My New Kindle

Yeah, I finally got an e-reader for Christmas (Kindle Touch, specifically). Some of you know where I stand on these things. Let's see how the talk measures up to my actual experience.

  • I can buy any book and read it RIGHT NOW. (My previous solutions have been to either (a) pay shipping costs equivalent to the price of the books or (b) wait months and months until some trusted friend can bring my Amazon purchases to me).
  • I can carry around hundreds of gigantic books in one hand.
  • It lays flat on the table, so I can read while doing practically anything else.
  • A battery life I (almost) never have to think about.
  • The availability of free classics.

  • Occasionally losing my place when my kids bump the screen.
  • The relative slowness of flipping to an appendix and back (in a book like, say, Dance With Dragons, where I need to remind myself who all these hundreds of characters are).
  • Scads of features I currently consider useless (crappy web browser, "X-Ray," highlights and notes -- seriously, guys, I just want to read the book (although I admit I may find a use for these features later, especially if they improve their web browser) (and it's not like the features get in the way or anything)).

  • Reading PDFs. (It treats each page as an image, so unless the pages are designed for a 6" screen, I have to manually zoom in to read it, then zoom out again to turn the page. Repeat.)
  • Looking at world maps. (Similar problem to PDFs, except you can't zoom).

The last two could be fixed with better software. I don't know if they will be, but they could be. Also Random House has really impressed me by releasing printable Dance With Dragons' maps on their website. Seriously, that alone changed my reading experience of Dance With Dragons from HATE to PUT UP WITH (and LOVE when I don't need the maps).

Do you have an e-reader? What's your experience? (Or what are you afraid of, if you haven't used one?)

And does anyone know a better way to deal with PDFs on this thing?


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I initially got a Nook because it was supposedly better with the PDFs. Um, no. I haven't tried it on the Kindle (didn't bother). Somethings ARE better on paper (at least for now).


Steve MC said...

For right now I'm sticking with paperbacks 'cause I love writing in margins and seeing them on the shelf. But when I had a sore wrist last month, and a big book to read, I was definitely looking at e-readers.

This site also has lots of free books, though they're PDFs.

E. M. LaBonte said...

I have the kobo, it deals with books, no notepad or web browser. I'm ok with that since all I want with my kobo is to read books. I got a program called Calibre that turns PDFs into EPUBs so that you can use the PDFs like the rest of the books. It's a free download and has helped me a lot with any PDFs I want to look at. I love my Kobo.

Matthew MacNish said...

I have the Kindle keyboard, and I have to say I agree with all your points. Have you emailed yourself a word doc to be converted yet? It makes critiquing a friend's MS extremely convenient (but without the keyboard, it would be essentially impossible).

vic caswell said...

ok! i just got one for christmas, and my hubs bogarts it most of the time, but here's the little i know.
when it comes to reading a text file, i was able to send my whole ms to the kindle in a word format, then i could flip the pages like any other novel on the thing... so maybe if you change it from being a pdf- which in my experience is usually akin to a jpg or other image file when being accessed by other programs- to a word (or similar) format, you might be golden.
then again, i have a different kind of kindle than you, but it's worth a try!

Sarah McCabe said...

I've been using a Kindle Fire since Christmas and I can't think of anything bad to say about it. I'm just totally in love.

Iliadfan said...

I love my kindle (my husband has a nook). I haven't tried PDFs, but I use the Word document feature regularly. As for the web browser, I use it when I need to find out something specific and I don't have easy internet access (when traveling, for instance). A smartphone's probably faster.

Anonymous said...

I found that for the Kindle, it was better to turn the device sideways to read PDFs. That way, I didn't have to zoom in and out so much. You do have to page down more, but no zooming. All in all, though, I love my Kindle.

Adam Heine said...

The ideas to convert PDF to something are good ones. I tried Kindle's auto-conversion, but it lost line breaks, but there may be a way to convert it to something else FIRST then send it to my Kindle. I'll keep you updated :-)

Unfortunately, the Kindle Touch doesn't allow one to read PDFs sideways. This seems to a big complaint on the forums though, so maybe they'll upgrade their software?

Thanks for the tips, guys! I'm hungry for more if you got 'em.

Nancy Thompson said...

Someday, I'm gonna get me one of those!

Sarah Ahiers said...

i just asked for a kinde touch for my birthday in a few weeks, i'm realy excited for it

TL Conway said...

I have nothing to add to the comments. I'm simply eavesdropping because I'm about to sell my soul to the e-reader revolution and I'm just not sure which brand to get (Kindle vs Nook), or which style (Fire, etc...).

Adam Heine said...

TL: The Kindle vs. Nook choice was made for me solely by selection (Amazon's is always better). And I specifically wanted an eInk reader and not a tablet for reasons like battery life and eye strain (more the former than the latter). But that was just me.