Up until recently, I was an ebook skeptic. I prefer the heft and feel of a book as opposed to holding some electronic device. Of course, the only two places I had read ebooks on were on my PC (can’t lie in bed with that or sit on the couch) and an iPaq Windows Mobile ‘smartphone’ (which has a really tiny screen and sucks to read on). I had written off the ebook thing, even with Amazon’s Kindle app for PCs.

That all changed when I received an email from my brother which went something like this, “I just bought an iPad, do you want my Kindle?” Of course, I said yes! If it’s free, it’s for me! In this case I received something (Kindle v2.0) I had only ever seen in pictures and never used. Well, I’ve been using it for about two months now and I really, really like it. It’s really easy to read books on the Kindle, even if the formatting may get a bit funky sometimes depending, and I love the Whispernet access and ease of downloading books to it. One click, turn it on, 20 seconds later, boom, new book! Plus I never have to bookmark where I am in a novel, the Kindle remembers for me. Plus, I have the option of entering notes for a book. I’ve never done that, but it’s there if I need it.

The only drawback so far, well, two really, is the lack of a backlight which means I have to read where there is light or out a booklight on it for reading in bed at night. Of course there are Kindle booklights available, capitalism is a wonderful thing. The other issue is the page redraw speed, which is slow. It takes about a second from pressing ‘next page’ until the next page actually displays. I’ve trained myself to hit ‘next page’ in the middle of the last sentence and when I’m done, the new page is displayed so it’s not a big deal. Other than those, I find the Kindle to be a terrific way to read.

I have a about 4 pages of books, some of which I’ve bought, some I’ve downloaded and a few PDFs which I added using the USB connection and that is only scratching the surface on how many books this thing can hold. I imagine our own Tim Z. would have appreciated having this instead of carting 10 Warhammer 40k books around on his vacation. Now I can bring this with me and always have a book at hand to read. It’s awesome.

Just this week an mini-price war has broken out between Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the Kindle. Both prices have been dropped to $189. I’ll say right up front I’m not I’d pay $189 for either device, no matter how great they may be. That still seems to pricey. For me, $100 would be the line where it gets interesting. However, with a Kindle app for just about every mobile platform of note and for the PC, Amazon is doing things right for ebook distribution, pricing is a battle for a different day.

How many of you use an ebook reader of some sort? Has it changed the way you read? If you don’t have one yet, are you more interested now?

Let us know in the comments!

Filed under: Books

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