Saturday, May 28, 2011

And now there's a Kindle in my briefcase

I am a new and curious Kindle owner, thanks to my lovely wife.

Interesting device: it can hold 1500 books at a time, adding a new one is instantaneous, you can search for text, highlight and annotate, hell you can even check Facebook, which by the way looks better using the texty version of touch.facebook.com.

If I had bought the books on Kindle that I bought in paper, I would typically have saved a buck or 5 on them, plus delivery charges for the online purchases, if any. So there may be a cost savings over time.

But here's the thing: I can get thousands of books for free, books that I have always figured I should get around to reading...EM Forester, Joseph Conrad, Dickens...that are off copyright and there for the download. And since we have a house full of books with no shelf space for new ones, it's got some practical value in terms of clutter control, no small feature I must say.

I downloaded the complete works of Winston Churchill for free, only to find that it was not THAT Winston Churchill but a US author who writes of the days of Davey Crockett. So it turns out you can easily delete books from your device...just push the left side of the Kindle's square mouse device once inside the book in question. Easy peasy.

For the broader web experience, count me impressed in a Windows 2 for DOS sort of way. For the book experience, count me impressed period.

It's amazing, this device, for its stated purpose of enabling the acquisition of books from a huge list, for little or no money, from pretty much anywhere, and allowing the owner to read them on the run, in places where the brighter the light the better the experience, unlike my Panasonic Toughbook on which this is being typed.


The typing and web interfaces are not even Blackberry-simple, but the book buying and reading functionality and interfaces are completely streamlined and easy.

Buy one for what they are good for, and look past the clunkiness in what it wasn't really designed for. No regrets, and two thumbs up.

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