Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kindle review

    Old business: the Kindle holds about 1500 books and weighs about 10 oz.  A whole library fits into a small, easy-to-care-for package.  
    There are several forms of the Kindle, currently from $79 to $379, that is for the most stripped down (with "special offers" ) model to the DX, which is larger than the others and may be ideal for newspapers and magazines.  Books can be acquired by transfer from a computer they are sent to, through a local or home wi-fi hotspot and by special cellphone-like call from Amazon to your Kindle.
    The main competitor to the Kindle is Barnes and Noble's Nook.  Both are successful and have good reviews.  Both can be purchased in stores like Wal-Mart, Staples and Best Buy or by mail.  Both have good reviews and the facts of the Kindle apply pretty well to the Nook, too.

    Book lovers often fear e-format and missing the touch of paper pages.  My experience, going on 4 years and more than 500 books later, is that these fears are not valid for many types of books.  However, charts, maps and pictures may show up poorly in the Kindle itself, not counting the model called "Fire".  However, any computer can be used to read Kindle books and most computer displays are excellent for Kindle.  Ours certainly are.  Our iPad is really an excellent display of all books and their photos and charts.
    Some book lovers, especially academics and researchers, like to annotate and highlight important parts of a book as they read.  They are often convinced that only paper books are good for such note-taking. I urge all Kindle owners to visit  On that site, you can see the highlights and notes you have taken for any of your Kindle books and look at what others have highlighted.  When you write your doctoral dissertation or your family history, you sure don't want to have to go through a source of information more than once.  Good highlighting is the key to picking it all up in one sweep.  Maybe you have had the experience of highlighting the good stuff but needing a list of the highlights and their locations.  The Kindle provides a user-friendly list of your highlights complete with live links to each.  The list is in the order the highlights occur in the book for easy locating, copying, re-checking, etc.

If you like to read, or want to like to read, try a Kindle.  It is getting more popular, as is the Nook, all the time.  Confessions of a GP sold 8500 copies in Britain in the paper form but 100,000 copies in Kindle form.

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