Sunday, 8 May 2011

Read On - My Kindle experience

The 3rd Generation Amazon Kindle

I’ve been traveling a lot of late and I’ve found a revelation.  The Kindle.  It’s not a new or revolutionary device but it’s changed the way I read.  I may be late to the party but it’s never too late to start reading.
I tend to generally read more when I travel and it was always been an issue to lug around a book or two in my hand luggage or to find myself frustrated when I’m on a plane and I’ve finished my book and there’s been nothing decent on the inflight entertainment to watch.
With the Kindle though, it’s as if I’ve discovered the joys of reading again.
One reason why I’ve avoided e-readers till now was that I didn’t like the idea of reading off a screen, much preferring the paper editions.  I somehow never felt comfortable when was I reading off a screen for an extended period of time however with the Kindle’s e-ink technology, it’s surprisingly soothing on the eyes.  You can read it for hours and not feel the strain on your eyes as you would on an LCD-based device.
The other advantage of the Kindle has been that you can multiple books stored on one lightweight, featherweight device.  Reading two or even three books simultaneously has all of a sudden become a possibility.
Looks like I don't need another bookshelf
in my office after buying the Kindle
Comparatively, you could read e-books off the Kindle App on the iPad, iPhone or other similar devices but holding an iPad in your hand for hours on end, isn’t practical because of its weight and screen technology.  It eventually weighs you down whereas with the Kindle, it’s light enough to hold onto for hours.  The advantage of the iPad App though is that if you start a book on your Kindle device, you can start off where you left off on your iPad because it synchronizes your progress across the different devices you’re reading on.

There are two versions of the Kindle available, a WIFI model and a 3G version.  I opted for the WIFI model but the 3G model is unique in that it doesn't require you to get a data plan.  It works in most countries and any data costs related to downloading a book on the Kindle are borne by Amazon.

Sharing a book isn’t the same though.  For those traditionalists who enjoy buying a book and then lending it onto a few friends, this is something that you can’t do on the Kindle.
Visiting a bookstore is a different experience as well.  While I love going to bookstores, I’ve found it different since I got the Kindle.  I now see myself as a traitor in a bookstore.  I’m in there to browse through a few books and getting ideas for what I can download from the Amazon Kindle store.
With the Kindle, I’ve also found myself reading at home, which is something I wasn’t doing as often.  Whether this is just a passing fad or a habit that I pick up for life, I’m not sure, but I hope to keep it up for as long as I can.
If you haven’t used a Kindle yet, try it out.  I’m sure it’s bound to change the way you read as well.  With so many distractions and attention spans getting shorter, I’m glad I found something that keeps my attention for more than five minutes at a time.