As many people know if you watch the smmas podcast, I recently got a Kindle 3. I haven’t been a huge reader. There have been a few books in the past year or so that I’ve taken time to read, but most of the reading that I do is on the web. Now, if I knew that wasn’t going to change, I probably wouldn’t have bought a Kindle, but there has been a small list of books growing over the past 6 months or so that I want to read, with more coming in the next 6 months. I also want to read more books in general and figured this would be a pretty good way to do it.
The first thing that I notice when I hand someone the device, even before commenting on how small it is, they ask if the words are real or if there’s something taped to the screen. I know exactly what they mean because I wondered the same thing when I first opened the Kindle and saw the Amazon Kindle screen. At first I thought there was a protector taped to the screen like you get with other types of devices. People are usually amazing when I then take the Kindle out of sleep mode and show them them that it is actually just what the screen looks like.
The letters are so smooth on the screen they almost look fake. It’s hard to believe any hand-held device could be so easy to read.
There are several ways to get content on the device. The first, and most obvious way, is the Kindle Store. I believe Kindle books are in a proprietary Amazon format, but that doesn’t really matter because I don’t know of any way to get the books out of the Kindle. You can, however, install the Kindle application on any iOS, Android, Mac, or PC, as well as being able to sync with any other Kindle that you might own, so it’s not as though any books you purchase are stuck on this Kindle. They are tied to your Amazon account and are available in any Kindle or Kindle app. One of the really nice things about the Kindle store is that you can try any of the content before you actually purchase it. For books, you can send a sample to your Kindle and for Newspapers and Magazines you get to try the first 14 days for free.
Along with the Kindle store, you can also put any .mobi books on the Kindle. This includes all of Project Gutenberg and other sources like A Book Apart. I did notice that there’s a large collection of public domain books available from the Kindle store, so I haven’t had a chance to actually grab anything from Project Gutenberg yet. I did buy a couple of books from A Book Apart though, and was able to email the books to my Kindle, which worked great.
Before now, I haven’t been a user of Instapaper, but it works great with the Kindle and will automatically send unread Instapaper items weekly or daily just as a newspaper. It has been a great way to read some of the news that I’m not willing to read on my LCD monitor, or a good way to read when I’m out away from my computer or on the road.
Overall, it’s nice to be able to carry around this super thin, super light device with a full library of books, newspapers, magazines, and web articles, and be able to read all of that anywhere in book-like quality and readability.