Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Prepare to re-kindle your love of reading (sorry)
Amazon Kindle 3
Member Name: GodfatherOfSoul
Amazon Kindle 3
Date: 23/02/12, updated on 25/07/13 (49 review reads)
Advantages: Easier than holding a normal book. Much lighter than a suitcase of hardbacks.
Disadvantages: You will become obsessively protective over your kindle.
When I first bought my Kindle I wasn't a massive book reader. I had always liked reading but I never really found the time. So as you can imagine, the prospect of shelling out £100+ for a 'book reader' - the very idea I had previously mocked in the past - was not one I took lightly. I decided to go for it thinking that it might reignite my passion for reading again and replace some of the brainless pastimes that have burrowed their way into my life (Thank you very much BBC iPlayer) with something a little more intellectual. I suppose you could say it was a desperate attempt to better myself.
I won't bore you with too many features of the kindle since Amazon does a fairly thorough job of this on its website. My aim is to review my experience of the kindle and compare it to reading a conventional paper book.
Upon receiving my kindle I was immediately besotted. The first thing that struck me was the style. The kindle is thinner than a biro and is the screen is unlike any other screen I have ever seen. The 6" E-ink Pearl display (to use the technical mumbo-jumbo) is designed to read like paper. I didn't believe this before I saw it but it really does look like you're reading from a page. And you know that annoying glare you get on your mobile phone screen when there's so much as a flicker of light in the room - well, none of that here! You can happily use your kindle in the sun and no longer have to be assume the persona of a vampire whenever you want to whip out your gadget in the daylight. Admittedly this was never an issue with an actual book but now you don't have to avoid public scrutiny and judgement about the book you're reading by staying indoors. So feel free to read Piers Morgan's autobiography in public without alienating yourself from society and attracting unwelcome sideward glances of disgust from your fellow commuters.
I did think that I might miss the experience of reading a book. After all it's something that has become second nature to me over the years. One thing I won't miss though is turning the page. A trivial act you might say, but one that requires two hands with most paperbacks unless you are trained in the Jedi arts. Being able to turn the page back or forth using just one hand makes reading much easier and allows you to sit in more comfortable positions whilst doing so. There are back/forth buttons on both sides of the kindle so the choice of hand is left up to you. Another great feature of the kindle is the ability to read a book with no hands at all! You can simply place the kindle on an armrest or on your lap and read whilst using your hands to accomplish other tasks. No more struggling to hold open a paperback with one hand whilst trying to eat your dinner with the other. No more having to reach for a bookmark or crease over the corner of a page whenever you need to break off. No more...well you get the idea.
The advantages over reading a conventional book don't stop at the free-handedness either. How many books allow you to change the size of the text, the text style itself or even the number of words per line? Unless you know something I don't then the answer is none at all. As a result you can customise your reading experience if desired which can only be a good thing! Great news if you find some of the small print books difficult to read. You may even find yourself reading faster by tinkering with the number of words per line.
The choice of books you can upload to your kindle is vast. A lot of kindle edition books are cheaper than their paperback counterparts and you can start reading a few seconds after purchasing due to Wi-Fi delivery system. Being from Yorkshire, I am a great fan of the free classic books available on amazon. I don't think I've actually paid for a book in a few months now. So I'm already raking back some of the upfront expense from my kindle purchase. You can organise your books into folders and search your collection for specific books or search the books themselves if you want to find a quote for example. I haven't used this feature much but it's nice to know I have it if I do need to. One feature I do use a lot is the built in dictionary. Using the so-called 5 way controller on the kindle (which in my opinion is a four way controller and a select button) you can simply move along the page to a word you don't understand and then a little box appears on the screen with a definition. This is especially useful for the classic books I am currently reading and I would like to think that this has helped my vocabulary grow. This is simply something I would never bother to do with a conventional book. You'd have to bookmark your page, put the book down, find your dictionary or log on to Google then go and sit back down and commence your reading. By which time you've either forgotten what was going on in the story or no longer care.
There are some obvious drawbacks to the kindle when compared to a standard book. Firstly, you have to keep your kindle charged if you don't want to reach a gripping part of the plot only to be interrupted by a low battery warning. However, the battery life itself is very good and I find it will last for over a month with about an hour's reading a day. Another downside is that you will become very protective of your kindle and soon adopt a close resemblance to Dobby the house elf. This is because the kindle feels very fragile. Being as thin as it is, it doesn't feel like it will stand up to much rough treatment. Instead of throwing it down on the sofa like you would perhaps a mobile phone or a set of keys, you'll be placing it down gently like a sleeping baby. Investing in a good case for your kindle is an absolute must (I found a good quality pouch for under a tenner so you don't have to break the bank). If you're careless enough to scratch or damage the screen in any way you will not only have a scratch on one page...you will have that very same scratch on every page you read from that moment forth!
In summary, providing you take good care of your kindle (and you're likely to do so at the price) the advantages over a paper book far outweigh the drawbacks in my view. Reading no longer feels like a chore and the opportunities for reading increase with the versatility of the kindle. I have fallen in love with reading again and read much more often than I would if I had to resort back to paperbacks. It is a costly purchase but the savings you may make on the books themselves and the convenience the kindle provides ensure that it is a purchase worth making even if you don't currently read a lot of books. You soon will ;)
Summary: A costly purchase yes, but it may ignite your love of reading again!
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