Sunday, 8 May 2011

HEY!! I’ve bought an Amazon Kindle Reader

Well, when I say I’ve bought an Amazon Kindle Reader, I haven’t bought it today, but about a month ago or so,……. and, y’know what? It’s fantastic. {:o)

Let's get this straight, right from the beginning. I love books. The paper ones; hardback, paperback, whatever. I have spent a fortune on them, and the house is crammed to the gunnels with them.
I love the feel of them, the weight, the smell of them, especially the second hand ones which have had a life already..... No it's not a fetish, but doncha just love to fan the pages and smell the wafted air from the pages, both new and old?


Ok, It's just me then....... No matter. (Sigh)

I love the expectation of the postman delivering them. (Yes, most bought from the excellent Amazon)
I love leafing through them before I read them, cuppa tea in hand, and with several to choose from.
I rarely lend them.
I NEVER get rid of them.
Covetous of those I don't have.
Possessive of those I do.

So. .....Y'all got that?.... I love books...... I rilly rilly do.

But........ I love my Kindle too.

I never thought I would..... a friend, Suzy, bought one and was soooo enthusiastic about it, that I wound up left-clicking a couple of times and before you knew it, I'd bought one. You know how it goes. All too easy to do. I thought I'd just blown a load of dosh on yet another cheer-up faddy possession I'd soon leave abandoned and unused. Another thing that seemed a good idea at the time.

But I love it. Haven't read anything on paper since. (Two weeks or so)

It really was as easy to use as the blurb said. I had a quick look at the instructions, in the Manly Way we Real Men do...... and hey, waddya know.... It was really easy to use!

It connected to my Kindle account via my Belkin wireless router, independently of any computer and, being already registered to it by those very nice people at Amazon, it downloaded my books onto itself. (I'd already `bought' some free Kindle books on Amazon and downloaded the `Kindle for PC' software, so had an account already set up).

By the way..... I bought the wi-fi one, not the 3G version, as I'm happy to do my downloading within range of the wireless router, and don't really feel I need to be able to do that away from home, which you can do with the 3G. You don't need to have the computer on or be connected to it to download, or to use it to buy from Amazon, or browse the internet. I haven't used it to browse websites on the internet yet, but evidently it will do that too.

It charges from a USB on a computer, or a three-pin 240 volt plug, and both the plug and USB cable are supplied with the Kindle. Battery life seems good. I seem to charge it every two or three days, and I'm using it a fair bit every day too. Takes maybe a couple of hours or so to charge. Haven't timed it, but it's not too long. I’ll give you a possible tip here….. I let it discharge to the point that I got an exclamation mark ‘Low Battery’ warning on the battery level symbol at the top of the ‘Home’ page, and then had a helluva job recharging it. It just would not charge up. I rang the helpline, and spoke to a call-centre helper; unfortunately with a ‘foreign’ accent….. having hearing problems I struggle with ANY strong accent, and so it was a bit of a struggle although her English was actually good and she could understand my Cornish accent fine. Hat’s off to her, whoever she was. Eventually, when we got nowhere with the problem, I was put onto an Irish guy…. Lovely chap, but the accent was a problem still, but not as bad so we fumbled through.

Anyway, that’s kinda not really the issue. I seemed to fix this by ‘restarting’ the kindle again, as in ‘resetting’ it……. I guess like turning a computer off and starting it again when it’s gone all to hell. I’d already done this the once to no effect but after doing it again it finally charged up fully a couple of hours later. I haven’t charged it since, but fingers crossed it’s now ok again.

I’d say not to tempt fate and let the battery go almost completely flat before recharging it. Do it a bit before that.

The friendly Irish guy phoned me a couple of days later, as he said he would to see if the problem was resolved, and I have to say the support was excellent. It was my problem with my accents really, although many people have the same problem with these call centres from what I hear.

Whilst I think of it….. the battery life is weeks rather than days between charges, BUT if you leave it connected on Wi-Fi, and especially with a weak signal which draws even more battery current as it struggles to get a good signal, then the battery will need charging more often. Te other big drain on the battery is when you have a lot of book on there….. I had some 330 books loaded on. The kindle works away in the background indexing all the books, which can take days or longer. It does this even on ‘screensaver’ idle, and will drain the battery more quickly. I was advised to reduce the books I had loaded onto the Kindle, but I didn’t, and I think the indexing has finished, because the battery seems to be lasting longer. I have a friend….. Suzy who got me interested and finally tempted to buy this Kindle, who has over 2,000 books on hers. I haven’t asked her yet if she has problems with battery life.

