Learning to Love The Kindle

by james mathias / 2008 / personal

I read a lot.

Well, since I first opened “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on my twenty-ninth birthday I’ve been reading non-stop.

Five years and hundreds of books later, I’m still as engrossed in the worlds and stories only found in books. However, I find myself with hundreds of books in my personal library and likewise hundreds of pounds of paper and words weighing me down.

A while back I took my music library digital and effectively cut a couple hundred pounds of belongings out of my life. Since then I’ve toyed with the idea of going digital with my movie library and my books.

For Christmas, my wife Amy made the book decision for me, and I have to say I’m really glad she did.

She gave me an Amazon Kindle.

First Impressions

The packaging for Kindle is impressive and very Applesque. Clean, straight forward, easy to open and locate the device.

Kindle comes in a book shaped white box with some nice typography artwork, it opens like a book and holds the device in one side and the power supply and abridged owner’s manual (read: pamphlet) in the other side. Additionally it comes with a nice leather “book” cover to store the device in when not in use. Overall, un-boxing the Kindle was a pleasant experience.

My Kindle came fully powered, I turned it on and it was good to go, the full owner’s manual is available as your first book. The screen is crisp and easy to read from.

Getting Books

Unfortunately, unlike CDs and DVDs you cannot “import” books you already own onto the Kindle, it requires repurchasing any books you want to read on the Kindle.

I bought two new books; Dean Koontz’ “Your Heart Belongs To Me” and John Green’s “Paper Towns”. I purchased them via Kindle’s built in store and I did so on Christmas Morning.

The purchase went well, it uses your existing amazon account and credit card, so it’s truly one click purchasing.

Unfortunately, I never got the books, they were supposed to download within a minute to my Kindle. I waited three hours, logged into Amazon and clicked the send to Kindle button and waited another twenty minutes.

Nothing.

I downloaded the books to my computer and transferred them to kindle with the supplied USB cable, this process took seconds, both books now snugly on the Kindle.

Something I found a little annoying is that there is a small/short delay in typing and display. I attribute this to the slower Ink rendering process and not a flaw with the software, but it can be a bit slow to begin a search in comparison to my laptop which has digital rendering.

I have not attempted to purchase another book, but I’m assuming the delay of download was due to it being Christmas morning and the Kindle being this years big thing (thanks Oprah).

Reading on Kindle

For me this is the single greatest joy of owning Kindle.

It’s easy to read, the screen doesn’t have any glare. I experienced no eye strain for extended reading sessions. Kindle weighs very little so as opposed to it’s heavy hard cover cousins, Kindle is easy to hold with one hand for long periods.

Kindle has convenient buttons for turning pages, literally one click of the thumb and the page is turned, which eliminates the potential of losing track of your reading, as sometimes found with traditional page turning systems.

There are no spines to ruin, no creases to read into, just flat pages.

You can change text size very easily, which means every book has the same font and font size. No more books with impossibly small text crammed onto small pages!

The screen is rendered with real ink that has been given an electric charge and instructions on where to live for the currently displayed page.

It’s very impressive. Unfortunately this does cause some minor ghosting when using a menu or looking up a word on a page, as the screen doesn’t refresh for menus, and there is some residual ink left behind from each menu. This is all cleared once you turn the page however, so it’s not a persistent problem, nor does it hinder reading at all, just something my overly critical eye caught.

The screen is easy to read in all situations that any paper and ink content delivery system would be. In the sun, in reading light—all good. In the dark you will need a lamp just as you would with a paper book.

Conclusion?

The Amazon Kindle is an amazing device, I cannot imagine reading a traditional book now that I’ve experienced Kindle. I’m even considering repurchasing all my favorite books digitally and then lessening my physical load that much more.

I’ve found a new way to love my stories. I’d recommend the Kindle to anyone and everyone.

Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.

Blaise Pascal circa unknown