Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The State of My Kindle

Christmas 2009, my son and daughter-in-law bought me a Kindle. It's a 2nd generation, not to be confused with the 3rd generation with all the bells and whistles. I'm still happily trying to figure this one out, so don't ask me to upgrade. I have a modest number of books bought - about 50, I think. (I've been picky!) I've noted a few things about the Kindle that I'd like to share, and these are in no particular order.

1. CHEERS - It is so easy to handle and the battery last for-ever. Access to the Amazon Kindle store is fast and navigates easily. Keys are a bit close together for typing, but it isn't any worse than my cell phone keyboard designed by someone in LG China who doesn't understand how to type. (Sigh. A different story).

2. JEERS - I wish it had a way to lump your purchases together, but every time you click the buy button, it charges whatever credit card you have as default on Amazon. When I'm in the mood to buy, I'm not particularly excited about four or five separate charges on my debit card. I got around that by buying a gift card, but be aware.

3. CHEERS - There is an ever widening inventory of new and interesting things to read and old favorites being added to their inventory all the time. I have yet to understand the disparity in pricing from author to author and book to book and admit to being frustrated with the lack of some of the older favorite author books available, but I think these things will even out eventually. Besides, my pocketbook can only take so much abuse.

4. JEERS - Do not like the percentage read instead of the page numbers. Drives me batty. It's a minor thing I got used to, but high on my list of annoyances with the reader.

5. CHEERS - Of all the books I've purchased, only one out of fifty did I wish I'd bought in paperback. Proves to me that I easily adapted to using the reading, highlighting, bookmarking features and so can you.

6. JEERS - Screensavers are BORING. Too bad it can't come with a way for you to download your own pictures and create your own. Plus, no backlight or reading light wired into the thing. That would be nice for nights you need to read under the covers so as not to disturb the natives.

7. CHEERS - There are a few games developed for it now, so that's a plus. I purchased Scrabble and it works efficiently (my Palm actually has a better version, but that's just one more electronic device to haul when I travel). This isn't a large plus for me as I have a DS and a PlayStation2, but there are those of you that may appreciate this feature. (Although, can someone explain to me why Scrabble and Monopoly are ALWAYS the first games available for new devices?)

8. JEERS - Not the best format for reading daily newspapers. The important stuff is all there - national news, finance, but the sections I like to read (Life and Comics)weren't in the e-paper version and that format doesn't allow for cutting out articles to save in my author idea file, so after a few tries of several newspapers, I nixed that arrangement.

9. CHEERS - The rest of the family is branching into Kindles now too, so I was very happy to discover we can book share. Makes things much more interesting!

Ebooks are the wave of the future. Do I think they will replace paper books. No. Never. But we as a culture of readers will take our books in formats as varied as our interests. I highly recommend owning one.

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