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On Kindle and Reading

Now that Maddox is 6 months old he’s much more sensitive to sound while he’s sleeping. As a result there’s been a lot more quiet time around our house. To fill that quiet time we’ve been spending more time reading. Whenever I read more it reminds me how much more satisfying time spent reading can be compared to watching the tube or playing games.

To help Vida read more easily while encumbered with an attached child, I bought her a Kindle 2 from Amazon. I’ve seen several complaints that the Kindle should have a bigger screen, a touch screen, no keyboard, less text on the device itself, blah blah… But the fact is the Kindle makes you want to read more and it makes it easier to find stuff to read as well. When you consider its core function, it’s a major win all around. A color touchscreen the size and weight of a magazine would indeed be awesome, but the Kindle we have now is pretty great, too.

5 replies on “On Kindle and Reading”

I’ve been thinkin about getting a Kindle as well.. The new one certainly is an improvement on the original… I love love books though… I may come by your spot to see how it performs, as you can’t buy one in a store.

If you love books themselves it may not be for you. I’ve actually always found books kinda hard to deal with… and they get in the way of reading. I don’t like having to hold it open all the time or having to change positions when I change pages and all that. On a kindle you can read one-handed really easily.

I have some quibbles with the Kindle (I’d prefer it if it were all screen – no keyboard), but I have to tell you, having gone from airport to airport and hotel to hotel over the last few weeks with several thick volumes in my bag, the benefit of electronic books are fresh on my mind.

My main beef beyond the form factor thing – which I could get over – is potentially losing my book ‘collection’ should Amazon’s DRM stop working. That’s the main thing I hate about DRM: Its potential lack of permanence (Microsoft’s PlaysForSure is a good example of what can happen, there) and lock-in.

A better model for me, I think, is the ability to buy an actual book and chip in another buck or two for a voucher good for a portable version. I’d do that in a heartbeat.

– Jeff

Yeah, the DRM part is not ideal. It doesn’t really worry me at all, though, because I don’t think I’ve ever read a book twice anyway. It’s not like music where I expect to continue to consume it repeatedly over time. The books for Kindle cost less than the dead tree versions (often much less) and take up less space in my crowded physical reality. That’s worth the potential trade-off of not having the book forever to me. There’s nothing about a Kindle that prevents you from also buying dead tree books, too.

As for the keyboard.. it’s actually pretty handy when searching through the Kindle booktore. My theory about it is Amazon needed that space to put electronics and they figured they might as well put a keyboard there… it’s a lot faster than picking out letters one by one using the little 5-way navigation stick would be. And I think I prefer the keyboard to just blank space.

The screen size is pretty adequate, though I wouldn’t mind it bigger as long as the device didn’t get any bigger. It’s about as big as I’d want a book reader to be. A dedicated magazine reader I could see being larger and thinner, though.

Technology is not so important.
What counts more is the reading experience.
The closer to a book or a magazine the better it is.

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