Written by: Travis Farris
eBooks are here! With technology marching forward, the newest way to read books is in digital form. They can be bought online and downloaded directly to devices specially designed for displaying them, and arguably the most famous eBook Reader on the market is the Amazon Kindle. I’ve had the 6″ Wi-Fi model ( this version also known as the Kindle 3 ) in my possession for several months now, and it’s had plenty of time to impress me.
Let me get something out of the way right now: everything you’ve heard about the screen is true. It’s amazing. It’s the future. It may be magic. The display simulates real ink, and it looks exactly like words printed on a page. And when I press the page forward button, a split second passes before it all vanishes and is replaced with a brand new page. This is an advantage that Kindle has over other e-book readers. While, for example, the Nook can display high-definition color pages, it doesn’t compare to the old-school print-on-screen
Here’s how buying a book on the Kindle works. By turning on Wi-Fi, I can access any wireless internet network, provided it’s public or I know the password, and browse an online store. The store contains thousands of books, all digital, and I can browse or search until I find one that I want. Once I decide to make a purchase, I click the “buy” button, then confirm. In less than five seconds, the book is available on my Home menu, and I’m reading. It is, in fact, that amazing.
Of course, everything comes with a price, and the Kindle’s is pretty steep, though not as much as it used to be. The $139 price tag is, regardless, worth a second look, but in the end I have to say it’s worth it. See, many digital books on the Kindle’s store are a bit less expensive than their physical counterparts. This means that, over time, the money you would have spent on those books instead remains in your pocket. And depending on how many books you buy on it, you’ll save on bookshelf space, too.
So, yes, the Kindle is wonderful. But that doesn’t make it perfect. You may realize this when you accidentally change pages ( at least until you get used to holding it ) or when hairs and dust start getting caught in the screen border.
Those are minor annoyances, though. A rather serious disadvantage to the Kindle is an issue with images in non-fiction books. I purchased a history book recently, and the maps are almost impossible to read.I’ve heard others complain of this picture issue as well. If you plan to be viewing informative texts with lots of descriptions and diagrams, the Kindle, or at least this model, might not work for you. Take a look at the DX model on Amazon’s website; its 9.7″ screen is better suited to displaying important images.
These issues aside, the Kindle is a fantastic product, and more fantastic the more you read. If you only pick up an occasional book, the dent in your wallet may not be worth it. If you enjoy books frequently, it is a fun, convenient way to store and read a great number of stories. If you read all the time, whenever you can, at the expense of your friends, family, and personal well-being… why don’t you have one already?