Friday, October 4, 2013

Kindle bits

I keep telling my friends to get themselves a Kindle but I don't think they listen.  When you hear of a book, you can go to the local library and take a look at it, if they have it.  Before you go, look at the library's catalog online and see if they have it.  If the trip takes a while because of distance or heavy traffic, reserve the book for yourself so it will be there for you. I often just go without looking at anything online since I like to browse, both the stacks and the new book shelves.

The other day, I found and borrowed "Drunk Tank Pink" about newer ideas that are surprising, such as using a room painted pink to calm and sober intoxicated people.  I also borrowed "The World's Strongest Librarian", by a man with Tourette syndrome who is 6'7" and working on deadlifting 600 pounds during his hours off from being a librarian in Salt Lake City.

I am very capable of borrowing a library book and then buying it on Kindle.  In that form, it is available to the other members of the family that share my Kindle account.  In that form, I can easily highlight passages in it. In my cheap Kindle, I can move a file from it to my computer and thereby have all the highlights in a file.  With either the Touch or the Kindle app on my iPad, I tweet a comment and a link to the highlighted passage.  Anyone following me on Twitter gets that tweet and the highlighted passage is marked on the computers.  If I use the cheaper Touch, it will connect to Amazon's Whispernet from any earthly location, even the rim of the Grand Canyon.

The cheaper, black and white Kindles hold a useable charge for a very long time, now advertised to be a month.  The color tablets that can also show movies and such, can't do that for so long.  The color tablets reflect as does the iPad, which is no small thing if you are trying to read, say, in a car with light coming in from all sides.

The cheapest Kindle is very serviceable and costs $69.  It comes with "offers", ads on the sleep page.  They can be interesting once in a while and they are more interesting visually than the old set of 5 to 10 pictures that the first Kindles used.

A friend asked the other day if I thought the Kindle Fire, competitor to the iPad and the Microsoft Surface and the Samsung tablets was as good as the iPad.  A little of the answer depends on just what you want to do with the device but generally, yes, I do think it is a reasonable alternative for a considerably lower price.

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