Kindle review

I've had my Kindle for almost six months, and I'm close to finishing my seventh book on it.  (Don't judge, my reading-junkie friends!)  I haven't written about it until now because my opinions on ebooks have been evolving for a while, and I wanted to have a somewhat settled perspective.

I started off by reading a few things on our iPad, but reading on a screen stressed my eyes in a way that reading from paper does not.  Eventually, I starting lusting after a proper e-reader, and several months after that, I finally made the purchase.

The version I have is the lowest tier without "special offers," or ads.  I like that it isn't lit because it makes it feel more like a book and less like a screen--I get enough of the latter already.  I also like that it isn't a touch screen because the delay between pressing buttons and the screen reacting is long enough that a touch screen would be a little silly.  I also like that I don't have to be careful about not touching the screen, since then I can handle it a bit more like a real book.

I've been going through one-time reads, and I like not cluttering the house with new books.  Libraries used to be my go-to for many (but not all) of my one-time reads, and so the Kindle is certainly enabling my being a lazy consumer.  At the same time, the library doesn't always have what I want and I'm happy to support the authors I enjoy.  I like the experience enough that I'm considering getting old favorites that I already own in electronic form, but Amazon is currently rolling out an program that gives you discounts for exactly this scenario--I might wait to see if some of those are adopted into that program first.

Once upon a time, I would carry a book in my purse, and this has certainly lightened the load.  It was great when we took our trip to India, since it lasted the whole three weeks (I might have charged it once in the middle at one of the strange charge-your-phone stations) and I read two different books that would have taken up a lot of space.  I also used my Kindle every day when I commuted to the city via train.

Technical books and papers (PDFs) aren't good to read on it, but I'll forgive it that.  Some novels even have slightly wonky formatting, but most of them are great.  Occasionally pages will be rendered differently (as in the page breaks at different places) if you turn it off then on again or move back and forth between pages, which is a little odd.  The thing that I thought would bother me the most was the whole screen flashing occasionally on a page change to clean up the residue from previous pages.  I don't even notice it anymore.

I think we'll still have paper books for a good long while, but there is a place for ebooks.  My favorite moment was when N read something for a while on my device, and when he finally passed it back, muttered sheepishly, I want a Kindle.

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