Dipping my toes into Kindle’s waters

by Richard on September 28, 2011

It has to be said. I like a gadget. So I’ve been giving occasional thought to getting myself one of Amazon’s Kindle devices. I’ve had a play with display models at the supermarket and been impressed. Mrs H likes the idea too, but although £150 might not be a fortune in the grand scheme of things, the realities of keeping my kids mean that I probably shouldn’t indulge myself this time.

However, all is not lost. Last week I downloaded the Kindle app onto my laptop and my phone. It might be quite the same as the real device, but my first impressions are very positive. So far I’ve only tried free books, but I’ll seriously consider a Kindle download the next time I make a book purchase from Amazon. I’d be interested to hear other people’s experience of the Kindle (or other eReaders). Is it time to take the plunge?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Bob Gilston 09.28.11 at 10:59 pm

I’ve seen people using them on planes when I’ve been travelling. Advantage - you can carry a lot of books in a Kindle without the weight or volume when travelling.
However - it’s a hell of an expensive way to read books. Evelyn buys most of the books she reads in charity shops. You can’t deposit a Kindle book in a charity shop. I’m not sure what the restrictions are about swapping Kindle books with other people but there are restrictions.
A very neat piece of kit but I don’t think we would justify the expense. We’d also miss browsing in book shops.

2

Pam 09.28.11 at 11:19 pm

I don’t mind the idea of Kindle so much - but only if there’s a Musty Old Book Smell app!
My bookshop owner would be most aggrieved also.

3

Tim Chesterton 09.29.11 at 3:45 am

I’ve got one and I think it’s great. The screen is not backlit so there’s no glare. And it’s a rare book that’s more than $10. but your prices are obviously higher than ours. I think I paid about $180 for mine.

4

Kim 09.29.11 at 6:19 am

Following on from Pam: you can’t smell it, mark it, turn the pages, or put it on your library shelf. And I reckon it’s a gnostic heresy.

5

Bob Gilston 09.29.11 at 7:35 am

Kim - Like me I think you’re a Luddite, but I agree with the smelly, feely, touchy desire for a book. I still think it’s an expensive way of reading a book.

6

Pam 09.29.11 at 8:30 am

Yep, my joy is in looking at my books in the bookcases at home; going into my bookshop and browsing, talking to the bookshop owner about ordering a new book, then he rings when the book comes in & I go in and we discuss the book. Heavenly!

7

Richard 09.29.11 at 9:22 am

I’m not convinced that an electronic text is the same thing as a printed book, even if the words are the same. I don’t think I can articulate it beyond that, but I’m sure that there is a different relationship between reader and text. The question is, will etext replace printed books (as books replaced scrolls), or will they continue to co-exist? Yes, ereaders are an expensive way to read books — but until very recently, books were an expensive way to read books!

I’ve a mind to annoy Kim by buying a Kindle version of his book, thus implicating him in Gnosticism. Then I’m to translate it into Esperanto!

8

Pam 09.29.11 at 10:02 am

E-readers - a bit cold to hold! That’s my verdict. However, they are here to stay.
I’ve done my best to teach my children the adventure of turning the page in a book, of holding a book and of having a ‘favourite’ book. I’m pleased to say that my oldest daughter and son are as nuts about books as I am!

9

Kim 09.29.11 at 6:40 pm

Actually, I bought a Kindle for Angie last Christmas! But as she’s a Roman Catholic and so already in sterling on heresy, what’s a penny’s worth of gnosticism?

And: I’m not convinced that an electronic text is the same thing as a printed book, even if the words are the same. I don’t think I can articulate it beyond that, but I’m sure that there is a different relationship between reader and text.

I’m sure you’re right.

10

PamBG 09.29.11 at 9:28 pm

I have the Kindle app on my iPod Touch and on my Mac and I actually find reading books on the iPod Touch pretty convenient. You get through a page in no time! ;-)

I bought a theology book on Kindle for $10 less than the printed version of the book and I’ve already downloaded a number of books. It’s a bit more awkward to use books for studying on the Kindle than regular bound books, but I can’t see much of a difference for other uses. Unless you’re going to be doing most of your reading in glaring sunlight.

11

Richard 09.29.11 at 9:49 pm

I’m quite enjoying using the app on my phone. But to be honest, I’m still reeling from Kim’s revelation that he bought his missus a Kindle.

12

Phillip Fayers 09.30.11 at 8:17 am

Kindle cost will continue to reduce (see the new models announced yesterday) and there is some evidence to suggest owning an ereader increases the amount of material you read. In the plus column you also don’t need so many shelves in the house - and moving house would be a lot easier!

On the downside you lose that visual reminder of the amount of “stuff” you have, which is sometimes one of the few things that restrains the desire to acquire more.

13

Tim 09.30.11 at 3:34 pm

I definitely read more since I bought my Kindle. It goes everywhere I go, and whenever I get a spare ten minutes I whip it out and read. I have several Bible translations on it which is useful for group Bible studies. And I can read it in almost-glaring sunlight, because the screen is not backlit.

I’m not convinced that an electronic text is the same thing as a printed book, even if the words are the same.

Well, I’m not convinced that an email is the same as a letter, either, but that doesn’t mean I’m going out to buy paper and stamps any time soon.

14

Pam 10.01.11 at 2:51 am

Care to come over and dust my bookshelves some time soon, Tim?
I’d write you a very nice written thank you note which I would send through the (soon to be) archaic mail system.
I’ve heard our mailman is retraining to be a Kindle salesperson.

15

Pam 10.01.11 at 5:14 am

Kim @ comment 9: an Australian journalist was convicted a few days ago for breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He suggested that pale-skinned Aboriginals were more white than black and should behave that way. I wonder if there is a Religious Discrimination Act (in the UK that is)?

16

Tony Buglass 10.01.11 at 9:17 am

“I’m not convinced that an email is the same as a letter, either…”

Horses for courses. If I want to write formally to thank someone, a nicely written letter is better. If want o send someone something they might wish to keep, a letter is better. When I’m studying, some things are easier and more efficiently read or written electronically, others are better dealt with in books.

It isn’t ‘either.. or..’ it’s ‘both… and..’ - appropriate technology. If I did a lot of travelling, I’d probably buy a Kindle. I don’t, so I probably won’t.

17

Pam 10.01.11 at 9:55 am

I have kept all the letters my husband and I wrote to each other over a period of 10 months before we were married - they’d be amongst the first things I’d save in an emergency situation.
I don’t think I’d risk my life to save the computer - you can always buy another one.

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