but I've recently received one of the new generation 3G models, and it has prompted me to ask what you think - do you have a Kindle, and if so, how do you feel about it - is it, and its competitor e-book readers going to revolutionise the way we read?
Mine already has around fifty books on it (only 3450 to go before it's full), and I've taken it with me whenever I've been on the move for the past three weeks. I had a previous version Kindle, and this one is an improvement in terms of the display, it really is just like reading a printed page.
Add the email facility, the ability to store my files, and connect to the web free of charge using the 'experimental' browser (still some work to do on that, Amazon), and for £149 it's a very impressive bit of kit.
Have you tried reading while having a bath? I'm afraid that it's one of my favourite things to do, but I have this silly habit of falling asleep in the bath as well. At least I can dry out a cheap paperback and carry on reading it. Can you do that with the Kindle?????
"....if the device breaks, you lose the lot in one go."
No, you don't. Details of all my book purchases are stored on an Amazon server, and if I break the Kindle, or something goes wrong with it I can download them again, either onto a new Kindle, or onto a PC.
You can't distribute e-book files, that would be a copyright licence breach.
The 'page' size on my kindle is 120mm x 90mm (3.5 x 4.75 inches in old money). It doesn't sound huge, but in reality it's just right - you can alter the font size to get more or less text to a page.
In practice reading is easy and relaxing, there's no sense of peering at a tiny page. Definition is crystal clear, and I can read easily in bright sunlight. Reading in dim conditions isn't so easy because the screen isn't back-lit, it uses electronic ink, and looks just like a paper page.
Book costs vary, You'll pay £6.99 for the Tony Blair memoirs, and I bought the complete Sherlock Holmes works - that's nine volumes - for £2.67. All books are cheaper, but works out of copyright are extremely cheap - some cost as little as 78p.
Downloading a book takes less than a minute on average, and if you buy the 3G model you can connect to Amazon's 'whisper net' free of charge almost anywhere and browse the catalogue/make purchases.
Can you tell that I'm a Kindle fan?
Yes to your PDF question. When you get a Kindle you also get a unique email address, to which you can send documents. These appear automatically on your Kindle a few minutes later - how many minutes depends on your 3G signal.
Your Kindle will accept and display documents in PDF format, or you can send in many other formats - word docs for instance. When you send the files you type 'convert' in the subject line, and Amazon will automatically convert everything to a Kindle-compatible format and send it to your Kindle.
If you don't want to email your PDFs you can connect the Kindle to your PC via USB and drag the files over to the Kindle.
You can also drag MP3 tracks across, and listen to background music while you read.
yes, images display beautifully, but in monochrome - the Kindle screen doesn't do colour.
Gutenberg has been running for a very long time now, and it's very good. The slight drawback is that everything is in plain text, which isn't as easy on the eye, and although the project has been going for around 30 years they only have 33,000 books in the main list.... but they are free, and as you say, you can't complain.
The Kindle bookstore already has around half a million titles and new ones are added all the time - lots of newly published books are produced in a Kindle version.
I imagine that a colour version of the Kindle is a very low priority for Amazon - it wouldn't really add anything to the reading experience, and they're selling Kindles as fast as they can make them - I had to wait several weeks to get my hands on mine.
I don't have a Kindle, but after trying Kindle for PC and Mobipocket reader I find them very usable which was a bit of a surprise as I hate .PDF manuals with a passion.
I'm also a sucker for free stuff and have downloaded about about eighty books from Amazon, Project Gutenburg, Baen free Library, Feedbooks and Manybooks.
Has it stopped be stockpiling paperbacks ? Well I dragged the family to Hay on Wye last week so that'll be a big no.
A Kindle isn't top of my want list, but it's on there which at first I never thought it would be.
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