Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Loving My Kindle

Sara and I each received Kindles at Christmas time. Now I'm somewhat of a purist. I have been resistant for a long time to the idea of reading books on my computer. I don't enjoy reading long passages on the computer.

(Hint: If you want me to read your emails and blog posts, keep them relatively short.)

(Confession: This will probably be a long post.)

So when the Kindle came out, and when the Nook came out, I honestly didn't pay much attention. But then I was given one. And I really enjoy it. Does that mean I will never buy another book again? Hardly. But the Kindle is fun.

So let me just run through the pros and cons in a rambling fashion.

To put books on your Kindle, you have to shop the Kindle store (at amazon.com). You do that right on your Kindle, hooked up wirelessly to the Internet in your house (or McDonald's).

How much are books? Cheaper than hard copies. Many new books are $9.99, though the prices are edging up. But there are also many books that are cheaper, such as $.99 - $2.99, and there are also a variety of free books (usually very old books, like classics).

Sara right away put the NIV Bible on hers ($9.99) and Francis Chan's Crazy Love ($5). When she told me that, I went looking for free Bibles, and I found I could put my favorite translation, the ESV, onto my Kindle for free. Also the HCSB. Super!

Sara and I discovered the comical writings of P. G. Wodehouse a couple years back. Guess what? His books are ... free!

In addition to the Kindles we each received $40 in gift certificates to amazon.com. So I've had some fun spending that as well: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History ($9.99) and In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time ($10.99), both books I've been interested in for a while. I'm enjoying both.

My free books on my Kindle include:

  • The Lives of the Twelve Caesars (Suetonius),

  • The Civilization of China (Herbert A. Giles),

  • Across China on Foot (Edwin J. Dingle),

  • The Road (Jack London),

  • and The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne (Andrew Bonar),
all old books.

There is no back light on the Kindle, so there is no glare, which is very nice and part of the reason I don't enjoy reading off the computer so much.

Turning the pages in a Kindle is quick and easy. You can size the print on the screen to your liking, choosing from 8 different sizes. I have mine set rather large. Why strain my eyes?
When you close a book to look at another, the Kindle remembers where you were at, so that when you re-open that book later, you go right to the spot where you left off. You can also bookmark various pages for later reference.

The Kindle allows you to highlight whatever you wish, and it keeps track of all your highlighted portions separate from the book. You don't have to page through a book to find all your highlights.

It further allows you to type in notes wherever you like in the book, which I have done both in my Bibles as well as in some of the books.

One disadvantage is that the actual page numbers are not displayed on the Kindle (though I understand that's coming--whether it will come to my Kindle or not, I don't know).

Another disadvantage is that it's not easy to flip to a different place in your book from where you're at. It can be done, but it takes a few steps. This is especially annoying in the Bibles, when I most often want to check out other passages.
However, these disadvantages are slight compared to the fun of using a Kindle.


Phillip A. said...

Tera has a Kindle now as well. She loves it! She' actually sitting on the couch next to be reading right now! What a great piece of technology!

MMR said...

Interesting, thanks. I've been quite hesitant to buy a Kindle or Nook. There's just something about a good old fashioned book...

I guess that there isn't one good solution--kind of like trying to find one perfect pair of boots. I gave that up and bought multiple pairs for different uses (that makes sense in my head).