesn't do color, does it? This is a sticking point for me. I buy a lot of knitting design and pattern books and color for some patterns is a must. Also, while most books aren't ever to be photocopied due to copyright laws, it's legal to photocopy and then enlarge a pattern for personal use. Can you print from your Kindle?

    Maybe I should try the Kindle app for Mac and then decide if this is something I'd enjoy.

    As for the tiny buttons, I think this is something you'll become accustomed to using. I had the same issue with my Blackberry Curve, but I've adapted and have become fairly fast at emails and texts. I will say my fat fingers get in my way.

  10. I liked this review I have had my eye on one for awhile. I hope you feel better soon. Stay warm. I am a southerner too.

  11. Very helpful review. I don't plan to get one any time soon but really handy to know about.

  12. I gots me a feeling there's one in my future. It's possible I'll have a book out you can put on there before I get one though. This will give you lots of warning so you can save up the $3.50 or whatever it is...

    I thought you could read it in a dark room without a light though. Dang.

  13. Great review, Bug; I don't think I'm quite ready for this great leap forward yet myself though. I am the hugest flicker-backer of books I'm reading, in fact often reading pages in tandem to check something earlier out suggested by a later page. I do like to have a whole page in view too, and the screen looks like it's not quite big enough from your photo. Finally (oh forgive me) I sometimes write in the margins...

    But then as soon as I saw that purple cover (to die for!) I almost changed my mind. Shallow Hal has nothing on me...

  14. Cool, but i think i'd miss the booky smell, and no one's gonna steal a paperback. But is better for trees I suppose. It's a toughie.

  15. Hope you feel better soon my friend.
    I've had mine for two years come March, and the biggest downside is one you mentioned about being able to "thumb" back. Many times, I just have to remember to make myself a highlight on passages I want to read through again or share. Other than that, I LOVE it. It is the portability that wins out. Throw it in my purse and go. Don't mind waiting anywhere anymore as I can pull it out and get lost. :c) I find I am reading SO much more, and have loaded 60 books since I got it. Hubby has Kindle for iPad and I have to admit, that bigger screen and backlit feature is cooler, but the $$ sure isn't!

  16. Thanks for this. I'm always interested in reviews of E-readers. I don't have one and I have an issue with my vision - as in I can't see. :)

    I keep wondering if I should get an E-reader and if I do, which one?

    I hope you enjoy your Kindle very much. It does sound like it has some advantages - especially font enlargement. Gotta love that.

  17. That cover is very smart looking!

    Well reviewed. No kindle in this house, and we talk occasionally about its merits and imagine what the pros and cons might be. I think there should be a loaner option to test it out. Too much money to spend on something that may not suit. And so we read the old fashioned way, which works just fine for us.

  18. Thanks for the review! I'm actually hoping to get one soon, but can't decide between the Kindle or the NookColor (it's the color thing that is so appealing!). Nice input!

  19. I bought my daughter one for Christmas and she LOVES it, and so do her kids. They curl up on her bed and read it. They're currently reading "Around the World in 80 Days".

  20. That was an interesting review. I use the Kindle app on the iPad and have found it to be excellent.

  21. Interesting ... very interesting post Dana.
    Being a bloke, all gadgets (useful or not) attract me and I've been toying with this Kindle gadget BUT
    [a] Will I use it enough?
    [b] How long will the novelty last?
    [c] Do I need one, or just want one?
    [d] Will YOU make my mind up please?

  22. Great review, thanks! I have been considering getting one for my mum. She has a lot of pain in her arms and poor eyesight so large print books tend to get heavy quickly. I haven't touched a Kindle yet but I played with a Nook (both color and B&W) last week. Pretty impressive. The more I wear my glasses now for reading, the more I think it would be nice to simply increase the font.

    I, too, get most of my books from the library so I don't know that this would be worth it for me. I've heard that Howard County is starting to loan out e-readers! How cool is that?

  23. I've had a Kindle since they came out. I love it.

  24. Great review. How is the battery life???



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