The Kindle, I feel, is a thing worth writing a post about. I happen to own one of these and have read a lot of books on it – never regretting not having the real book in my hands. Here is my opinion of the device…
The Amazon Kindle is a handy eBook reader owned by book-lovers around the world who are not at peace with the very idea of staying away from their books. This device is a boon to them all.It acts as a friend on all the little journeys you make and keeps you in touch with your books so that you can flick a page any time you want!
One of the best things about it, I feel, is the absence of back-light and the monochromatic display which greatly enhances the overall feel of the device. It gives the feel of a real book except that its WAY lighter! The device hardly weighs 250 grams. I prefer reading the thicker books on the kindle; it saves me all the energy I would have to use to lift a heavy book. The device also has an extensive dictionary which gives the meanings as footnotes while reading; so you don’t have to look for a dictionary every time you encounter a word you don’t know!
Over and above, it also comes with in-built Wi-fi and free, always-connected 3G. It allows us instant access to the Kindle store (maintained by Amazon) from where we can purchase books by doing as little as tapping a finger!
The kindle can display eBook s with the following file extensions – .azw, .pdf and .mobi. The kindle cannot read ePUB ebooks; however, there are free programs available to inter-convert these formats. For example, Calibre is an excellent eBook management software. It is almost a necessity if you have a Kindle. Along with maintaining a systematic catalog on your eBook library, it also converts the files to practically any eBook format. Also Amazon offers a conversion method by email in the ‘Experimental’ section. This is charged on the basis of $0.15 per MB via 3G.
Although the kindle has to its credit – lots of attributes; the device also has its own share of negatives.
For one, the Amazon bookstore sells the books which are legally available for free on the internet. These books can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg. It also sells documents which are typically not meant to be sold. For example, I once happened to buy a book review mistaking it for the original book!
Also, the device is quite delicate and fragile. You cannot sleep on it the way you can on a book. It might fall down or suffer some sort of internal damage after which the process to fix it up is long and complicated. It involves opening up the kindle and doing something in there. I could not comprehend the rest of the procedure, it went into the technical complexities. I have myself had problems with my Kindle. It has hung up on me like that THRICE till date. Every time, I have had to ask for a replacement; which arrives in about a week.
I admit the Amazon Kindle has got a million little flaws, but the efficiency of the eBook reader (as an eBook reader and not a convenient way to surf the net) is definitely not one of them.
The Kindle surely is an exceptional device; but somewhere along the way, somehow, you feel that it was taken up by Amazon just as a money-making activity and not as a way to provide better eBook reading experiences to people.. but then – its business.
The device does apt justice to books, by giving you a enjoyable read anywhere in the world and at any time!