Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

I have had my Kindle for over 4 months now and I love it. I have a number of friends that now have a Kindle or are wrestling with getting one so I wanted follow up on my initial post. Four months later, what are my favorite things about the Kindle?

Free or Cheap Books

I can almost guarantee that I would not have read Dracula had I not downloaded it for free.  I probably would not have read Baxter’s The Cure for Melancholy either had I not found it for 99 cents. Wodehouse, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, and Augustine are all on my reading list for 2011.

Insane battery Life

The battery life for the Kindle is as good as advertised. I keep the Wi-Fi turned off unless I am looking up a book or syncing my current reading places and highlights and it feels like I go weeks without charging it. I use it all the time and yet I probably charge it once every 3 weeks with the battery still close to 20%. It is such a huge plus to this device.

Fresh Way to read the Bible

I still read to my kids out of my ESV Study Bible but reading the study Bible on my Kindle has given me another way to freshen things up. It also gives me access to the full study Bible anywhere I am without lugging it around.



I still use ReaditLater because I have such a large database of links there and I use Digest periodically but Instapaper is smoother when it comes to exporting articles to the Kindle. I can read or scan 40-60 articles a week utilizing this feature.

Retaining on Kindle vs Paper Books

Yes, reading on the Kindle is a little different and yes, it is super easy to rely on the convenience. Am I retaining books as well digitally? Ultimately what helps me the most with that are 2 things:

  1. Discuss, process, and share what I am reading with others.
  2. Write about what I am reading (blog!).

Yes, it is more difficult to scan a book and get the big picture via an e-reader and you don’t have page memory of physical book but what always affected my retention the most even with a physical book is those 2 applications above.

Kindle for PC and kindle.amazon.com

I love having access to my highlights and notes online and how my place marks sync between whatever devices I am using.

Paper vs Digital? Jury is Still Out

There is room for both. I’ve read 7 full books on the Kindle since mid-September. Nearly all of those (Preaching Christ in All Scripture, Dracula, Linchpin, Sexual Detox, Cure of Melancholy, Case for Christian Classical Education) I would not have read otherwise or delayed reading them because of the print cost.

This year I have a goal of reading over 40 books again and I already own 28 of those books, 11 for the Kindle and 17 in classic book form. The rest of the books on my list I will likely purchase in Kindle format or utilize our local library.

Right now, if my Kindle were taken away, these are the things I would miss the most:

1. Instapaper: I hate reading on the computer now if I don’t have to.

2. Digital ESV Study Bible: The convenience of having my study Bible with me in a very readable format (as opposed to reading the Bible on my Treo) is very nice.

3. Free and cheap books: Having easy access to the free classics and extremely cheap older books by the Puritans and others is great.

The publishing reality is definitely changing and the Kindle is such a cool device, but you still cannot beat a physical book. Not yet.

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I am a avid reader. Reading is a hobby. If I have downtime, I’ll choose to read as opposed to most anything else. I’ve been this way since college, and honestly since I came to know Jesus Christ have I enjoyed reading. I love books. I love the feel, I love bookstores, and books are treasures to me. This is probably a little too much so and I know that I can struggle with making knowledge an idol! Over the past year, I think I have averaged reading close to a book every week.

So to make the leap to a Kindle is a big one for me. I have thought about the paradigm shift of E-readers and what it may mean. I understand that one of the biggest reasons people shift to a Kindle is purely out of convenience. That is not in and of itself a good reason when it comes the shift that Tim Challies outlines in the above link!

However, the new Kindle looked fantastic and when I couple the size and convenience with the potential to use it in conjunction with Calibre and ReadItLater; I decided to put it out there as a wish for my birthday or Christmas. Of course, my sweet wife comes through and I received it for my birthday this past week! With that, I wanted to share my first impressions.

What I don’t like

  1. Ability to Scan: I usually scan a new book whenever I begin. I look at every single page and study the table of contents. The Kindle makes this a little more tasking.
  2. Maneuverability: I am constantly flipping back and forth to the table of contents and previous chapters to keep my grounds in the big picture of whatever book I am reading. I am always doing a mix of scanning and immersion. Also, one of my first purchases for my Kindle was the ESV Study Bible (only $8 on Kindle!). On my Treo phone, I can navigate my Bible program faster than I can turn to it in print. On the Kindle, it’s slower than both of those. However, this is an area that could get better as I get used to the Kindle.
  3. PDF conversion could be better: For either manuals or just documents in native PDF form that are converted, it’s still a bit rough. This would be a huge help to me if it handle PDFs better or converted them easier.
  4. Note taking is less flexible: I’m used to being able to do whatever I want: notes above, in the margins, underlines, circling words and passages, and just about anything I want. It’s not difficult in the Kindle but it’s not as easy as with a printed book. It’s something again that I’ll have to adjust to.
  5. Convenience of obtaining new books: I can download a new book in less than minute! For someone who has a queue of upwards of 10-20 books at home that I want to read as well as an Amazon wish list pushing 100 books, this is very bad! It’s not necessarily a good thing that I can purchase a new book so easily when it comes to our budget or my true needs.

What I absolutely love

  1. Calibre and ReadItLater: This pushed me over the top. These tools allow me to send blogs and my readilater list converted into the Kindle format straight to my Kindle. I much prefer reading on my Kindle already to catching up on my reading online on a laptop. This leads to point #2.
  2. The immersion is excellent: It’s not like reading on a computer or a laptop. There are barely any distractions on the device and it is obscenely close to the view of a book on the eyes and feel that it really is very immersive and that’s exactly what you want in a dedicated reading device.
  3. The screen is unbelievable: See #2 but I had to make this a separate bullet. Everyone who has seen my new Kindle is blown away by the clarity and the ease on the eyes. When you see it in your hands, it does not look electronic!
  4. Barely good enough WiFi: I don’t want the distraction of WiFi, but it’s nice to have. The Kindle’s WiFi and experimental/beta browser is good enough that you can check a blog or download a book but not fast enough that you would choose surfing over reading what you already have on your device.
  5. Convenience of obtaining new books: I can download a book in less than a minute! There are close to 2 million free, out of copyright, books available from Dostoyevsky to Augustine to Calvin to Dracula. It’s incredible. I can have a free copy of Calvin’s commentary on Hebrews for 99 cents and most are literally $0.

The Kindle is soon to be available at Best Buy and Target. Use that as an opportunity to get a feel for it and also take a look at the other devices. My money is still on the Kindle but newer versions could be coming out even faster now. Also, the E-reader competition is heating up immensely and some have predicted that the Kindle could be below $100 by Christmas.

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