Shout out to the old My Buddy commercial for the blog title today.
Very few products in life have lived up to my expectations of their greatness. In recent memory I can think of 2: my iPhone and my Kindle. I’ll save you a write up on the iPhone because the way technology moves, my iPhone 3GS is almost a dinosaur. But, it’s a productive dinosaur, and that’s what matters.
I will pen a short ode to the Kindle though. I’ve had it now for a little over 5 months thanks to my wife’s generosity at Christmas. Honestly I had dreams of an iPad, but I just couldn’t see it being worth the money from the benefit I would gain from it. So, I thought a Kindle would be a nice consolation prize. I liked the idea of being able to carry multiple books around in 1 slick device. I had tried to read from the Kindle app on my iPhone, but flipping the page every 3 seconds got annoying quickly. So, a bigger screen was a necessity if I was going to consistently use an electronic platform to read from. Enter the Kindle, a device that should slap me for referring to it as a consolation prize.
Here are some things that I love about the Kindle*:
1) Size – It’s a perfect size. Screen is large enough that I’m not annoyed at the rate I have to turn the page. Body is small enough that it’s very easy to carry anywhere, including the gym.
2) Resolution – It is very easy to read from the Kindle. I have a case with a built in light that I use in low light situations, but that is a rare occurrence. In fact, what prompted me to write this post was the ease of being able to read from it at the beach. There is no glare whatsoever. The screen is designed to mimic what you would see on paper. In fact the brighter the sunlight, the better I am able to read from the device. This is unfortunately the opposite on even my beloved iPhone.
3) Deals – E-books go on sale often, either from Amazon or other retailers. It’s rare that I’ll pay more than $2.99 for an e-book with many of them being free. I follow @gospelebooks on Twitter which notifies me of books that are free or otherwise deeply discounted. I’m sure there are similar sites, Twitter feeds, etc. for whatever genre of book you’re interested in.
4) Notes – The biggest concern I had with going to an e-reader was being able to take notes. I liked being able to highlight in a book or jot a quick note. The Kindle allows me to do the same thing in an electronic format. I can access these notes or highlights from the device or from Amazon’s website. Instead of aimlessly flipping through a book trying to find what I’m looking for I can pull up all the notes and highlights I’ve made in a simple format. This comes in handy especially after I’ve read a book. I can look back on my highlights and my personal notes to try to synthesize what I’ve read.
5) It Works – I don’t know what Mr. Kindle would say his purpose is, but my guess is one of those purposes is to encourage reading. After seminary I almost vowed to never read another book that wasn’t the Bible. I’ve never read so much in my life. Thanks to the Kindle, I’m reading almost as much as I did in seminary by my own choosing. One of my biggest challenges now is having the patience to get through 1 or 2 books at a time knowing that I have 5-6 just waiting to be started.
If you have a Kindle, what are your thoughts? If you’ve considered getting one, but haven’t yet, what’s holding you back?
* I have the Kindle 3