This is going to be a hub page with all of my writings and reviews related to the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Watch this space for more articles and news related to the Kindle, possible competitors and other related topics.

For starters here are all of the articles in the category “Kindle”:

Why a dedicated e-reader?

E-ink Simply put it’s the best display suited for reading other than print on a page (and some argue it’s better than print on a page due to being resizable.) Backlit LCD’s are not conducive to restful reading, full sun reading and tire the eyes.

Why Kindle vs. Nook?

For me it was personal preference. I’ve been an customer for years and could find more positive information about Kindle’s ability to handle and render non English text as well as English language text. If you don’t know I like to Study Languages including Learning Spanish. I couldn’t find much definitive information on the nooks handling of accents and umlauts or other character sets. I’ve seen much discussion of this working and first hand proof of this working on the Kindle 3.

Why 3G vs. wifi only?

Show me anywhere else you can get the ability to browse the web from a mobile device over cellphone 3g for merely the cost of the device. One time, up front $50 premium to be able to have global 3g in case you need it is a pretty good bargain from what I see. Smartphone data plans are easily $60 a month with a 2 year commitment (plus the device). True they could change their terms soon and say that web browsing is billed at a certain rate. Buying books over 3g are free though and I expect will continue to be free. (Except for the obvious cost of the book plus possibly an international roaming charge.)

I don’t travel much right now and typically have wifi, but it’s nice to have the 3G as a backup particularly if I may travel more in the future and given that it’s JUST a $50 investment for it.

But it doesn’t have a touch screen?

This is something that I could see as being useful (especially for highlighting passages, selecting words for lookup or zooming and web functionality.) I think a future kindle may have a touch screen IF they can do so without adding glare to the screen AND if they can still keep the cost relatively low. Personally I think it’s possible.

But it’s not color!

Admittedly on the web browsing side color is missed somewhat. I’m not buying for web browsing I’m buying for books though and for most of those black/white is good enough. Color e-ink is on the way, although it will remain to be seen if it’s pushed into the Kindle anytime soon.

But you can’t borrow books from the library!

Right now, that’s true. I suspect it will change. I’m not betting on it to change, I just think that it’s a matter of time until that is no longer an issue. For that matter I haven’t checked out a library book in years and didn’t buy a kindle expecting to start.

But you can’t lend books!

I haven’t done that too much anyway. That’s coming soon to the Kindle and from what I’ve seen on the Nook, you can only lend a book once in it’s existence. (For 14 days). So it’s still not as good there as a real book that could be lent out over and over for long periods of time

But you have to buy from!

No, you don’t. There are many booksellers out there that sell in formats the kindle can read. For that matter there are many free books out there (project gutenberg) as well.

But I like a real book!

I do too. I don’t think real books are ever going away completely. (I certainly hope not.) There is a certain elegant quality to a nicely bound book. Most of the books I have bought in recent years aren’t nicely bound though. They’re not on my shelf as collectors items they are there to read. I struggle with reading for long periods of time with balancing the book with the right page open, holding my hand just so to be ready to turn the page. Ergonomically I think an ereader is an improvement.

But the iPad is cool!

Yes and to me the android pads are cool too. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good e-book reader. LCD’s aren’t great for that, there are LOT’s of potential distractions, shorter battery life, bulkier in comparison and for the most part typically more expensive.

But the Nook is better!

Not for my uses. If you’ve decided it’s better for you because of certain features then congratulations! Not everyone wears the same size and style shoes as you do either so don’t try to wedge us into your penny loafers.

One parting thought – When I buy something I research thoroughly. I read reviews looking for trends, etc. I have been amazed to see at the Kindle page at around 70-80 new reviews EACH DAY, the vast majority are 4 and 5 star reviews. I think in the last two or three days I’ve seen 5-10 1 and 2 star reviews. (Maybe 5 a day.) For the most part the poor reviews are 1) people that didn’t realize that kindle wasn’t compatible with their library ebooks, 2) people that didn’t realize they couldn’t buy from just any bookstore online with an epub book. 3) people that for some reason expected touchscreen/backlighting or other features that were not listed. The first two points cut to the heart of what drm is today. Free (un-drm protected) epub files can easily be converted for kindle and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them natively supported sometime. DRM (which amazon kindle downloads do have too) is another thorny thicket. In music the drm-free emp3 seems to be winning the day. I only hope that in books drm-free formats will ultimately win out.    Send article as PDF   

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