There are endless articles that discuss the pros and cons of the Amazon Kindle. Most have to do with things such as the cost of the Amazon Kindle or the number of books available to it on the Amazon site. They also point out the various sites that provide free out-of-copyright books. They try to tell you whether or not the Amazon Kindle is worth buying with a cost benefit analysis. Or they provide “facts” which are not well researched. One article indicated that if your Amazon Kindle was lost or stolen that you would have lost all the books you purchased. Not true. The books are backed up and still available to you on the Amazon website. You would, of course, have to replace your Amazon Kindle to access those books.
But while the Amazon Kindle is a very handy device for reading books, and I do love to read books on mine; it has another function that is little discussed but which I use as much or more than the book function. The Amazon Kindle has a cellular internet connection, no secret, but it is not just for downloading books and magazines and newspapers that you purchase from Amazon or other sites. What is so great about this internet connectivity is the ability to read news, check your email, check the weather or flight delays, or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong. The E-ink display and the available browser on the Amazon Kindle makes it a poor substitute for a computer when it comes to all that a computer can do with sound, video, and color on a website. But the Amazon Kindle is basically instant on and great at what it does, which is to render text.
Rather than try to visit normal websites full of columns and graphics, I set up bookmarks to mobile websites that provide data in a more succinct text friendly form. There are many such sites catering to mobile devices such as cell phones. Those sites are text friendly and work ideally with the Amazon Kindle. They are also much more readable on the Amazon Kindle than on the tiny cell phone screen.
Amazon advertises that Wikipedia will work on it, but there are many other sites available. I keep links to mobile versions of BBC News, MSNBC News, Yahoo Finance, ESPN, USA Today, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Mobile.flightstats.com, Yahoo weather, Forbes, Dead or Alive, Associated Content, Baresite.com mobile browsing and many more.
While traveling or even at home if you want to catch up on news or the stock market, it isn’t necessary to boot up a computer. The Amazon Kindle will be up and have you connected long before the computer is booted and the Amazon Kindle is much lighter, mobile, and comfortable to handle than a computer.
So if you are on the fence on whether or not to purchase an Amazon Kindle, don’t measure it on just a cost/benefit basis as a book-reader. It is truly much more.