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Technology

The Kindle

I’ve fought it for sometime. The intense desire to buy a Kindle has been nagging at me for years. I love the idea of it—a lightweight, relatively inexpensive device that makes electronic books easy. Folks have made arguments that why buy a Kindle when you can read e-books on your computer, iPod/iPhone, Android device or an iPad, which is almost the same, right?

Amazon Kindle
photocredit: flickr/tompagenet

A book is such a simple device. You don’t have to worry about the battery. You don’t have to worry about eye strain from the backlit screen or about glare from the sun. As long as there’s light around you, you can read.

The problem with using other devices is all of these problems exist. My iPod Touch can’t get through a day anymore without running down the battery and I just can’t look at that screen all day. Another negative is I have too many notifications that pop-up and the urge to check e-mail, Twitter, etc is just too great on any multi-use device.

The Kindle is just as easy as a book…

…for me, at least. Like I said, I’ve been wanting one for awhile and I finally went for it this weekend. I purchased the lowest-end model on the market now, what they’re simply calling the Kindle, for $79 from Best Buy (had gift cards). I know a better version with a touch screen is coming out next month for $99 (aka Kindle Touch). The original Kindle (now called the Kindle Keyboard) had advantages too, but the primary reason we went cheap is the Kindle Fire.

This is my idea. The Kindle, Kindle Touch and the Kindle Keyboard all use eInk, making it a fancy etch-a-sketch that is easy to read and low on battery usage (letting you get, potentially, 1 or 2 months between charges). It’s perfect for reading most regular books or newspapers. No color, but how many books do we read that need color?

The Kindle Fire is a media machine. In addition to the books, it can play movies, music, etc streaming from Amazon’s servers. They have both a large library of items to purchase or stream free if you’re an Amazon Prime member. But, it’s a tablet. Like an iPad, but not quite as powerful. It is in full-color, so children’s books or magazines would display great. The battery won’t last a full day of heavy usage, your eyes would hurt after awhile, but it has a bit more flexiabilty.

We went cheap on the Kindle because it makes sense to get both an eInk-based Kindle and a Kindle Fire. Any content purchased for the Kindle, you can also read on the Fire, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck without a way to view something already purchased. We can read books on a device meant for that while carry a relatively inexpensive ($199 vs $499 for the entry-level iPad) tablet for richer media content. So, with our limited means, why spend more on the “simple” device when we would like to purchase the highest one down the road?

In the first 48 hours, I’m very happy with the plan so far. Purchased a couple of books, the new New American Bible Revised Edition and the new YouCat catechism. Both were new religious books that I’ve been wanting, but struggling to spend the physical book price while I already own half a dozen bibles and four different copies/editions of the Catechism. The digital prices were reasonably low (both under $10) and now, I’ll always have them with me in a device that weighs less than six ounces.

I started a two-week free trial of the Statesman on Kindle. I haven’t decided if it’s worth the $6/month versus accessing articles online for the price of viewing ads. Also, I subscribed to this blog on the Kindle. I just want to make sure everything looks right for everyone viewing the site!

The last thing I note was my first impression of the device. With virtually every other piece of electronics I’ve purchased, you can spent a great deal of time just opening the damn box. With the Kindle, it’s one “pull tab” (like on USPS Priority Mail envelopes) and that’s it. The entire packaging is recyclable. I took off the plastic screen that comes on all electronic screens these days since, I thought, it had a picture showing how to connect the Kindle to the computer. If you can’t picture it, think about those screens that cover digital watches that show a fake time to give you an idea of what the clock faces looks like. When I took the screen off, I realized that the plastic screen was blank. The image was actually on the Kindle and fooled me to think it was a printed graphic.

This isn’t a sponsored post or an ad. Full disclosure, if you purchase anything from the links above, I’ll get small piece of the action through the Amazon Affiliates program, but it isn’t enough to motivate me to write this if I didn’t mean it. I’ve been wanting a Kindle for a long time and, amazingly for how much I’ve built up the idea of having one in my mind, it didn’t disappoint me.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

7 replies on “The Kindle

Been thinking about it too, Brandon, but….I am just too old school.  I need the SMELL of a book, as well as the feel.  Oh, and about newspapers on-line?  You can’t use them as a blanket when you fall asleep reading one :-)!

Awesome, Brandon! I subscribed to the Staetsman via Kindle. But then after about 4mos, realized it had lost its favor with me there too…just to stay caught up….but it was better than paper. We keep the paper Sunday delivery though. I wholeheartedly believe in eInk for reading. But….if a book is heavy on illustrations then I’ll opt for the apple store iBook or ePub. The first two kindle books I bought were a bible and a catechism, as well. Like minds!!!!

I LOVE my kindle.  Doesn’t matter for you, but I can read with my kindle while breastfeeding and when traveling or waiting in doctor’s offices, it’s great to only have one thing to carry and I never finish a book and need a new one!  🙂

I haven’t tried breastfeeding with it yet. I’ve read more in this last week with the Kindle than I have in the last six months. Interestingly enough, when Olivia is reading a book on her own and I try to read a physical book, she won’t let me. If I try to read with the Kindle, she’s fine with it.

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