Kindle: A Review
I have had my Kindle now for about a month and I figured that I had used it enough to warrant a review. So here are some of the pros and cons:
- Small, light and easily transportable
- Reads well in sunlight and low light
- Can carry hundreds nay thousands of books in one convenient device
- Read any of the books I have anywhere, anytime
- WiFi works great with quick downloads of new books
- Seamless integration with other Kindle apps
- Keeps track of my highlights and notes
- Lend books
- Tons of free books via Amazon and Project Gutenberg
- Battery life lasts about 1000 years
- Clunky controls and writing
- Doesn’t smell like a new book
- Can’t throw it like a book without breaking it
- Not enough control selecting words/phrases for definitions
- No built in translation tools
- No color
Some of those cons are minor quibbles, actually most of them are. It does bug me that I can’t pick a word, two words, or a phrase and google it or wiki it or translate it (yes I know I can pick a word and do most of that but it’s not the same as translating a word. Also sometimes it has issues with hyphenated words or a word that is separated with a space or a hyphen). What they need to do is allow you is take a lesson from the iPhone. When you select a word, phrase, sentence etc they should give you the option to highlight, translate, Google, etc. This would give the user greater control over the text and make the device more valuable. I would hope that something like that would be added in another addition, but I think that it is something that should be there already seeing as how they are in the third generation. Saying that, however, it is not a make or break it disfunction. While the writing can be clunky I don’t find myself writing enough on it to matter. And I will probably get better with writing the more I use it. No color isn’t a big deal because most of the books I’m reading don’t have pictures in them, or pictures I care about seeing in color. However, I’d like to use the Kindle magazine services to get subscriptions to Nat Geo or something like that. Well black and white is a complete disservice then. The problem is that I then have to buy an analog version of the magazine (yawn) or an iPad or something equivalent. (This may be where the Nook gets a leg up but I think the Nook is trying to be too much. I also don’t really care for Barnes & Nobles online service. I find Amazon much more convenient.) Since I plan on getting an iPad at some point it’s not a big deal. Once I get one I’ll switch my magazine services over to digital magazines and use my iPad for that and comic books.
On the other hand, the pros are huge. Most of them are game changers. Have you ever found yourself reading a book that you get bored with all of a sudden? Usually if you are away from home that means that you’re stuck with it. Not with the Kindle. When you can carry gobs and gobs of books on one device you are free to switch books at anytime. Also I find myself reading constantly. Most days I commute an hour to and from work. Now instead of just sitting around staring blankly at the person across from me on the Metro (although at times I still do that), I find myself reading. So much so that I am annoyed when I have to change trains or go to work. Bathroom break, reading. Lunchtime, reading (sorry co-workers). Boring meeting/class, reading. Sometimes you don’t realize how much time you have to read, which was my case until I got my Kindle. I was always complaining about how little time I have to read but now not so much. Everyday I am making my way through books that I want to read which is fantastic. Is the Kindle (or any other ereader) going to make analog books die a pitiful death? No why should it? I will still rely on analog books for history and research. There’s no way that any ereader will ever (for me) replace analog books when it comes to research. There will also be those books that I enjoy so much that I may prefer reading in analog form or that I will want to own a digital and analog copy.
What the Kindle does though is it allows me to read quickly, efficiently, and constantly those books that I want to read (oh by the way the books are cheaper too). The Kindle does one thing and it does it really, really well. Because of that, I would heartily endorse it to anyone who likes to read books.
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