How I became a Kindle-vangelist

kindleI must be clear that this is a surprising thing.  I am not a gadget geek.  I don’t really like technology that much and, as a general rule, I am a slow adopter. 

In the past decade though, I have found that I’m getting more and more attached to certain kinds of technology.

I’ve already stated that Tivo is, by far, my favorite technology innovation of the last twenty years.  In my world, it beats the microwave, the cell phone, the laptop and rivals the remote control in the usefulness.

I’ve also grown to love my iPhone.  Of course, my favorite iPhone feature is the ability to post photos of my kids on twitter or facebook.  Spamming people with photos of my kids is what I’m all about.

So now I’ve managed to fall for the Kindle as well.  I first started thinking about the Kindle on Seth’s recommendation.  I think it was the “it’s for women” claim that got my attention.   Then Andrew McAfee explained the wireless part which added to my interest.

Next, I found myself on a trip without a book to read.  When I asked via twitter (linked to facebook status) if anyone had a book I could borrow.  I got  a suggestion from Steve that I consider a Kindle.  Might be worth noting that I get most of my tech tips from Steve.  It makes sense right?   An SVP really has nothing better to do with their time, than to teach me that function-F11 expands the main part of the browser, or that spellcheck can be had with a firefox upgrade.

So I put a kindle on my Christmas list, and immediately got put in the back order queue for the Kindle 2.  Christmas came in March, and I am  now two weeks experienced, so as I promised Jake, I’m sharing my love of the Kindle with the world.

What rocks about the Kindle?

  1. Increasing the font.  For those of us who are (ahem) getting close to needing reading glasses, this is a nice feature.
  2. Instant gratification – the Kindle is, to acquiring things to read, what the iphone is to music.  You find it, you get it, immediately.  It’s all nicely hooked up such that the commerce transactions feel effortless.  It’s almost as if they didn’t want you to realize you were spending any money at all.
  3. Highlighting and taking notes – I totally geeked out reading Outliers and highlighting key pieces of text I might want to remember later.  Probably less necessary for things like the Twilight series.
  4. The green angle — the paper I’m not using has to be a good thing.  Especially for the newspapers and magazines. 
  5. It’s light.  Really really light.  This is cool for holding as well as traveling.
  6. Makes excellent sense for a trip where you are almost done with one book and want to pack a second (or third).  No extra weight to carry and you could even make up your mind about the third book when you need it vs. deciding before you go.
  7. The next page is smartly on both sides so you can lean right or left with your reading as your mood dictates.
  8. The type is good, not at all like a computer monitor so reading feels like a pleasure not a job.

Things I am critical of with the Kindle

  1. I find the next page button has a bit of a mechanical click sound that doesn’t go well with my love of reading quietly.  Of course, you learn to not hear it after a bit.
  2. With 240k titles, I still could not find some of the books I had lined up in my “to read next” list.
  3. I do miss the feel of holding a book, especially when it wasn’t a big book.
  4. You can’t easily loan it to someone else when you are done.
  5. They wanted to charge me to read blogs and have no integration with my Google reader.  As if!

So I find myself as a new Kindle-evangelist, showing all my friends and neighbors my new toy.  Yes, this is more beneficial to Amazon than me, in that I’m surely going to buy more books (and they made me pay for the device as well) but somehow this is an electronic gadget that does something I like to do.  Sit quietly and read.

9 thoughts on “How I became a Kindle-vangelist

  1. As a recent Kindler. I have fallen in love with it but I have to echo your point 3. There is something about holding a book, the smell of a new one, the disappointment when you realize that you have gone beyond half way of an unputdownable page turner. I know Kindle gives you a percentage complete but it’s not the same. That said it’s been on several trips with me now and I almost could not live without it. Now if my local library could let me download a book for 3 weeks and then remove it, I’d be in heaven :0)

  2. I am an avid reader. But, and this is probably way too much information, I love to read in the bath tub. Soaking in hot, steamy water with a good book is my idea of heaven. The typical British bath tub is generally bigger than its US equivalent which helps accommodate this pastime. The other day I fell asleep and dropped my book into the water. Reading your post made me wonder what would have happened had I been using a Kindle… mild electric shock?! So I think I need to wait until they bring out a waterproof version. 🙂

  3. Wow, Pete, with comments like these … we don’t need blog posts! 🙂

    That being said, what a great post, Meg. You definitely have me intrigued!

  4. @Tim — mmmm Library access with a Kindle… yum!
    @Pete – I want to be very clear that I do not plan to endorse the Kindle in the bath any time soon. You sir, should stick with paper.

  5. I am a big Kindle fan. I have the ugly 1st generation, and my wife claimed the new 2nd generation. My wife likes it because we are both avid readers and will stop our house becoming overwhelmed with books. We still buy physical books for those we want to keep, but all the books that would normally recycle after 6 months we now buy on the kindle.

    On the design, the UI is far from my fantasy, but was relatively easy to learn and does the job, the K2 has addressed some of my concerns. The retro physical design is pug ugly, but I have an affection for it. I have been using the iPhone Kindle app and it is great. I found myself with 15 minutes to wait at the dental office the other day and it took me two minutes to set up and then I was reading my current book form the location I left it the evening before on my K1

    I read it in the bath all the time and the best advice I can give is don’t fall asleep.

    BTW, nice site. My first visit here and I’ll be back : )

  6. @Jeremy thanks for joining the conversation and saying nice things about TalentedApps, I’ll be right over with the bribe money I promised.
    @Mark I’m pretty sure the iphone app only works if you own a Kindle so I’m not sure it’s an either/or kind of thing

  7. @Meg Yes, I was concerned that was the case, but then I read a review that described it as, “If you also have a Kindle, it restores your bookmark,” which gave me the impression you could purchase the iPhone app separately (which I haven’t tried yet…)

  8. I suspect the ability to use the Kindle iPhone app independently will come with the ability to buy books from within the app. This is one of the features touted in the iPhone 3.0 update announced yesterday.

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