Kindle – The Positives

This post forms a hugely important part of The Kindle Decision aka the $400 Question – Should I Buy a Kindle?.  

[ In Progress] This is culled from reviews and articles and my thoughts. There are a few overarching themes you will see throughout reviews – The Kindle is made for book lovers, its focused on the path of least resistance, and V1 is as good as V2 of a product normally is. People are focused on the negatives – However its clear that the overhwelming majority of users love it and are asking for just a few incremental changes. I really think the naysayers are making the mistake of projecting their own desires in an ebook onto the general populace of book lovers. And truth is – the bookies decide whether this is a success or not and my research and instincts say this is going to be a big success. Anyways here are the key positives (as Kindle owners point out) -

  1. As Steve Gibson puts it in his Kindle Review – The huge deal with the Kindle is its wireless connectivity.
    1. Being on the Sprint EVDO network means you aren’t just restricted to WiFi hotspots.
    2. Also EVDO is FAST i.e. download a book in 1-2 minutes.
  2. The Kindle Store, built right into the device, works simply and quickly. 
  3. [A great review so listing it almost verbatim – btw this reviewer highly recommends it – I can offer the following summary evaluation based on what I consider the two most important perspectives:1) The viability and value associated with this new mode of delivering and consuming literary products; and
    2) The quality of this specific device within this process.To the first perspective, I give it a 10/10. I cannot say enough about the convenience and ease afforded to any avid reader by this device. It is revolutionary with as much to offer publishers and the consumers of their products. Like the iPod, I am certain it will serve as the catalyst to significant change within this market.To the second perspective, I give the Kindle a solid 9/10. The lack of a perfect score has more to do with it being a first generation product as opposed to anything you will notice while using one. I doubt any user would not be very pleased with the quality of its design and function.
  4. Hand in hand with the wireless connectivity is the ability to surf through Blogs. (no owners seeemed to care about this)
  5. The ability to get newspapers and magazines. (this was a big plus for owners – both from convenience and environment perspectives)
  6. The ability to increase the font size. People absolutely love it – older people, people whose eyes tire, and so on. (such a big hit it’s amazing)
  7. Store up to 200 Books
  8. Up to 6 Kindles on one account (again – this is a big hit although people don’t seem to have fully realized what this means)
  9. Additional SD card to store even more books (vey few people seem to need this + amazon letting you delete and then reload books you own reduces the neccessity of this)
  10. Lots and Lots of Free Books from Gutenberg Project etc. (have to come up with a list for free books available – lots of people using this)
  11. eBooks are for 9 to 10$ or cheaper whereas bestsellers are from 15-25$.
  12. Buy books, papers and magazines online and save on paper ;)
  13. Super easy setup for the Kindle.
  14. Buy from your laptop and book gets delivered to your Kindle in a few minutes.
  15. Great for aeroplanes and travel – details: This is product is great if you do a lot of traveling. Here are a few of the positives:
    1. Battery lasts long enough that you don’t have to pack charger for trips.
    2. It is lighter and smaller than carrying most other books.
    3. Screen resolution is very good and is very easy to read even while flying at night using overhead light.
    4. Automatic delivery of newspapers every morning is awesome.
    5. Wikipedia search is pretty cool too.
    6. Best of all, I like that I don’t have to hook it up to my computer to put new content on it.
  16. Don’t have to lug around books
  17. Can use for music and reading while on the treadmill
  18. The ease of getting a book to read.
  19. The quality is just amazing – I was really surprised at the quality of the screen. I have used the Kindle at the dining table while eating, at Borders coffee shop and most important to me in bed and the screen was easily readable in all of these places.
  20. I have the New York Times ready and waiting every morning…and none of the newsprint on my fingers or guilt about cutting down another tree or problem of recycling. 
  21. Get latest books as soon as they are released – no going to a bookstore and no waiting for postage. 
  22. I picture all high school students getting their summer reading and outside novels much cheaper and easier.
  23. No backpacks since textbooks are on the Kindle.
  24. Can read without having to hold down a book and cause damage to it.
  25. Don’t lose the page you’re on ;)
  26. For books that are in series – It is also nice to be able to be lying in bed on a Saturday morning, finish the first book in a series, and have the second in the series ready to read in 2 minutes without having to get up and go to the bookstore, with possible disappointment that the store does not have the book in stock. The most annoying thing to me about bookstores is you may see book 2-4 on the shelf and not book 1, so I then avoid the series due to the fact that I am not able to read book one. Also with my reading addiction, If I see a series I usually buy all books in the series and if the first one is terrible I am stuck with 5 more books that I don’t want to read. The Kindle allows me to buy the first and know that next books in the series are always “in stock”. 
