I’ve been meaning to write about my Kindle for quite a while now. I bought it back in April for sheer practical reasons. I was having a horrible time with my shoulders and couldn’t carry anythng like books. I was also starting to suspect that there was another major move in my future and began to see that buying the same books again and again is just crazy.
So I took the plunge into ebooks.
I’m not sorry that I did. I love being able to use the Kindle when I travel. I’m so indecisive about what book I want to take, so it’s great to have so many at my fingertips. I probably use it several times a week for one reason or another.
The Good: I love the weight of the Kindle and how many possibilities it gives me. As someone with shoulder and back problems, I love being able to have many books with me without the weight of carrying books.
I’ve also found the Kindle very easy on my eyes. I have reading difficulties, so having something specifically designed for optimal reading is great.
I love being able to get pdfs on my Kindle. It has really helped with reading long papers (I don’t like reading on the computer screen).
I enjoy being able to ‘sample’ books by reading the first chapter. I like that it reproduces the book store feel where you can check a book out before buying.
I love the Amazon ebook sales. I found this particularly in the UK. So often books would go on special for just a few pounds.
I enjoy reading fiction on the Kindle. No need for bookmarks.
The Bad: You can’t read the Kindle in any kind of a messy situation. No reading in the bath, while eating a messy sandwich, etc. I also find I can’t read the Kindle in bed without an overhead light on. So, I basically need to have another book on the go as well.
I had one Kindle die within two months of buying it. Not good.
It’s not very intuitive (I’m spoiled by my Apple products). I still can’t get it to do half of what they say it will do.
I can’t read significant non-fiction on it. It turns out that I need to highlight and make notes in my non-fiction (especially if it’s something I’m studying). I know you can do ‘highlighting’ and ‘notes’ in the Kindle, but it’s a serious pain, is hard to find again and just isn’t as effective for me. So, I’m mostly relegated to reading fiction on my Kindle.
The Ugly: When my first Kindle died they said it wouldn’t be a problem to replace it. They sent me a new one immediately and I sent the broken one back the same week (via their courrier). Except that a few weeks later I started getting threatening emails saying they hadn’t received it. So I called and they said they had received it and apologized for the email. A few weeks later I got another email saying that if I didn’t return the Kindle they would charge me for it. So I called again. They had the Kindle, but it was just sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Again, apologies. Ignore the emails, it’s just a ‘system thing’.
Then, in September I got an email saying that since I had never sent back the Kindle they had charged me the full price of the replacement. Seriously. And by this time I was living in the US and had to call them long distance to figure it out. Again, they knew it was their fault. They said they would put some ‘compensation’ in my account, but it has never appeared.
The moral of the story?
E-readers are not evil. They are great for commuting and a life saver if you’re moving. I love having the option of using it, but I still read 80% of my books in hard copy.
I don’t think I could recommend the Kindle because of all the problems I had with Amazon. No one should have to go through that much effort to keep telling a company something is their mistake.