Me and My Kindle

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Ralph
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Me and My Kindle

Post by Ralph » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:35 pm

For several months I have been enjoying Amazon's Kindle. I still buy hardcover and paperback books in the same number I always have but the Kindle has vastly added to both my reading pleasure and convenience.

Downloading books is simple and for many classics the cost is zero or nominal. Foe example, last night I downloaded a huge cache of Oscar Wilde, twenty works by Voltaire and much of the writings of Cicero. I have previously downloaded Plato and Aristotle and the works of Dreiser.

As to modern books I just finished two books on the history of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. I have so many books on the subject - I really didn't need two more on the floor (forget about shelf space).

The cost of books is little. I just reviewed on this new board "The Reason for God." I wanted to read it with a friend for whom I bought a Kindle which is linked to my account. Instead of two copies at about $28 each, I downloaded the book on both our devices for $9.99, no tax. Kindles make reading with a friend easy.

Type face can be changed - I use the smallest but someone with a vision problem can employ really big type. There is no screen glare and I have not gotten tired reading fro hours. Pages are advanced with a simple click and another button allows going back. Buying books takes seconds and connection with Amazon is with a 3G network for which there is no cost. Battery life is very long and recharging doesn't take long at all. Reading with AC power is also simple.

Any negatives? For serious nonfiction books there appears to be no way to go back and forth to notes, a limiting factor if you're reading to write a paper or prepare for a class or lecture. This needs to be addressed.

Amazon recently dropped the cost to $299, a $60 reduction. There is also a new DX model which is larger and is designed to be used for academic study as well as personal reading.

Lastly, when I travel I have found the Kindle to be wonderful. I can switch back and forth between books. Where you stopped is always remembered. On a one week trip to Chicago I didn't have my usual heavy, space taking paperbacks. This one device had everything I wanted.
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stenka razin
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by stenka razin » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:22 pm

Ralph, Kindle is a wonderful gadget.....But, can anything really replace the 'real thing', my friend?... :wink: 8)
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jbuck919
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:26 pm

Thanks, Ralph. Now someone has finally got me thinking about getting one.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ralph
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by Ralph » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:36 pm

stenka razin wrote:Ralph, Kindle is a wonderful gadget.....But, can anything really replace the 'real thing', my friend?... :wink: 8)
*****

I have thousands of books and as I said buy a number each week. I have a wired phone at home but I need a cell phone too.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Cosima__J

Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by Cosima__J » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:42 pm

Ralph, I can't read a non fiction book without my yellow highlighter. I guess there is no way to underline or highlight a sentence or passage that you especially want to remember? Also, I sometimes like to write notes in the margins.

However, for fiction books the kindle might be just fine.

Ralph
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by Ralph » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:05 pm

Cosima__J wrote:Ralph, I can't read a non fiction book without my yellow highlighter. I guess there is no way to underline or highlight a sentence or passage that you especially want to remember? Also, I sometimes like to write notes in the margins.

However, for fiction books the kindle might be just fine.
*****

Actually you can take notes while you read and they remain on the Kindle as long as the book does. I think you can highlight too but, frankly, I'm not going to read the very long online manual. For my basic purposes it works just fine without bells and whistles. But they're there.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Madame
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by Madame » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:04 am

I wish they'd come up with a hinged one ... would feel more like a book ...

D
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:30 pm

I have Kindle for iPhone. Anyone use that? I haven't yet.

John F
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Re: Me and My Kindle

Post by John F » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:42 am

Ralph wrote:Actually you can take notes while you read and they remain on the Kindle as long as the book does. I think you can highlight too but, frankly, I'm not going to read the very long online manual. For my basic purposes it works just fine without bells and whistles. But they're there.
Didn't think to look for a user's guide - and the user's guide for the Nook while I'm at it. That'll help me decide whether either is worth it for me.

As for highlighting:
HIGHLIGHTING A PASSAGE

To highlight one or more lines, follow these steps:

1. Use the 5-way to position the cursor where you want to start highlighting.
2. Press the 5-way.
3. Move the 5-way right (or left) to where you want your highlight to end. You can
turn pages if you want to highlight text across multiple pages.
4. Press the 5-way at the place where you want the highlight to end.
5. Notice that the text you highlighted appears with a gray underline.
A gray underline? That's more like lowllighting, I'd say. :) The Nook highlights with a light gray background to the text, not exactly vivid but at least easier to spot.

As for taking notes, however, the Kindle looks better, as it has an actual physical keyboard while the Nook pops up a virtual keyboard on the touchscreen - and according to David Pogue in the NY Times, the Nook's touchscreen is "achingly slow" to respond.

If I got either of these, I'd use it only for books I don't expect to keep, and chances are I wouldn't do much note-taking or highlighting. Keepers will have to be physical books, as always. Since I don't do that much escapist or recreational reading, however, I don't know how much I'd actually use a Kindle, and $260 for the hardware (yes, it's even lower than Ralph's $299 now) is a bit much just to find out.

Key to this is what the vendors make available for download. Amazon claims 400,000 book and periodical titles in its "store," Barnes & Noble 1 million - but according to Pogue, there's much less here than meets the eye. And anyway, the quantity of titles isn't what counts, it's whether the particular title you want is available for your reader. The Kindle 2 will accept only ebooks in Amazon's proprietary azw format, meaning from its "store," while Barnes & Noble says the Nook supports ePub, an open standard format used in ebooks from many sources. What practical difference this might make in finding what I want to read, I can't guess.

No doubt there will be a Kindle 3, perhaps this year, responding to the Nook's features and improving on its own. Meanwhile, unless an irresistable impulse strikes me, I'll keep reading comments like Ralph's and others' here, and browse through the users' guides, for what they may tell me.
John Francis

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