  27. Wow – My wife is a stroke survivor, and has lost use of the left side of her body. Reading books has been impossible since she could not hold the book open and turn the pages with only one hand. Kindle has changed all of that for her, and made reading a joy again.
  28. Some positive claims on great support.
  29. Great for novels and anything you read cover to cover.
  30. Shopping Experience on Kindle has been GREAT.
  31. I read more than one book at a time and the Kindle allows me to transport all my reading material in one handy slim book sized device. 
  32. It is easy to read outdoors which is a real plus.
  33. I love saving paper by not buying actual printed books.
  34. I love having the book I want downloaded within a minute.
  35. I love that it fits in my purse.
  36. I love that I can adjust the font as my eyes tire in the day.
  37. I love the dictionary feature..brilliant. 
  38. I don’t have to buy anymore bookshelves! I love my books and reread many of them. Whenever we have moved, it has been a nightmare to lug all of those books. Plus, I’m simply out of shelf space. Now, I can get every book I want without regard to storage.  
  39. Traveling with enough books to keep me occupied is hard. I never wanted to pack 5 or more books so I always seemed to run out of reading material. Not anymore!  
  40. It really is possible to forget you are reading on a Kindle. It becomes just reading.  
  41. Easy access to all the books in a series at any time.
  42. Access to your books anywhere without lugging them around
  43. I’ve had no issues with my battery or screen. All works well and I’ve had the thing for 25 days.
  44. High praise indeed – the best thing since amazon.com & zappos.com
  45. Reading one handed. Big Big thing.
  46. This feature seems to be popular too – There is also a fun Ask Kindle Now Now function in the Experimental section of the Kindle. You can ask the Kindle a question and receive up to three answers back within 10 minutes.
  47. If you own stock in any book store, I would sell it. I think this is a revolutionary product that is the beginning of the demise of traditional bookstores. I love the fact that you can read a sample of a book before you decide to purchase it. This feature helps provide the same enjoyable feeling as browsing through a bookstore without the hassle of driving there.
  48. For families, if you purchase more than one Kindle, you all share one large Amazon library. In other words, if I purchase a book, finish it and delete it from my Kindle, Amazon keeps it stored in a permanent library. Say, for example, my husband want to read the same book. He can go to our shared library and download the book on to his Kindle. 
  49. [btw she has Lung disease and can only use Kindle and books are too much for her to handle) The biggest joy is no more reading outdated, cheesy magazines at the doctors’ offices. I was reading Douglas Adams at my last visit and my BP was great! :). Thanks to my dear sister, this is the most enjoyable, most practical present I have ever received.
  50. People talk about how they read more and they read more varied books – and in my book that has to be a good thing.
  51. [Would have to look into this] In fact, I believe the display causes less eye strain and permits reading for longer periods that the traditional book. I have found that I tend to finish books much quicker since I read them on the Kindle.
  52. Any avid reader that: wants a book quickly, is running out of storage space or travels frequently, will love the Kindle!  
  53. [Have to check details on this] Almost dropped my Kindle, but have no fear since I know that it will do OK if dropped (see the video).
  54. I find that my reading time has increased about 50%. That is from slow to fast. [ would be interesting to see if there are any speed reading programs and/or features]
  55.  I also love that I can send my own files to my Kindle wirelessly. It’s probably one of the best features
  56.  I’ve tried reading on my laptop but eye strain was a problem; the Kindle is very easy on the eyes.

4 Responses

  1. Does it have internet like I heard the Kindle 1 does?

  2. yes – it has free internet access via WhisperNet – Sprint EVDO network.
    You have an experimental browser that you can use to search wikipedia, and do more advanced things like email etc. – it is somewhat limited though.
    also, the same whispernet is used to download books quickly and browse amazon’s kindle store.
    and finally, there’s a new feature called whispersync that you can use to sync up between different devices. support for cell phones and netbooks is planned.

  3. Are Kindles good for kids with dyslexia? I am thinking of getting one for my 6 year old who has dyslexia.

    • telawallen, that’s hard to answer. I don’t have any practical experience and don’t know of any studies. There’s anecdotal evidence that it has helped some kids but no scientific studies. Perhaps you could take your 6 year old to Target or Best Buy or Staples and see if one or more of the following appeal to her/him –

      1) Text to speech feature available on some books.
      2) ability to increase the font size and increase the spacing between lines – The Aa key gives a menu with these options.

      You could also order a Kindle and in the 30 day return period see if it is good enough. If not, return it for no charge (within 30 days of it shipping to you).

      Here’s a post on Kindle for Kids with Dyslexia. However, it is all based on anecdotes.

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