Since Christmas, nearly all of my downtime has been in the company of one of these – an Amazon Kindle.
A few people I’ve spoken too have seen the kindle as a threat to ‘the book’. Perhaps it is. Would that be the end of the world if the organic, tree ware book were to become as one with the C90 cassette?
The major benefit for me would be the ergonomics of the thing. Just a mere suggestion of movement to turn a page. Getting comfortable in bed with a big hardback is not something I’ve ever masters. Lugging several heavy books around was one of the downsides to travelling. The kindle is light. The kindle can store around 3500 books. The kindle is just as easy on the eye as a real book – if not easier if you consider you can change the font sizes to suit. You can read it in the bath (with a suitable ziplock bag). You can make notes and highlights, that are backed up for you, you can bookmark and look things up – the inline dictionary is superb. You just highlight a word and there’s the definition.
The cons are – you can’t lend books to people as readily (although Amazon claim you can, but I’ve not seen any lend-able books yet). There’s no colour and you don’t get to drink in the jacket artwork (I’m a believer that you can judge a book by its cover) and to me, that’s about it. Yes, there’s the extreme view of “well if the internet died, then you wouldn’t be able to get any new books” but I figure I’d have bigger problem to worry about if that was the case.
Since Christmas, I’ve read 7 book and browsed, 50+ book samples (you can download the first 5% or so of any book on the kindle market, of which there are umteen thousand of releases available), newspapers, documents & GetAbstracts.
I did loads of reasearch on the two (what I considered to be) essential accessories (not including the ziplock bath kit!). One – a cover / case so I could chuck it in my back without fear of it getting damaged or scratched. I wanted something that was ‘quick release’ and that was a bit outdoor proof. I went for this neoprene sleeve called a RainSuit. So far, it’s been perfect. It’s light, simple, not fiddly and offers the element protection I’ll need for those getting stuck outside in the rain moments.
The second – a light. Just like real books and not like iPad / lcd / screen based counter parts, the Kindle is not light transmitting. I plumped for an OCTOVO Solis light. A brilliant design – aesthetically as well as functionally.
Some of the other great kindle things are the discovery of Instapaper / read later – where you can make a book for your kindle out of any web based content. I have a short attention span of reading things on a computer screen without wanting to interact with it, but sending things to my kindle strips out all the interaction, all the picture, all the filler and just gives me the original, pure written word. I like. I’m not going to go and read my Sophie (aged 4 3/4) The House At Pooh Corner, Chapter Seven for her bedtime story – on the kindle.