Finally I went and got myself (photographs – here and here) a Kindle. For me it wasn’t about the choice between whether to get an iPad or, a Kindle. They are remarkably different devices and I did not want to go for a reasonably powerful tablet that could also handle book reading via applications. There was also the notion that I would like to move away from back-lit displays. So off I went and got a Kindle. And, I’ve been using it for a while now.
The first time I held and saw one was with Aanjhan. And, it was precisely then that I realized that I’d have to take a look at my reading habits to see if the Kindle is an expensive toy or, it does really fit into my way of things. On a complete tangent this is similar to the discussion we had when we were planning to get a microwave – does it add value by way of function. Anyways, once it arrived I decided to test it out with a couple of books from The Pragmatic Bookshelf (kudos to them for providing Kindle copies of their books if one has already purchased a PDF), a few other PDFs and, a couple of books from Project Gutenberg.
Or, let’s back track a bit. All these books were being selected as the device was charging and was setup and registered. Once done and the books transferred over I started by creating Collections for the books and off we went. Reading the books was a charm. And, the one single question I had as to whether I would end up reading slower than I do with actual paper books was unfounded. Handling of both PDFs and standard formats was excellent. However what just keeps me fascinated is the E Ink Electronic Paper display. Having spent a large part of my time reading content off back-lit LCD/CRT screens, this way of reading does make for a tremendous difference. I’ve had tests for reading ability done in shade and sunlight and no real difficulty came up. The Text-to-Speech bits do stutter a bit when handling large files (1000+ pages) but other than that there isn’t much I can really complain about. Well actually there is – the power slider switch looks tremendously fragile to me 🙂
The Kindle of course doesn’t render Indic. Which is a bit of a shame. The range of books on Amazon that have a Kindle version aren’t really as wide as the non-Kindle ones. However, for a considerable period of time I think that this would end up being the device I use to read and re-read the classics – most of them freely available from various sources including Project Gutenberg and of course making better use of my Safari bookshelf content. So, we should be well set. Meanwhile the one drawback that I’ve noticed is that not all books that I want to read right now (for example, The Silent Don) have Kindle versions available via Amazon. Guess that is something I would have to figure out as I go.