Kindle Review – I Love my Kindle!

Read my Kindle review – Find out the pros and cons of the Kindle E-reader

kindle paperwhiteEver since I can remember, I have loved books; all types of books.  From a young age I was always encouraged to read and always looked forward to my childhood visits to the library, sitting on the little red, plastic chairs hunting for Miffy and Meg and Mog Books.

Of course, as I have aged my taste in books has matured and improved considerably you will be glad to hear.  Today, I read everything from a historical novel by Phillipa Gregory, to a bit of a murder mystery by Jeffrey Deaver, forensic pathology by Kathy Reichs to some holiday chick-lit by Jill Mansell, Jodi Piccoult or Diane Chamberlain, to name a few of the most read authors. (There are just too many to mention.)

I love books if you haven’t guessed already: the feel, the touch of paper, that undeniable smell of a new, fresh, unopened book that is just waiting to be devoured.  Plus, with a mother-in-law who was a librarian (yes, she worked in ‘MY’ library when I was a kid – spooky, or what!) suggesting new authors and books all the time, I have always been drawn to a good ol’ book at the end of a working day.

Rarely a day goes by when I don’t read a book and my husband is always saying “are you reading another book already?” So, I was absolutely horrified when, just before Christmas this year, he suggested he get me an E-reader or Kindle for a present.

Gasp. “No way… I don’t want one of those!” is the polite way of communicating my response to my readers.  After pressing me on several occasions, I remained steadfast.  I like books, simple as!

Christmas came and went and reading the daily Twitter feeds (as you do), I could see more and more people were praising their new Christmas toys; E-readers, the Kindle in particular.  As much as I heard about the positives, how could anything replace the beloved book?  I still didn’t want one, or so I thought.

About that time, a friend told me all about their Sony E-reader and couldn’t praise it enough, having taken it abroad and been able to read it, with ease, despite the glaring sunshine.  Mmm… I thought, thinking about every time I go away.  Even if I go away for a few days, I have to forcibly cram in as many books as I can, or stay at a hotel with a book swap programme.

As January pressed on, I have to admit it, my curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded the Kindle iPhone app to ‘test it out’, just downloading some freebie books to take a nose. I quite liked it, truth be told but I daren’t tell my husband!

After being quizzed about what I was doing on my iPhone for so long, I finally conceded that actually, given I find the text in some books hard to read without my glasses, a reading device might be a good option after all.

Valuing my Twitter friends’ opinions, I put the question out there: to get a Kindle, or not?  The response was overwhelming, nothing but praise and positivity.

With that, we trekked down to the local electrical store. I had to play more, I had to work out which one I wanted.  Heading over to the display, I was really disappointed that the display model for the Kindle was fairly useless with none of the features accessible, just the pre-programmed sales gumpf.  So, I moved over to the Sony E-reader, the one with the larger 7” screen and tinkered about on that for another half an hour.  It was ok, but not only was it mighty expensive, I didn’t like the metal casing, the screen flickered noticeably on page turns. Whilst it had touch screen page turning technology, the feel of the Sony E-reader screen, to me, was like that ‘nails down a blackboard’ feeling.  So, back to the Kindle, or not as the case was.  I left the shop empty-handed, not wanting to be a traitor to the history surrounding a traditional book.

A few days later, I logged on to Amazon to buy something else and spotted the link at the top of the screen, you know the one – nice and big so you can’t miss it and I clicked it… Next thing I knew I had ordered a Kindle, just like that!  After all that I don’t want one and then the umming and erring, I threw caution to the wind and had a moment of being click-happy.

In actual fact, buying a Kindle has been probably one of the best recent purchases I have made, along with my iPhone, which is almost glued to me!

I have to say since its arrival, I have rarely put it down of an evening, it fits easily in to my handbag and has since accompanied me on hotel trips and even to the dreaded dentist.  I well and truly love my Kindle.   I am living proof of the converted!

My Kindle Review – The Pros and Cons

The Positives

  • It is the best-selling eBook reader on the market, which I have only heard positive things about
  • Small and lightweight – weighs less than a traditional paperback
  • Portable and easy to handle
  • Seamless, quick page turns you don’t even notice
  • 8 week battery life
  • Great contrast
  • Real page numbers that correspond with traditional print books
  • It can be used straight out of the box, Amazon set it all up for you and link to your account but it is easily unlinked if it is a gift
  • Allows multiple Kindles on one Amazon account so you can share a book across, 6 E-readers at no extra cost
  • Fully charges in about 4 hours
  • It has both Serif and Sans-serif fonts in 8 different font sizes
  • E-ink pearl technology – crisp, defined text which can be read in sunlight, perfect for holidays and the sunny weather we get here in the UK sometimes!
  • Large screen
  • Affordable and in two options – Wi-Fi  and Wi-Fi +3G model
  • The Kindle links directly to your Amazon account
  • It seems to have the best and biggest selection of books
  • Ability to read across multiple devices with Whipersync technology
  • You can borrow and lend Kindle books from www.booklending.com
  • Ability to listen to audio books and use the text-to-speech facility (great in the bath!)
  • Digital books are now said to be outselling traditional books
  • Excellent memory 4GB, which holds up to 3,500 books
  • Reads PDFs and other documents
  • Has an email function, that I am yet to find and use. I have only worked out how to email to, not from the Kindle – if you know, id love to be in on the secret!
  • Built-in dictionary and encyclopaedia
  • Function to share book excerpts on Facebook and Twitter, another feature I have only just found.  TIP: When you finish a book, keep turning the pages and the option to share on social networking sites should appear.
  • 2 million classic and out of print books are available FREE
  • Books are, in the main, good prices and less than a traditional book: £1 – £10 range
  • With Wireless, the books download in less than a minute
  • All books purchased from the Kindle Store can be downloaded again free of charge if you delete them off the device
  • Free chapter samples to see if you will like the book, or not!
  • Battery life of up to 1 month with Wi-Fi off and I read every day for several hours
  • Easy navigation, usable size buttons
  • Listen to music and podcasts in MP3 format
  • Kindle store is easy to use and book browsing is simple
  • Able to browse the web – albeit, this function is still basic and experimental
  • Download blogs, newspapers and magazines – although I’m still a fan of slowly mulling over a traditional mag or paper at the weekend.
  • Touch-screen technology
  • In-built light on the Kindle Touch

The negatives

  • Web browsing is rudimentary but handy if I don’t have my iPhone
  • Lack of colour – it is just black and white.  I would like to see book covers in colour
  • The screen savers are a bit boring
  • I personally needed to read it with a leather cover to get the ‘feel’ of reading a book but the specific ‘Kindle’ covers are just too expensive – seek an alternative
  • Display models have limited function / features – a fully working one would be better
  • For me, it’s too thin and I prefer holding it with the cover on
  • People will stop using libraries

Whilst I love my Kindle for reading fiction, I am still an advocate for ‘proper’ reference and non-fiction books.  You just can’t flick back and forth with an E-reader in the same way, add sticky notes or best understand diagrams, particularly as the Kindle is not (yet) in colour.  For me, this works well.  My kindle is my indulgence for novels but its back to a book-book for my business and reference book collection.

If you are like me, not sure, I would say order it.  Give it a go, I am 99% sure you will love it; it will soon be another fab gadget in your collection.  Buy it here! / Amazon.co.uk Widgets

So, on to my next big purchase decision – to get an iPad 2 or not, I will let you know the outcome!