December 3, 2008

Dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century

When the Mom-in-law visited over Thanksgiving, she brought early Christmas presents with her. She gave the wife and I each a Kindle, Amazon's wireless electronic reader. Knowing that we were both big readers, she figured we'd enjoy the latest technology. After a few days using the Kindle, it is a pretty cool device.

The screen is one of the more impressive features. Amazon's calls the technology "electronic paper", and it is pretty similar to reading a printed page. There is none of the electronic glow and glare of a typical computer screen, so there is none of the eye strain associated with it. The bonus features of doing your reading on the Kindle include:
  • The ability to carry about 200 books with you. You can also delete any of the books and download any of them later if you wish.
  • An included electronic dictionary so you can look up any words while you are reading. You can also look up the terms on Wikipedia as well.
  • You can create bookmarks, highlight passages, make notes and store clippings for later reference. The clippings can be saved to your computer as well.
  • You can purchase books for $9.99 or less and have them sent wirelessly to your Kindle for free. This can save quite a bit of money and time, especially on best sellers and new releases still in hardback.
  • You can download samples of any of the books before you buy.
  • You can also subscribe to newspapers and magazines and have them sent wirelessly to your Kindle, again at noticeable savings.
I have downloaded a sample of one of the books on my to-read list. I think I will especially enjoy using the Kindle for non-fiction reads. The ability to take notes and look up terms all on one device will be helpful. This will also come in handy for book club discussions.

The Kindle is one of those things I was interested in, but would not have purchased for myself anytime soon. And those are the best kind of presents. I have a stack books staring me in the face, so my regular use of the Kindle will probably a month or so away. I only wish I had it before I bought the Nicolas Sparks book for book club. Then I could have read it anonymously.


Holly said...

That sounds pretty great, but there's nothin' like a new book man. I think I would use both.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas isn't all that bad, is he? Are you embarrassed to carry that around? Well, I guess I get that. Funny how a guy feels about a 'chick' book, but there really isn't a reciprocal.