After much adeu, and waiting for the technology to catch up and prices to drop, I’ve taken the plunge & purchased an Amazon Kindle e-reader. I looked at the Barnes & Noble Nook along with the Sony e-reader, and neither were a fit for me. The Nook is an active display, which is not eInk style. It also has always felt like a “hey, look, we have one too!” kind of thing. On the other hand, the Sony e-reader is actually quite nice, but far more expensive…. by $100. It has more features, as well. The Sony accepts SD cards and other advanced features. I only wanted a dedicated reader, and for it to be good at that one specific task… so, I chose the Kindle 6-inch display with 3G & Wifi.
I was originally going to only go for the 3G style to save myself 50 bucks, however 2 ideas swayed my judgement. 1) I was already at the store, and they didn’t get their shipment of wifi-only models in and had 1 or 2 of the 3G/wifi models in stock. 2) It has an experimental browser in it, so it’s not just for downloading books.
After experimenting with my Kindle through the night and getting it set up to my liking, I can honestly say it was worth purchasing. I have the ability of putting PDF files on it, and if I want to spend the money I can email text/ms doc files/mobi files/etc to my email address @kindle.com and it will translate it to kindle format and drop it directly onto my Kindle. I say “if I want to spend the money” because I found out through trial & error that there is a charge for use of firstname.lastname@example.org to get things onto it. Not too much really if it’s the only choice, as an 11MB PDF only cost about $1.25, and a 28k pdf only cost $0.15. I went into my settings after finding this out, and went to my amazon kindle settings set my limit to $0.00 to avoid it. The free option is to plug the microUSB cable into your computer and drag-drop the pdf to it. I did this with my Linux laptop, so it’s not a Windows-specific function.
So many science books are free on the net for the Kindle, and in one night I’ve loaded myself with things I’ve wanted to learn for so long but did not want a $1,000 collection of books. I know I’ll be buying more books now, and it’s a double-edged sword I guess. Either way, no matter where I go I can carry this thin and journal-book sized tote with me and have every newspaper & programming/history/science book & PDF at my disposal without worry about a battery dieing. The display looks like a piece of plastic with letters painted onto it when it’s shown. It’s quite nice, and it’s easy to read in the sun. I found myself reading for 2 hours in my truck right outside of the bank… “just because”.
It’s also nice to have the constitution of the united states along with the bill of rights at my disposal for inquisitive purposes. I found myself scanning the bill of rights and falling back to when I was 18-19… absorbing the data. It brought a smile to my face…
Books are nice, and I’ll continue to get them when it’s more convenient. For the rest, I’ll use this.
After all… I haven’t read a lot for the last 10 or so years simply because I have to have the book near me to read it. Now, they will always be in my hand… and my bookworm mindset kicks in.