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Thursday, August 14, 2008


Living with the Kindle: After using my Kindle for the last three months or so, I can say that I am happy to own one ... and that it will be a long time before the demise of the book. The Kindle has stimulated and enhanced my reading by providing a radically different means for access and manipulating of reading material but it will not replace my book collection any time soon.

I've bought ten Kindle titles from Amazon, downloaded about thirty more from ManyBooks and FeedBooks, sent myself an additional ten or so PDF documents from my PC, actually bought a couple of real books from Amazon and borrowed about twenty more titles through my local library during the last three months.

The Kindle is great for reading fast moving fiction (Max Brand, Sarah Waters, Dennis Lehane, Frank Baum, Stephenie Meyer, Robert E. Howard), ok for more serious reading without too many pictures (White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters by Robert Schlesinger) not so good for plays (Romeo and Juliet), and ok (God and Empire by John Dominic Crossan) to painful (Paul: In Fresh Perspective by N. T. Wright) for more scholarly works ... even with the Kindle full text search feature I find flipping to and fro through the pages is so much easier with a book.

My most significant complaint is that I cannot share copies of titles with the Kindle in the same way as I can with books ... there is something much more rewarding with passing someone a copy of a book you have enjoyed that is not duplicated by merely suggesting that they should read a particular book ... reading my daughter's battered copy of Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz was a very different experience than downloading a copy to my Kindle would have been.

The Kindle web browser is primitive but perfectly serviceable for reading my email at Yahoo, my Google Reader feeds, checking the local weather from Weather Underground, searching for info at Wikipedia, and searching for as well as downloading more titles from Amazon, ManyBooks and FeedBooks .

One last comment ... the screen contrast is less than that of the typical book so that reading out on the deck while the light fades in the evening is not so easy as it is with a book.

Learn more about the Kindle ...