Since the printing press was first invented over five hundred years ago, the book has not changed in form much. Electronic book readers are set to redefined and reshape not just the book but the personal library. Since the Amazon Kindle first came out in 2007 I have been following the Kindle grab a large market share and mind share of the electronic book reader, so much so that I picked one up.
Holding the Amazon Kindle for the first time will give you the same warm fuzzy feeling when you played with the iPhone for the first time; it is gadgetry love at first sight. The Kindle is 4.8″ by 3.6″, about the size of a paperback book. The screen is 600×800 pixels with 4-level grayscale. As of this writing there are over 200,000 books available for the Kindle and a large number of newspapers and magazines.
Electronic version of books can be purchased directly on the Kindle via Amazon’s WhisperNet. WhisperNet is a free service for Kindle users that allows you to browse Amazon’s extensive and growing collection of Kindle edition books, as well as search Wikipedia. You can also download sample chapters of most kindle books before buying. The Kindle does not require a computer, you can download books directly from the Kindle device. You can also, buy books via amazon’s website and the books will be delivered to your device wirelessly in minutes. In fact, I think buying Kindle books is far too easy.
The Kindle has many of the features I like when reading a traditional book, it allows you to create highlights which it creates references for you, you can add notes and add bookmarks as you read along. The one main benefit of picking up a book instead of a Kindle is that a book doesn’t require batteries or occasional recharge. Battery life is the Achilles heel of tech gadgets. The electronic paper in electronic book reader are energy efficient but simple put, books don’t run out of batteries. The other draw back is that I won’t take the Kindle in the bathroom, well just yet. If you get a little water damage on a book, no big deal, you simple let it dry. Water damage on the Kindle will void the warranty.
Even though it is easy to buy books on the Kindle, their is no way to add Kindle editions of books on your Amazon wishlist. I feel this is a huge missing feature, and of course needs to be thought out since you don’t want the Kindle to download books before the the recipients birthday.
If you are an avid book reader, the Kindle is the right device for you. Since getting the Kindle I have stopped buying physical books as much as possible. When I head out to my local coffee shop with my Kindle in hand, I am walking with a whole virtual bookshelf of my favorite books.