Taking an Amazon Kindle for a Test Drive

I borrowed an Amazon Kindle for the long Thanksgiving weekend.  If you are not familiar with one, the Kindle is an wireless book reading device on which you can download books from Amazon.com and read them electronically on a 4 X 5 inch screen. 

I purchased The Gate House, a new book by Nelson DeMille, one of my very favorite fiction writers, for $9.99, and I have been reading it electronically for a few days.  I am 14 dots into the book out of 50 total dots (there are dots at the bottom of the scrreen and a new dot lights up after reading a chunk of “pages.”)  In old fashioned book-speak, I am starting Chapter 21 out of 71 chapters.

With about 28% of the book read (equating to 14 dots), I have mixed feelings about reading a bool electronically, and more specifically about the Kindle.  First, I love the paper-less concept which certainly is more environmentally friendly than paper books.  For people with poor eyesight, the font can be enlarged to a fairly big size.  I have found this useful.  I also like the ability to purchase books immediately from home.  You also can download portions of books for free, and the price for new books is much cheaper than the hardcover versions.

There are, however, some things I am not liking about the Kindle.  First, the placement of the page turning buttons is along both sides of the machine, so holding it like a book has been a problem.  I keep bumping the buttons which are very sensitive, and which turn the pages either forward or backward before I am ready to turn the page.  Second, the screen is not backlit, so reading in a dark room is impossible.  This is the same for traditional books, but one would think that an electronic book would glow like a cell phone so it could be read in the dark.  I still need to keep the bedroom light on at night while my wife is trying to sleep.  Then there is the page numbering system which I think is pretty goofy.  I am currently at location 3255-59.  When I turn the page I am at location 3259-63.  Say What?

Is anyone else using a Kindle?  If so, I am curious to hear your reactions to it.

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3 thoughts on “Taking an Amazon Kindle for a Test Drive

  1. Dave, I have the kindle myself. My only frustration is the lack of choices of books currently. I think more and more will become digitally available and it will be more useful to me. I also agree with you about the location of the page turning buttons. Hard to hold sometimes.

  2. Dave,

    I have had a Kindle for over a year now. I love it, but I also find the operations strange. I really love the instant lookup option as I read. I only wish more education books were available for Kindle.

    When I got mine, I was intrigued about how it can be used for students in the future… etexts, novels, papers, etc. I think it still has legs to be a great application for schools.

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