I have been putting this off for a long time. It lives as a task on my to do list and I have some sticky note reminders. What is it? It is my review of the Kindle 2 from Amazon. It’s not that I don’t like the Kindle. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing and posting reviews. It’s more that I have imagined this effort to be such a great big task requiring time, thought, and effort to succinctly put down in words my thoughts regarding the Kindle. I decided to skip over all of the obstacles and simply writes some thoughts I have regarding Amazon’s e-book reader in its second generation.
First some history: I purchased the Amazon Kindle 2 while my family was on vacation in Florida back in late February – early March. The all too convenient Amazon application for my iPhone sang to me like a siren to click the “Buy it Now” button. This wasn’t an impulse purchase though. I had been contemplating buying the Kindle all the way back to its first version release in 2007. The negatives at the time were: 1) high price 2) version one product 3) high price 4) limited availability of books 5) high price 6) use of DRM on book purchases and finally 7) high price. You get the point. The Kindle was an intriguing idea, but its high price and early adopter “snags” made me very hesitant as I assume it did to a lot of other consumers. The first version of the Kindle did okay in sales (note: Amazon does not release information detail regarding the sale of Kindles).
Fast forward to this Spring. I have long been interested in e-books and I have contemplated the process of writing and publishing my own book in electronic format. In addition, I decided a while ago to jump into the Amazon affiliate pools and decided that I would advertise the Kindle on my blog site if I felt the product was worthy and of good value. Beyond all of that, I still really wanted the Kindle and it felt like the right time to buy. It arrived at my wife’s parent’s home in Sebring, FL. and I opened it and started reading a Steve Barry novel that I had already purchased and previously downloaded to the Kindle app on my iPhone. The adjustment time of using the Kindle was very minimal and soon I was getting up early and enjoying both the Barry novel and some sample newspapers, blogs, and magazines.
Since that time, my Kindle has become a regular part of my day. I subscribed to a couple of tech blogs, discovered the great service at http://kindlefeeder.com (see this post) and even setup my Instapaper account to send articles to my Kindle on a regular basis. I find that a great deal of content I was previously consuming via my RSS reader is now pushing to my Kindle and the reading experience is much better, in my opinion.
I don’t think the Kindle is for everyone. A good friend of mine has seriously considered it but has stopped short because the Kindle doesn’t provide some parts of the book experience that are real issues. One of these is book sharing. When i finish a great book, I love to pass it on to my wife, my son, or one of my friends. You can’t replicate that with the Kindle. Another issue – if you put a paperback in the seat pocket of an airplane and forget about it, you are out a few bucks. Forget your Kindle, and it will ruin your day.
However, I do feel the Kindle has a real benefit for some people. I live in the digital world and an e-book reader is a logical extension for me. I also love the idea of consolidation. My iPhone 3GS is a perfect too in that regard; so also is my Kindle. My books, blog articles that I clip, daily Bible reading, as well as a host of other content lives within the electrons of my Kindle 2 Reader. I even find that I am becoming less and less self-conscious about bringing the Kindle out of my bag while at the coffee shop, library, or local bookstore. It has been “win” for me and perhaps might be for you too. Maybe!