Jul 30, 2009


My wife scored a Kindle (second gen) for her birthday few months back from her boss. My wife doesn't read that much, so I've been able to use it over the last few months and have become really addicted to the thing.
  • I'm a book whore. I covet books. I have 3 large shelves packed with books. I thought it would be really difficult to buy an electronic book. Actually the first one was. I picked a marginal book and author for my first download. The second one was a book I already own. That kind of got me over the hump. I'm not sure I'll ever buy another physical book. It's hard to explain my change of heart. If I could cost effectively trade my physical books for Kindle books I would.
  • The small Kindle 2 is a nice size. The screen seems small at first but the screen size is really irrelevant. It's the font size that matters and that's adjustable. This will also come in handy as my eyes fade with age.
  • I can't say I'm overly impressed with the e-ink technology. It works and it's easier on the eyes than an LCD screen, but it's a dull gray versus a nice white and the transition from page to page is a tad jarring.
  • It's so much easier to read the Kindle than a book. The elimination of page turning and spine bending and bookmarks falling out and loosing my spot are really nice. I don't squirm around trying to find a good position to read the Kindle like I do with a book. Many reviewers disagree with me on this one.
  • I read faster on the Kindle. I like large fonts. My eyes do less scanning with large fonts. That means quicker reading.
  • The Kindle for iPhone app has a nice 'whispersync' feature that updates how far you've read. I read the Kindle in bed and the iPhone on the subway and it's always where I left off after syncing. Nice.
  • I read more now that I use a Kindle. I'm not sure why.
  • Downloading books takes seconds. It's very quick.
  • Not all books are formatted that well. I've run across pages with odd font irregularities and spacing and page breaks where they shouldn't be. There's even typos. Hopefully this gets cleared up.
  • Some books are free. Arthur Conan Doyle books are totally free downloads.
  • One user interface problem is where chapters end. I like to end on a chapter but you have no visual clue to tell you have far you are from the end of a chapter. There's a progress bar for the full book but they need a second one for chapters.
  • The battery life is great.
  • The next and previous page buttons are loud. They need to mute the clicking a bit.
  • The hardware is very light and very thin. Thinner than my iPhone.
  • The keyboard is awful but it's irrelevant since you rarely use it. The joystick is awful and this is relevant as it is used to invoke the auto dictionary feature. It's a bit cumbersome.
  • The auto dictionary feature is awesome. Awesome!
  • For the most part the books I've read are significantly cheaper than real book versions. The availability is still somewhat lacking though.
  • I don't have a lot of books yet but I don't see any foldering system for archived books. I imagine after 5 years when I have tons of books this will be addressed.
  • I'm aware that the Kindle has tons of hidden features. They are not obviously detected. I need to sit down with the manual one of these days.

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