My Kindle

Posted on Sunday 17 October 2010

So I’ve been spending the last little while with a new gadget I bought, about a month back. The Kindle Graphite/K3 WiFi version and I have to tell you – I’m really impressed!

Some have asked me why I didn’t get the iPad, and others have asked why I didn’t go with another e-reader ( there are still quite a few out there. ) So let me explain here….

I needed something to read all the ebooks that I have been accumulating from different sites, the majority of which were free ( there are hundreds of thousands of free books and articles out there. )  I’ve tried reading them on my computer, but it isn’t viable to sit at my desk for hours at a time reading ( although I still do that some what for other reasons. ) 😯

I’ve tried reading books and articles on my Palm, but the small screen makes it painful. Having to turn pages quite often due to the small size of the screen. I’ve tried a laptop in an easy chair, but man it gets HOT after a while with it on my lap!

I really Really REALLY wanted an iPad. It would be the ultimate portable device for me, replacing both a notebook/netbook as well as several other devices ( like my trusty Palm Tungsten E5. ) Yes it will also work for reading ebooks and PDF files ( something that the Kindle line still has a few challenges with ) but the price is still prohibitive. You have to remember I’m “RETIRED” so I can’t run out and buy any toy that strikes my fancy ( not that I could before – but hopefully you understand that of which I mean. )  🙄

Even with the Canadian dollar doing so well against the U.S., for what ever reason the iPad still runs close to $700 here! Unfortunately, one can’t just order from the states and pay the almost at par exchange rate. This is where the Kindle came in.

I’ve read for years how much better e-ink was compared to an LCD screen. All the ebook readers out there used e-ink but the e-ink technology is still only Black and White, they have yet to develop a good color screen. When I did my research, I found the Kindle had the highest number of grey levels of any e-ink device out there ( in my price range .)

The Kindle, like the Sony eReader,The Barnes and Noble Nook , The Indigo/Chapters Kobo and several others had a large 3rd party support organization ( multiple websites and services. ) The Kindle supposedly didn’t support some types of ebooks that were out there ( epub being the largest one ) but with a tool like Calibre ( an amazing tool which runs on both Windows and Linux ) that really wasn’t an issue. I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in ebooks  ( with or without an ereader ) to look at Calibre.

In the end, after numerous articles and reviews I found the only real contender was Sony’s ereader, but it didn’t do as many gray levels ( which is good for pictures and such ) and it cost a bit more.

My logic actually went like this:

  • I could get the Kindle or
  • For a bit more get the Sony
  • But if I’m getting the Sony, for just a little bit more I can get the Kindle DX ( an iPad sized reader )
  • But if I am getting the Kindle DX for a little bit more I can get the iPad

The iPad almost won out…. except I’d have to explain a major outlay of funds to my better half, and I knew it wouldn’t fly…. 😥

In the end I started asking myself did I really need a dedicated ereader…  just one more night with a stiff neck from  my monitor convinced me that I did.

I decided to try the least expensive route – the Kindle –  since I didn’t need the 3G phone model, their WiFi gave me ample access to the Internet, both at home and when I’m traveling. I had to order it from the states via and so I actually paid only $139 US and the minor exchange rate.

I figured $139US was an affordable gamble that, failing all else, I could resell if I didn’t like it. After all I was buying a piece of technology that I had never tried before nor even laid hands on – for me this was a gamble. Would it do what I wanted it do do, and would it be worth it.

Now that I have it, you won’t be able to pry it out of my hands! It’s been over 30 days ( almost 45 ) since I had to charge it and I have never turned it off! ( I have turned the WiFi off when I didn’t want it, but not the actually Kindle. ) Talk about impressed! Then reading it is indeed just like reading a book, it is effortless, and the buttons are perfectly placed for turning a page. Yes there is a time lag between page turns, but no more so than the time it would take turn an actual page and bring your eyes to the top of the next page!

The resources out there are phenomenal! Aside from Amazon themselves offering free books, you can find many, many more elsewhere ( too many here to list. ) As you may, or maybe not, be aware the Kindle also allows subscriptions to newspapers and magazines ( for a fee ) and if you live in the US to selected Blogs as well. However, an ingenious blog/website called Feedbooks has found a way to help all of us to subscribe to any blog or website that has an RSS feed. Check out this little page on how to do that, hidden within their site!

Books are enjoyable at the best of times but adding a little technology,  like the Kindle, makes them even better. It’s the icing on the cake and I think everyone should have one! Wow am I impressed!

End Article

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