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So I got a Kindle…

So I got a Kindle for Christmas and I’ve just finished reading my first full book using it. I have to say I’m enjoying it a lot.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard a lot about the Kindle already, so I won’t bore you with a huge advertisement about the product (“And its only three easy installments of $259.00!”) but I do want to talk a little bit about it since a lot of people still don’t really like the idea of ebooks. I know because I myself was like that not too long ago. I used to not be able to stand reading anything longer than an standard news article or blog post on the computer, so the thought of reading an entire book on a screen was not that appealing to me at first (which is ironic since by that time I had written fan fiction and short stories that I posted online that forced other people to read on computer screens for extended periods of time). However, over the past year or so, I’ve gotten more used to it. I think the big reason for that is that I’m writing a lot more which allows me to get used to reading text on a computer really quick and became more interested in ebooks. Hense, the Kindle.

Now, even though I got used to reading on a computer screen, I want to say that reading on the Kindle is NOTHING like reading on a computer screen. The screen on the Kindle is a black and white LCD that isn’t backlit, which you think would be a bad thing, but the fact it isn’t backlit means it has a lot less strain on the eyes. The words displayed on the screen are always very clear and it really does succeed in not being anymore difficult to read for extended periods of time than a normal book would. In fact, since you can change the font size of books to suit your personal preferences, I would say it puts far less strain on your eyes than a normal book does, which is why changing the font is one of my favorite features on the Kindle, despite how simple that is.

Well…changing the font AND having access to tons of books. I was disappointed that not every single book I’m interested in isn’t available on Kindle, but they do have quite a lot. And almost all the books they do have are cheaper than getting the actual print version. You can get new hardbacks for about 10 bucks on average, and even books that are published in paperback are a dollar or two cheaper on the Kindle. If you really like reading and buy a lot of books (like I tend to do), the Kindle will probably actually save you a bit of money in the long-run.

Of course, the downside to this is that being able to wirelessly access the Kindle store on the device means you are constantly tempted to buy books since all it would take is a few seconds (essentially it has the iTunes Effect), but it’s still a very good device and it is convient getting new books instantly. For example, if I wanted to read Good Omens (I already own it but I want to use it as an example because the book is awesome and if you have not read it, you are a bad person and you should feel bad), before I would either have to go to Barnes and Noble and hope they have the book in stock or order off Amazon and wait for it to come in the mail about 3-5 days later. But with the Kindle, all I have to do is load up Kindle store, select Good Omens, buy it, and its downloaded to my Kindle after less than a minute. The total process takes less than five minutes. Like I said, this may lead to a lot of book impulse buying, but I do like the conveince.

Which isn’t to say the Kindle is perfect. Like I said, not every book is available on the Kindle, not by a long shot. It still has a very very wide selection, but it’s by no means perfect (I was personally disappointed almost none of Steven Brust‘s books were yet available on the Kindle). The wireless can also sometimes be a tad slow depending on what area you’re in, which is a bit frustrating since I live in the Freaking Woods. I guess I understand I’m not in a very good area, but I have an aircard through Verizon that gives me 3G wireless access and it works fine, so I was a little disappointed the Kindle’s wireless was not as fast as that. Also, the web browser in the Kindle is very bare-bones. I personally didn’t care much about the web browser, but it’s not a fantastic web-browser.

But all in all I say I enjoy the device. After all, it’s just supposed to be a device for reading and it serves its purpose well. If you read and buy a lot of books, I really would consider getting one if you could afford it. Like I said, it would probably save you a lot of money over time and, even if you don’t like reading on a computer screen or anything like that, reading on the Kindle will still feel very natural. You can trust me on that. So overall, it’s a good device that I really enjoy and recommend.

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