Reviewing A Kindle

The Paperwhite Kindle – a review

During some research I was recommended the book “Ditch. Dare.Do” by William Arruda, Deb Dib and Richard Bolles so I went to Amazon to buy it. The choice was 3.67 GBP for the Kindle version (delivery now) or 10.67 GBP for the paperback version (delivery a week or so) – that’s a whopping 65% discount for the Kindle version. Since I wanted to check out the technology anyway, I decided to purchase a Kindle from Dick Smith (one of the Australian franchise holders) for $161 (AUD).

While I waited for the Kindle to arrive I decided to check out the on-line Kindle book reader and read the first few chapters of my new book.

It took two days for Dick Smith to package and one day to deliver so I soon had the brand spanking new Kindle in my hands. Opening the box I found the Kindle, a USB lead and a manual. The manual had one page devoted to English speakers which basically said “Switch on device here and follow instructions”. So I did. Once I set up WiFi my new book automagically downloaded and was available for reading. When I clicked on the picture of the book it went straight to the page I’d last read in the on-line book reader. Smart!

The other reason I bought the Kindle was to make it easier for me to read more books. I have been working through “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman – an excellent book but at 500 pages it is quiet weighty to carry around (one day I’ll share some of Daniel Kahenman’s the insights). I also wanted some classics as well as those I could buy on Amazon. So I clicked onto Project Gutenberg and downloaded the “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (Arthur Conan Doyle) and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (Lewis Carroll). They are a pleasure to read and allowed me to use the very neat dictionary feature – highlight a word, wait a few seconds and a definition of the word is displayed.

After a few days what do I think of the Kindle?

The Kindle is a great device for reading text based books – the text is very clear and easy on the eyes in all the lighting conditions I have tried (much better than a mobile phone). The form factor – height, width, thickness and weight are excellent. I’m a little disappointed that any pictures or diagrams are challenging to see. This is a shame because the hardware would clearly support tables and diagrams easily but is limited by the software (and perhaps the use of HTML as an intermediary).

Would I recommend one?

Yes, I would recommend buying one. The Kindle manages to provide a Faster and Cheaper way to obtain books. Is it Better for reading them? As far as I am concerned, the verdict is still out on that one although it’s fine line.

Any concerns?

Yes. My only concern is the ownership of the book that I buy on the Kindle. With a traditional book, I buy it and I own it. The publisher can’t remove it from me and I can give it to anyone else I choose. As for books on the Kindle, Amazon can (and have) removed books people have purchased without their permission ironically George Orwell’s 1984 was an example – here’s an article on the New York Times.

Do you have a Kindle?

Have you published a book on one? I would love to hear from you if you a contemplating publishing on the Kindle or have published a book on the Kindle. How did you decide on your pricing? How have sales progressed? And why the Paperwhite Kindle rather than the Barnes & Noble Nook or Kobo eReader?

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