Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Impressions of the Kindle: Advantages and Disadvantages of a Kindle

Well, I caved. I just got a Kindle (Actually my husband got it for me as an early Christmas gift.)

I said I'd never do it. I wanted the feel of a book in my hands. But my husband got one for himself (early Christmas present again), and after I kept stealing his, I asked him to get me one.

I'm still figuring things out, but I'll share my first impressions:

Advantages of a Kindle:
  1. It's insanely convenient. You can carry five thousand books in your purse. It's great for traveling. (Of course, I never travel, but if I did . . . ) And even when I'm not traveling, it's nice to always have a book (or a thousand books) handy when I'm waiting in line or stuck in traffic. (Well, the latter doesn't happen much where we live, but it's a thought.)
  2. You can get an amazing number of books for free. This surprised me the most. There are tons of classic books available for free from the Kindle Store, and recent books are often free for a limited time. You can also get free books from the Gutenberg Project and save them in Kindle format, then drag and drop them onto your Kindle . If something isn't available in Kindle format, you can send it as an attachment to a special e-mail address, and it will deliver it automatically to your Kindle  .
  3. Recent books are a little cheaper in Kindle format than print.
  4. You can also surf the web (clumsy but it works), listen to mp3 recordings (music or podcasts), and play games.
  5. You can increase the font size. (That would have come in handy when I had my eye infection. Plus, I'm trying to avoid bifocals.)
  6. You can search for a certain word in a book.
  7. The built-in dictionary is amazing. Simply place your cursor in front of the word, and the definition pops up.
  8. You save a lot of trees.
Disadvantages of a Kindle

  1. Yeah, it's not a book. For the most part this isn't a problem, but you can't "thumb through" a Kindle, and in some ways it's harder to do research. (Although the search feature can make it easier in some ways.)
  2. You can't read it in the tub. (Well, I suppose you could, but you'd need to be careful not to drop it.)
  3. Photos are only black and white at this stage. (I don't think I'll be buying The Meaning of Icons for Kindle.
  4. It's harder to lend books to people. They are developing a feature where you can give a copy to someone for two weeks, while that book is absent from your Kindle . I guess that has the advantage of getting the book back after you lend it out, but it's still not the same. And it's especially a problem for a family. It's a lot easier to just keep a book on the shelf and everyone can read it when they want instead of wondering whose Kindle has the book now.

Still interested?  You can order a Kindle below:

I also recommend a cover, to protect your Kindle:


  1. I have a Nook that I just love. I will still buy real books, esp. the ones that I love bc nothing beats the feel of a book in your hand.

  2. I've resisted the temptation of a Kindle but the advantages are so impressive, especially when travelling or on holiday. Can't beat the feel and touch of a real book though.

  3. I've been using Kindle Whisper to read books on my EVO phone, iPod Touch and laptop, but have resisted buying the gadget. Finally broke down and bought one for Christmas this month.