My Amazon Kindle Review

A user review of the Amazon Kindle ereader.

If you haven't seen a kindle before, the best way to describe it is that Kindle is to books, what an Ipod is to music. As an Ipod allows you portability of your music collection, a kindle allows you to take up to 1500 books with you wherever you go. it also allows you to download new books wirelessly, no need to go to a bookstore when you finish the book you are reading. You can download the next one in the series in under 60 seconds and be reading it in under two minutes.

For most of us, whether we love reading on the train, on the bus, or (as in my case) whilst whiling away the dead time spent waiting for my children to finish their after school activities, the kindle has one huge advantage over real paper books. It's small. By small I mean that not only is it light, (it weighs less than a paperback book) but it is thin too. The makers claim that it is 1/3 inch thick. All I can compare it with is that it is slimmer than my iphone and a lot slimmer than many of the books that were constantly spilling out of my handbag.

Wireless coverage is paid for by Amazon so there are no bills to ever pay other than the initial cost. I would however, recommend paying extra for the extended warranty. The reason I suggest this is that it is the only way to have damage caused by dropping covered, and I have personally destroyed one Kindle by dropping it.

Read a comparison of the ipad and the new Kindle Fire here


Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle

The Advantages

  • It is light -10.2oz's
  • It means that you can carry around your whole book collection and dip in at whim
  • You can also get newspapers, magazine subscriptions, email- the whole shebang.
  • The pages are remarkably like reading a real book in their look and feel. I was very concerned about reading from a screen but have had no eye strain whatsoever.
  • The page turning function is addictive- not sure I would be very happy to go back to real books again.
  • I love, love, love being able to download a sequel immediately. It is hugely addictive.
  • You can read a book sample before you buy. This is great and actually saved me buying a couple of books that I would have hated.
  • It's environmentally friendly. Think of the saved trees!
  • The battery seems to last for a long time as long as you switch off the wireless when you aren't using it.
  • There is a text to voice function that allows you to have the kindle read to you. This works perfectly for me on the school run.
  • There is a nifty dictionary function that allows you to clarify the meaning of words as you read. I don't use this much, but when I let my nine year old use it it's very useful for her.
  • You can bookmark pages, make notes etc. I didn't think I would use this function but I have actually used it a fair bit for the books that I read for my book club.
  • When you switch it on it knows where you were up to. This is great for me as I used to regularly spend time flicking through books to work out where I was up to.
  • It looks and feels just so cool! This is part of what makes it so utterly addictive. I am a complete book lover and I thought that part of that was the physicality of the book- holding it and inhaling the musty pages. Turns out I was totally wrong. I actually prefer the kindle.


Disadvantages

  • It doesn't have a back light. This is a little frustrating for me as I hoped to read in bed at night whilst my husband was asleep. However the pages really do look like paper which means that you need a light to read as you would with a book.You can purchase a light separately but I think it should be somehow built in.
  • There is something a little transient about the book purchases you make. I have thousands of paper books and i expect to give them to my children some day. I suspect that I won't be handing on my kindle library. Having said that, my paper books take up vast parts of my house- my kindle takes up a bit of space in my handbag.
  • The battery lasts a long time ( which is good) but I am hopeless at remembering to recharge which is a lot less of an advantage. Books never need recharging.
  • It is fairly expensive. (Update- it has got a lot cheaper as of AUG 10, so this no longer really applies!)To some extent this can be offset by the free classics available.
  • You really need the extended warranty in my opinion, which again adds to the cost.
  • You can't just lend out or pass on a book- although given the amount of paper books I have lost this way, perhaps that is not such a disadvantage!
  • I worry about investing too much money in something that I know will be obsolete fairly swiftly.

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