Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Kindle Touch review

Jeremy got me a Kindle Touch for Christmas. I wasn't so sure about the whole Kindle thing, but I was willing to give it a try and Jeremy was willing to give me a Kindle, so it all worked out.

Verdict: I LOVE MY KINDLE.

Pros: I love being able to tuck my Kindle into my purse and know that I will not run out of reading material at any time during any spare moment. I love that it is unobtrusive and doesn't take up a lot of space in my purse. I love that no matter how "thick" the book I'm reading, the Kindle is lightweight and easy to hold. I love that I can operate it with one hand and take care of children with the other, all without losing my place or having Magdalena pull my bookmark out. On that note, I love that I can quickly snap it shut (I have a simple cover on mine) and not worry about having to remember what page I'm on. I love that I don't have to worry about getting my hands on hard-to-find physical copies of books in random bookstores in the UAE. (And I'm sure the AUS library loves that I've stopped requesting that they buy so many books just to feed my reading habits.) I love that I can sometimes find awesome books for a dollar, or two dollars, or sometimes three. I love that I can get Kindle books at the library for free. I love that I can change the font size with a swipe of two fingers so that when I'm at the park with the kids and the sun is going down and the streetlights haven't turned on yet, I can make the type bigger and eke out five more minutes of reading. As I saw with A Red Herring Without Mustard, I love that I can highlight favorite or interesting or clunky or questionable passages of a book with the touch of a finger (and look up word definitions, too!).

Cons: I find that reading non-fiction is more of a chore on a Kindle. Non-fiction books are often enriched by maps, and appendices, and pictures, and sometimes you want to flip back to check on a name or a date. That's not so easy on a Kindle. Also, the Kindle displays a progress percentage at the bottom of the screen so during drier or more tedious sections of a book (and this happens more often with non-fiction), you are reminded at every moment that the percentage completed is barely crawling by. Then, since that percentage includes the notes, index, afterword, etc., a non-fiction book often reaches its true conclusion at 80%-85% in, which is disorienting. There is something to be said for feeling a book's true heft in your hands and being able to get an idea of the scope of the book by flipping through its pages before settling in to read it. That's not really possible on a Kindle. Finally - and this is kind of weird - my memories of books are sometimes tied to their physical appearance or the way they "feel" to read. Now I have a whole bunch of memories of reading dozens of different books while holding the same slim electronic device in my hands. It makes for a less rich reading experience.

But overall, those cons are mere quibbles. My Kindle allows me to read more books, including books that I wouldn't normally have access to, in places I wouldn't normally be able to read them (because it's not always practical to carry around a huge book everywhere). If you think you might like a Kindle, just get one already. You'll probably love it, as I do.

11 comments:

  1. Nice and a timely review for me :)

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  2. Amen to everything you have said, for all the same reasons.

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  3. I'm pretty much in the same camp as you when it comes to my Kindle. My favorite thing about it is that I now really can carry a book with me EVERYWHERE. Because it's so awful to waste even five minutes in line when you could be reading a good book (well, I guess I could be making friends with the other people in line, but I'm kind of introverted like that).

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  4. And you've pretty much described my feelings for my Kindle exactly, except that mine is one of the old school non-touch ones. But I still love, love, love it, and especially the way the e-ink doesn't feel like reading a computer screen and is so much easier on the eyes.

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  5. I really didn't think I would love mine as much as I do! Almost every time I'm reading I still think, "I love my Kindle!" I held out for a long time when all my friends got them and just couldn't wrap my head around the concept, but I'm so glad I finally took the plunge.

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  6. I completely agree with your pros of the Kindle. Those are the reasons I love mine. I also love that its not like reading on my iphone or computer, it feels much more like reading a page in a book! My con and its a biggie for me, besides the ones you mention, is that I wish it had an ability to back-light or change contrast (white letters on a black screen) for reading in less than perfect light. I have the old-school kindle, so maybe this changed on the Kindle touch. Or maybe I
    haven't figured out how to do it yet?? (Hoping!)
    I'm so glad you like it!

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  7. I've wondered about a kindle so thanks for your review. I truly love the smell of books too which is a big con for me. weird?

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  8. It's funny you would write about this now. I was just thinking I ought to ask you whether you use a tablet over there to fill in for the supposed lack of public libraries. I just got a Kindle and the e-subscription to National Geographic alone makes it worth it. National Geographic magic without all the weight of years of hard copies floating around the house!

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  9. As you mentioned, kindle is the solution to this:

    http://abstrusegoose.com/454

    Also, the kindle has been sort of a dud at my house because my beginning readers can't use their finger to follow along with the words without turning the page... I'm hoping for a renaissance a bit later on.

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  10. In my case, I listen to audio books, such as while commuting to work, doing mindless tasks, or working in the yard. I associate certain things with certain books, like "Hunger Games" when I was sick with a very bad cold, or "Escape" with the block wall in back, or "Atlas Shrugged" with our Mexico cruise, etc.

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  11. "my memories of books are sometimes tied to their physical appearance or the way they "feel" to read. Now I have a whole bunch of memories of reading dozens of different books while holding the same slim electronic device in my hands."

    best review of any ereader i have read so far!

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I had to disallow anonymous comments because of all the spam I was getting. Sorry!

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