The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #121997   Message #2669937
Posted By: Zhenya
02-Jul-09 - 02:04 PM
Thread Name: BS: Why read an electronic book/Kindle?
Subject: RE: BS: Why read an electronic book/Kindle?
I have a Kindle, which I enjoy using, and still read regular paper books as well. Some advantages to the Kindle are:

- You can have several books with you at once - helpful if, like me, you like to have several things going at once and like to switch back and forth as the mood strikes. This is particularly good when you're traveling.

- You can change (in my case that means ENLARGE) the font size! Good for those of us with aging eyes.

_ Built in dictionary. If you want to check a word definition, you move the cursor in front of the word, and a basic definition appears in fine print at the bottom of the page. If you want more, you can click enter and get the full dictionary entry. Once done, you hit the back button, and it takes you right back to the page you were reading.

- May be cost effective for those who replace paper subscriptions or frequent book buying with cheaper Kindle versions. Until a few weeks ago, I was buying the New York Times on the newsstand each day. (Subscriptions and home delivery don't work out well in my apt. building.) When the price increased in June to $17 a WEEK, I decided to get the Kindle subscription instead, for $14 a MONTH. I figured even if I were to still buy the paper Sunday Times and one paper weekday edition, I'll still save enough in a year to have completely recouped the cost of the Kindle itself. I don't mind reading the paper on the Kindle, and it's still portable this way. For people who like to buy hardcover versions of books as soon as they're released, these are usually available right away on the Kindle for a much lower price.

- There are thousands of completely free legal books, mainly older classics, available through Project Gutenberg and other sites. These have been online for some time, but now you can read them portably in a book like device.

- Instant free wireless delivery. Good to use if you want a book right away, and don't have time to get to a store or order it.

- I've read comments from people who previously had to give up reading due to some physical impairments, but are now able to read again using the Kindle.

The battery life on the Kindle is very good, by the way. I usually charge mine about once a week, at which point the battery's usually a bit below the halfway point. If you don't turn on the wireless function, it will last even longer. The first day or two I had mine, it felt a bit odd to read it, but now it feels like reading a regular book. That is, I'm focused on the reading itself, and not noticing at all that I'm reading it on an electronic gadget.

Having said all this, I feel the Kindle is still at a fairly primitive stage.

- There's no built in file management system. (I need to use a 3rd party program called Calibre to handle things.)

- Many books are not available yet, so if you're seeking a specific book, you may not find it. (No novels by William Faulkner, for example and only a few of John Updike's novels.) I've had no trouble finding plenty to read that I like, but it depends what types of things people want to read. This is one of the main reasons I'm still buying paper books.

- It's still too expensive for many people to consider buying, and would not be cost effective for many people.

- Kindle books from Amazon have DRM restrictions. (But all those free books don't!)

Well, that's (more than) a few thoughts off the top of my head!

For anyone who wants more information about the Kindle's pros and cons, check out the forums here:
Kindle Boards