A Single-Tasker I Love: Amazon Kindle

I got a Kindle for my birthday. I’ve been reading books electronically for years, so obviously as e-readers became more accessible, it was inevitable I’d want one.

I really, really like it. I’ve already read a couple of novels on it (I’m in the process of re-reading Snow Crash). I’ve also explored several of its features, but for me, it’s about the books.

All my Baen Free Library books, as well as several I’d bought from Baen are already loaded on it. Basically, if it was in a format Mobipocket could read and is not DRM protected, you’re golden. Yes, yes, you have to use the USB cable to do it, rather than download it directly to the device, but I don’t consider that a major problem.

And, of course, I’ve a plethora of books from the Gutenberg Project. They’re also happily nestled on my device.

That being said, yeah, yeah, I’m buying and downloading from Amazon, too. But it’s less than 15% of my electronic collection.

So, how’s the device versus the way I’d been reading on the netbook and my Android?

It’s superior the netbook and my phone for reading a book. The e-paper display does imitate a book better, and the fact that the screen is not backlit does make it much nicer to read in bright sunlight. It also means that there’s less of a battery drain. I read for hours at a time, so this is very significant. It’s lighter than my netbook, and has a larger screen than my phone – better imitating the positives of the paper book experience. It has 4GB of memory, but that’s effectively a little over 3GB for the user. To give some perspective? I have 197 novel-length books on my Kindle right now, and still have 2.8 GB free.

The Kindle also has a lot of “nifty features” that I probably won’t use much. Text to speech? I’m an audiobook addict and all, but it doesn’t replace a human performance. Oh yeah, audiobooks! I have an Audible account that I did wind up linking to my Amazon account. However, I’ll probably be pretty unlikely to use the device for listening to audiobooks. I still want a more portable device for that, as I tend to listen to audiobooks while I’m doing chores. Also, it doesn’t have a sleep timer, so it doesn’t serve my habit of listening to audiobooks as I fall asleep.

You can browse the web some from it. It’s okay, but my phone serves that purpose better for my on-the-go needs.

So, I don’t love the Kindle for the add-ons. I love it, but I love it because it’s very, very good at what it was designed for – to read books!

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