Some of My Favourite Things: the Kindle

I love this device. I really really do. Even though I bought it from Amazon US and a month later Amazon released a more powerful UK version at about half the price I paid for mine (including postage and import duties) I still feel like I got my money’s worth.

Why? It lets me carry a library around in my jacket pocket. It’s light, its battery lasts for a month if I switch off the wireless connection and it lets me buy a new book or even get one for free pretty much wherever I am in the world. I am one of those people who dreads being without something to read. I will read the back of a Corn Flakes box if there is nothing else. This device saves  me from that awful fate.

I have been reading ebooks for a long time, starting with my first Palm organiser over a decade ago. With the Kindle, ebooks really came of age.

What makes the Kindle different?

Well, when I buy a book I don’t need to transfer it from my computer. It just appears on the Kindle. That does not sound like much but there is a level of convenience here that really changes things. There’s no messing around with cables or transferring books to SD cards. I can get straight down to reading.

The second thing is that when you buy a book for the Kindle you are not just buying it for the Kindle. Amazon has provided a whole range of software that will let you read your book on a Windows PC, a Mac, an iPhone or an Android phone. The only thing missing is a Linux version, so get with the program Amazon! This is a rare oversight on  the company’s part.

The books will appear on these other machines in the same auto-magical way they appear on your Kindle. Not only that the software will synch your place across all your books. You can read a few dozen pages on your Kindle, open the book on your phone and start reading again where you left off.

Another thing is that the books are stored in Amazon’s cloud along with your local devices. If you buy a new device, you can immediately have access to your library. If you lose the device, you still have the books and this is important because eventually the books will be worth far more than the reader.

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