Monday, June 22, 2009

Ongoing: Kindle Review

In the coming months, I'll post some short 'n sweet impressions of the Kindle, as I continue putting it through the paces. Comments of fellow Kindle-users are most welcome. If I point out a weekness/deficiency and it seems I dont; know what I'm talking about, please let me know! I would love ot maximize the Kndling pleasure.

1) Finished my third Kindle version of a book.
(An aside: Did anyone hear a short piece on NPR yesterday (sorry for the earworm! I can't remember the show) about the difference between a Reader and a Book-lover? Very interesting tie-in to Kindle's appeal and its future. If someone out there has a link to the program in question, please let me know.)
2) Love the easy way to begin reading a book at the page I'd last been on.
3) I love to read before going to sleep. Unfortunatley, I tend to slip quickly beneath the waters of snooze. Almost dropped the Kindle a couple of nights ago. Yipes! Lost some nerve endings juggling the Kindle before safely securing it. Kindle and bed; not a good combo.
4) Hate the fact that I can't skim forward or backward in increments of over 1 page at a time.
5) Love the built in dictionary; hate the slow speed of getting the marker to the word in question.

'Nuff said.


I have conflicting feelings about e-books. Have not tried any of the gizmos on the market for electronic books, but my hesitation is a mixture of my ouch over the price, and my tactile devotion to a bound book.

I confess to sometimes purchasing a new book 90% because of a catchy title and/or an intriguing illustrated cover. E-books won't give me that thrill.

How do you explain the love affair with the physicality of a bound book?

I remember my first book purchases at about the age of 9 or 10 at the local Mott's 5 and 10 Cent Store: Black Beauty and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. (5 and 10 cent stores - quite nostalgic, no?)

I remember the glossy cardboard covers, the dyed blued edges of the pages, and the smell of those books - especially the smell.

Though I am afflicted with an inability to smell now, the memory of that new book smell (along with the distinctive smells of the old Mott's - wood floor dust and polish, aroma of freshly popped corn, and the slightly mildewy-ness of the evaporative AC cooler).

Those books were read and reread, and moved from house to house as I grew. I think I finally misplaced them when I got married and moved away from home the first time.

Just the act of walking past my bookshelves in the den and spying a particular title on a book spine can instantly evoke certain memories of either the story, the author, or the events surrounding my life at the time I read the book. Little mini flash backs that serve no real time purpose except to serve as an anchor in time.

No way an electronic blurb can do all that.
All true, CP.
I am not forgoing the physically printed book. The Kindle is about reading and it does a superior job with that. I've got 20 books (most of them freebies) on there now. One of the books, if I had a physical copy, weighs in at over 3 lbs. The Kindle is 10.2 oz. Poundage wise, I'm carrying over 35 lbs of books in the Kindle.
I had my doubts...and I still know there are drawbacks. But, I think of the Kindle as an alternate reading instrument, not as a physical replacement. It's still price-driven. Some books are only available as physical versions and other are only $1-$2 more expensive as hardcover. Which do you think I'll go with there?

All in all, I'm a happy guy with the Kindle.
I got mine after reading this other Kindle 2 review on first ebook reader blog. I can't live without it.
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