4 Kindles in one year? December 25, 2010 at 2:33 am

I am a reader. I like to read books. Mostly fiction and a large part of that is of the SciFi variety.  When I first saw the Sony reader I was tempted, but due to a lack of reading material I didn’t bite.  Later the first edition Kindle came out and again I was tempted, but I held out longer because a large number of the books I wanted still weren’t available.

By 2010 I was noticing over and over that most of the books I was buying on Amazon had a Kindle edition.  That and a long overdue trip out of the country presented the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

By the end of that 3 week trip I was completely hooked on E-Ink and more specifically Kindle.  I had tried the PC version of the reader on my laptop, but it is not the optimal reading platform.  I like to really read for marathon sessions (sometimes 4-5 hours) and sitting at a laptop is not overly fun.

When the iPhone 4 came out I got mine on the first day.  One of the first apps I downloaded was the Kindle Reader for iPhone.  Pretty cool.  I considered using only the iPhone for reading, but after a reading a few books while I was out I noticed a few things that made the experience sub-optimal.  Battery life is not really there for those marathon sessions and the screen is pretty small.  Without the tap to advance feature I would surely get exceedingly tired of flicking.  And reading with the device in my left hand is just not going to happen.

Then comes the K3 reader.  Just enough smaller and lighter to make single handed reading not a chore for me (either hand).  I was sold the day it arrived.  Then my first trip out the country happened.  On the flight back, the device was in a pocket and it got crushed making the screen unusable.  I had just enough time to log into the barely readable WiFi signal and download the book I was reading onto the iPhone.  That was convenient because it would have sucked having only 5 chapters left in a book for a 24+ hour travel day.

When I got home I ordered my 3rd Kindle for 2010.

I am currently traveling again and of course I would take my favorite reader platform!  Guess what happened?  Yes, nearly the exact same thing.  Sigh.  The Kindle 3 is just too fragile for me.  I have murdered 2 of them now.  The second time I was even more cautious, but obviously not enough.

Why after all of this am I likely to buy another one when I return home? I am a reader and the Kindle reader is the best current platform for me to read a book.

What I like about the Kindle 3:

  • Light Weight
  • Battery that seemingly lasts forever
  • Easy to hold in either hand and read
  • Reading in daylight is a snap
  • Adjustable font size and page layout options
  • Ability to have lots of books in one package.

What I really dislike about the K3:

  • Fragile as all get out without the leather cover and I am not a fan of reading with the cover on.

What is awesome about the Kindle “universe of apps:”

  • I almost always have a phone with me and my books are right there with me if I find I have to wait in a long line or whatever.
  • Syncing books between devices is very handy so I can read a chapter on one device and switch over to another when it is around.

Kindle for the long run?

Once a vendor comes out with a device similar in nature to the iPad, but with the weight, readability in sunlight, and battery life as the Kindle I am certain that my Kindle will fall into disuse.  Until then the Kindle is definitely my preferred reading platform.  The nice thing about that day is that Amazon should “have an app for that.” 

There are a few things I don’t like about the Kindle and Amazon’s platform but I think those are mostly just because I have made a large investment in dead trees.  I am used to owning the books I read.  The reality for me is that I rarely ever read a book twice.  (It happens, but not often.)  Will I be sad if Amazon goes belly up and all my content is lost?  Yeah.  Will it be the end of my world?  Unlikely.  To me the benefits of the convenience outweigh any risks (including killing a third device).   

I’ll be ordering another when I return home.  Know anyone that wants two Kindles with dead screens?

Amazon replaced my second device that failed.  After I described the exact scenario that caused the second failure they decided it should be replaced.  If you notice on one the TV commercials a user slips the device into a back pocket.  Given my experience with side pockets (cargo pants) I don’t think placing the device in any pant pocket is a wise idea.

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