I always turn my Wi-Fi connection off when I’m not using it, so it’s off almost all the time as I rarely use the connection. I also turn the kindle off completely (hold the power slider switch over for seven seconds until the screen goes blank) when I’m not using it for several hours, instead of leaving it on the ‘screensaver’. Not sure it makes a lot of difference though, as I believe it only uses power when ‘turning’ pages or automatically changing the picture on the screen saver once in a while.

Ok… what’s it like to use?

For novels and such it's just great........ I wouldn't really use it for reference and `information' books where you'd frequently flip to and fro the pages in a paper version, as returning to previous pages some way back isn't as convenient as with paper books, but otherwise it's just fine.

I REALLY like the easy way you can select a word and the dictionary kicks in to reduce my ignorance.... So easy.

As an avid collector of quotes, phrases and such, I especially like the way you can highlight and save words or passages from the book into a separate `Clippings' folder automatically. Very easy to do.

You can read PDF's on it, but I can't comment on that as I haven't done it yet. You can read documents of your own on it too, PDF and, I think, Word .docs. Amazon automatically keeps your books bought from them online, so if anything happens to the Kindle, you haven't `lost' books you bought. Other books and documents, you need to back up yourself onto a computer, which is very easy to do if you're reasonably computer literate. When you connect the Kindle to a computer, the computer `sees' the Kindle as an extra `drive', and you just drag and drop documents to and fro the folders, from either the computer to the Kindle, or vice versa.


When I go anywhere, and I'm usually on a motorcycle when I do, I take at least a couple of books and a couple of magazines; I can never make up my mind completely enough for just one item, but this kindle can hold THOUSANDS of books. Not sure how many thousands, but a thousand would be plenty, surely and I know it's more than two thousand. Suzy has something like 2,500 on hers. So far I have only some 330 on mine.

What would I like to see on it? (Bearing in mind that maybe I'm not fully aware of all its capabilities yet)

I would like to be able to select the chapter heading to be on each page, if I wanted it. I have a rubbish memory, and it would be good to be able to `flick' to and fro the e-book more easily too. Don't see this as much of a problem though; like I say, I have a lousy memory, and I have been just fine with it.

A page number instead of a `percentage' place mark would be good..... although maybe this is available, and I haven't found it yet.

Ummm..... do you know, right now, I can't think of anything else.

I haven't tried it's read-aloud capability, nor it's audio music playing function...... in fact I've done nothing else but just reading the books on it, and there are plenty of free books available, particularly the older books now out of copyright. The other functions are icing on an already delicious cake.... It is a e-book reader, and it excels at that. It's what it was designed to do, and what I bought it for. It does that very well.

Buy a `protective' wallet for it on eBay..... so much cheaper and excellent.... Well the black `leather' case I bought for something like £7.99 inc. p&p was anyway. It's actually easier to hold in a case. The bottom function buttons are very SLIGHTLY fiddlier to use, but the page-turning buttons are as easily accessible as when it's naked. (That's the Kindle, as in out-of-it's-case, not me, y'know, `naked'!)

Whilst you’re on eBay, there are people selling DVD’s packed with books in ‘mobi’ format, which is the format the kindle uses. Many are also in PDF format, which I’ve heard isn’t as easy to read. Haven’t tried to read PDF’s yet myself, so hold judgement on that, ok? A cheap source of loads of books, but try and make sure you know what books are being offered so you don't buy a load of books you'll never read..... I guess if you only read a quarter on what's listed it's still a bargain.

The e-Book really is the future, and that actually kinda makes me sad, because if someone like me can make such a turnaround, ........someone so beloved of the traditional book and so outspoken that he would never prefer something like a kindle reader to the heft of those much loved book, ....... Then the printed book really is in trouble already.

And I feel like a traitor to the book, and I'm sorry for that, so I will still buy those really special books in traditional paper form, ……..but I have been seduced by this lovely Kindle reader.

I doubt you will be disappointed if you buy one. Easy to use, works as well as the blurb says, and the way Amazon have their bookselling tied into it, it is seamless in its function with them. I buy few things these days that turn out to match the bullshit advertising. This one was a lovely surprise. It was more than that….. it was BRILLIANT!

But .........I wish I didn't feel like I was helping to light the fire under my lovely paper books.

I am a traitor. {:oi

 Click on this link and go have a little look..... not that you're going to buy one of course..... {:o)

1 comment:

  1. I've not made the jump to a Kindle, but I can see how awesome it would be. I never get rid of books either. And I only lend them if I know I can live without them being returned--so mostly I don't lend them.

    May one day you have a book you've written on the Kindle. You know, because you're going to write a book, right?