Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Baack!

I got back from my vacation to "Hotmanistan" on Saturday (more on that later), and I'm finally getting caught up enough to write a post. Why does it always take at least 2 days to get your bearings after a vacation? Frankly, it's exhausting. OK, here is the information all you bookworms have been waiting for. My review of the Kindle. *drumroll please*

In addition to the Kindle 2 I also ordered a leather cover. When they first arrived and I put the Kindle into the cover, I was surprised by how heavy and cumbersome it felt. I'm happy to report, that using the Kindle in the cover was never a problem. It was easy to hold and felt very natural. Once I started using it, I never gave it another thought.

Considering that I'm not all that tech-savvy and I really learn best from written directions - the fact that the 124 page User's Guide comes installed on the Kindle was a bit daunting at first. It's kind of hard to be reading a guide and trying out the features when the guide is inside the unit. Luckily, the Kindle comes with a hard copy of a quick start guide to get you started. Amazon.com also sends a copy of the User's Guide to your e-mail address. Like a cellphone, the Kindle can do a lot of "stuff". I simply did a quick read through of the User's Guide - focusing on the features I was most interested in. I then printed out (from the copy sent to my email) the few pages I thought I might want to refer to while on vacation. Worked like a charm. I was able to highlight passages and save them for furture reference. And with a little bit of trial and error, I was able to figure out how to retrieve them.

Downloading books directly to the Kindle proved to be easy and convenient - as long as you are in the US. Not being able to donwload books while outside the US is a BIG drawback for me. Being a library user, I'm not in the habit of paying for books. So having to download books before I need them kind of irks me. What if I download too many? Now I've wasted money. Sure I can read them later, but more on that in a minute. And if I don't download enough, I'm sunk. This is a not a deal breaker for me, but something to be aware of. Also, even though downloading is pretty straightforward and there is a last minute opportunity to back out of a purchase, I still managed to buy a book in error. Supposedly, it can be "returned" at amazon.com, but I couldn't figure it out. Rookie mistake. One, I probably won't make again. Two features that I found extremely helpful are the built in dictionary and the fact that the Kindle can hold a charge forever and ever and ever. Seriously!

Now for the most important information.... reading on the Kindle. I'm happy to report it felt very natural. I even found myself reaching to turn the pages the first few times I used it!! Now that's saying something!! Would I choose a Kindle over the real thing? No, I wouldn't. Not because I don't like the Kindle- I do. But because I LOVE books. The way they smell and feel. The crinkle of the the library cover. Being able to read the inside book jacket and the author information in the back. Seeing a photo of the author. Enjoying the cover art (remember Shanghai Girls?) And this is the reason why I'm annoyed I have to download books before leaving the US. If I download too many, I'll feel compelled to read them on the Kindle at home. Not a huge disaster, but not my first choice. So the big question is will I use the Kindle for future vacations? Yes, I most definitely will. It beats lugging 5 or 6 books in my luggage. My suitcase was so stuffed on this trip - I couldn't have fit one book let alone 5 or 6. For me, the Kindle is a wonderful tool with a very specific purpose. I can't imagine it will ever replace books for me. But, I've learned my lesson. Never say never.

By the way, if you are thinking of purchasing a Kindle, I received an email from Amazon.com stating that the Kindle is now on sale for $299! Gee, thanks! Anyway, thought maybe one of you could use this information. And remember, if you want to buy one, click through to Amazon from Terra's blog Tales from the Nightstand. Help a fellow blogger out!


Sandy said...

Thanks for doing the research and writing the report! I don't picture ever purchasing a Kindle for the simple reason that I don't buy books either so having to buy one to read would aggravate me. But I might borrow one! A Kindle that is, I borrow books all the time....from the library. Anyway, I still want to try it out and maybe that will make me change my mind. Like you said, never say never! Glad to have you home, BTW :-)

Ronnica said...

Thanks for your review! Still doesn't seem worth it at this price, but maybe in a few years it will be more manageable.

The Peach Tart said...

I've been dying for a Kindle. Thanks for the review.

Sandy said...

You have to get to the bottom of that issue. Looks lonely here. Maybe your new award will send a few people by!

Melissa B. said...

I agree with you on books...there's nothing like the real thing. Like newspapers. I have a hard time reading them online. The pages, the tangibililty...all part of the "experience" for me. You're right after me in the SITS Roll Call today. Happy Wednesday!

Anonymous said...


I loved your review! I have been so anxious to hear what your thoughts are on the Kindle. I do think it has a purpose but can never really replace an actual book. I will talk with you soon. Looking forward to hearing all about the last couple of weeks.


Debbie said...

You've gone over to the dark side! Just kidding. I'm glad you are enjoying it.
I was wondering where you were and clicked over to find this new post, although it didn't show up on my reader. I have good timing!

Tammy Howard said...

I'm glad it worked out so well for you. Now about Hotmanistan...

Mary at My New 30 said...

Welcome to the world of Kindle!

I still love books too, and the feel of a book in my hand, but I LOVE my Kindle too! I think it was worth every penny. I am a book buyer and the ebooks are much cheaper than first release hardcopies. My Kindle goes with me when I'm out and about so that it's available to keep me occupied anywhere I am going to have to wait - it is so easy to carry. Sometimes books are not so easy to manage. And yeah, it's funny but I have done the very same thing several times about reaching up to turn the page! That's how natural the Kindle becomes.

Don't forget - you can upload samples of most Kindle books to preview before buying and you can do that online or direct from your Kindle.

On the overseas issue, I'd say if you have a hotel that gives you access to the internet, then just be sure to bring a transfer cord. Then you can go to Amazon, pick the books you want, plug in your Kindle and upload them from your library at Amazon. Amazon keeps a copy there of every purchase so that you can do this anytime - like if you accidentally delete one.

Also, if you have the opportunity to get say a free pdf version of a book from another source, like Oprah often offers free pdf ebooks for a brief period, you can email those books to your Kindle account and get them converted to your Kindle!

I can't recall all the forms that can be converted but a lot of books are available in pdf and you can find what document forms they can convert in the FAQs at Amazon. You can do this conversion for free, and then transfer the book from your computer to your Kindle, or for a very small fee (15 cents I think?) you can email them and have them converted and uploaded direct to your Kindle. I LOVE this feature because there are a lot of free books available.

Can you tell how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle??

Oh, and welcome back!

Shelley/Book Fanatic said...

Enough about Kindle....I want to hear all about Hotmanistan!!! :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I don't know if I can give up the fingering the pages in my hand. However, I didn't think I'd learn to read newspapers online either. Do that.

Thanks for your perspective and welcome back.

Kathy B! said...

Hotmanistan!! You are craking me up :)


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