Saturday, August 08, 2009

Kindle Questions

I know some of my wonderful blog readers own Kindles and therefore I am going to take full advantage of you and beg for information. If you're not a Kindle owner, rest assured that your opinion still matters.

I have been stalking the idea of owning one myself for a few months. You have to understand I was against them when they first came out--they seemed like a total geek-toy that could never replace the joy of a book I can hold in my hands. However, as time has passed I'm seriously tempted. The idea that I could go on vacation with a dozen books that weigh 10 oz. is cool. The idea that if a book I'm reading sucks, I can just move onto the next one is intriguing. But will I like it? Will I miss the 'book in hand' thing and will it make me cry because it's so hard to use. I no good at hard stuff.

I have a couple specific questions for Kindle owners:

1--Wan you upload ANY ebook? My library recently started doing ebooks, can I check those out and put them on my kindle?

2--Is it cost effective? At $300 to buy it and an average price of about $10/book, does it pay for itself in a short amount of time?

3--Were there surprises you think I should be aware of?

So, what are your thoughts/experiences/friend's experiences/prejudices/fears/intrigue in regard to the kindle?

PS--thank you!


Melanie Jacobson said...

I have a Sony e-reader, so it's pretty much the same thing. The Kindle is better, but I like mine. The 100% greatest benefit to having it is for traveling. And I like that the books are cheaper, too. But the whole reason I got it is because my husband gave it to me for a Christmas present so we wouldn't have to bring a separate suitcase for my books on vacation. True story. And I really like it. But I just read regular books at home.

Kristina P. said...

I've always wondered about this myself. I think my biggest concern would be tired eyes from looking at an electronic device for hours. I already get eye fatigue from a regular computer.

Unknown said...

I don't have a Kindle, I don't even like reading books on my computer. I like the feeling of having the book in my hand, and going to the bookstore and talking to the employees about the books they have read.
I watched the Kindle video on Amazon and the best I can tell, they only support their own books and magazines. As far as eye strain, they claim reading on Kindle isn't like reading on a PC as far as eye strain is concerned.

Annette Lyon said...

We have a Kindle, and it rocks. No, it doesn't replace a "real" book feel. However, you can rest assured that they've done a GREAT job of what Kristina mentioned--there IS no eye strain whatsoever. It's "electronic paper" so it reads like a regular piece of paper, not like a screen. It's way cool that way. (You can't read it in the dark--it's not backlit or anything.)

When my mother (a huge reader) first heard of it, she scoffed, because of the idea of not having a real book in hand. But she travels so much that when she realized she could fit hundreds of books into this little tiny device for all the air travel, she flipped and was hooked on the idea.

Here's another benefit--you can upload even WORD files. (One reason agents and editors have latched onto them--they can get their partials and fulls read on them.)

Basically, anything electronic you can upload. PDFs don't transfer so well (although I hear the newer Kindle fixes that). Most of their books are actually LESS then $10--in fact, I can't think of one book we've bought that's cost that much. Most are around $5 or less. They try hard to keep them attractively priced so you'll WANT to buy them via Kindle.

Hope that helps a bit!

L.T. Elliot said...

I don't have any sort of ereader but one my friends does and I was very surprised by how little it didn't hurt my eyes. It's very friendly on the eyes and it's a fun gadget.
The reason I'll always prefer books to ereaders though is that if I drop my book in the bath, it's still readable and if it's not, I can replace it for $7. (Paperbacks.) Can't do that with a $300 ereader. However, I'd imagine I wouldn't use it in the bath. ;)

J Scott Savage said...

My biggest fear would be leaving it on a plane. Can't tell you how many books I've done that with, and a pretty nice MP3 player. I'd like to see the Kindle get down to about $150.

Marion Jensen said...

Remember that you can put the books on project Gutenberg onto your Kindle. So all of these books in the public domain, Jane Austin, Mark Twain, Cervantes, Dumas, Hugo, etc. etc. etc. are all FREE. You could buy a few of those books and get to $300 pretty quick, but with the Kindle you have them all right there with you, all of the time.

I'm hoping to get one soon.

Miranda J said...

Luisa (Novembrance) sent me here!

I'm ambivalent about the Kindle. I like the feel of paper -- but I love the idea of being able to download huge documents (not books). Wonder when I'll capitulate.

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

I've actually entertained the idea of getting one myself but the price tag douses that! Especially when I can check out books from the book mobile for free.

I want one though. I have to admit.

amberargyle said...

I'd hold off. There's supposed to be something new coming out soon that only costs 100 and works with more formats (ie Sony and Kindle).

Bonnie said...

I debated about the Kindle, but choose Apples I-Touch. I didn't know if the screen would bug me because it's not the size of a "real" book, but I adapted very quickly. I read all the time on my I-Touch. It's amazing to take so many books, calendar, contacts, shopping list, internet, scriptures, music, photos and video everywhere I go. I'm a videographer so of course I love that feature. I also love reading in bed, because my I-Touch is backlit. It costs less than the Kindle and does so much more! I love the online dictionary when I'm reading old classics. I've even looked up a particular flower or shrub, or famous person on Wikipedia to help my understanding of the book. I will always love a book in hand, but oh the places technology can take you!

Karlene said...

I love my Kindle. My sister has a Sony and loves it, but I prefer Kindle due to the keypad and the ability to upload Word files, mark them up and then download them back to whoever. (As a publisher/editor, this is great.)

No eyestrain. I love the portability and that it saves bookshelf space.

You can't upload any ebook. Some files you have to convert first, but that's pretty easy to do. (First book to get is the Kindle Cookbook that tells how to do it free.) Some files are protected and you can't convert them.

Totally cost effective because I read a LOT. I figure I paid for mine in the first two months.

Surprises: I have the first version. The next page buttons are so big that every time I pick the thing up, I accidentally turn the page. The new version has smaller buttons.

The screen isn't backlit, so you can't read in the dark, but a simple clip on booklight takes care of that. (And you can't read paper books in the dark, either.)

Downside, very few LDS fiction books are available for the Kindle. :(