Things i like: the Amazon Kindle

Before I begin, since I know that I have at least two librarians who follow the blog and I'm sure countless diehard physical-in-your-hand-book enthusiasts, let me start with a little disclaimer. I did NOT buy this Kindle. In fact, I used to be completely against them. The smell of a book, the first time you open it and stretch its binding... physical books just cannot be beat.

But then the Kindle lure got the best of me. I started doing my obsessing research on which e-reader device to get. Many told me to just splurge and get the iPad. As an Apple girl I strongly considered this, but then realized that I simply wanted an e-reader, not a gaming-video-emailing-skyping powerhouse. I still wanted to curl up on my couch with a book. Plus, I have a vision problem that makes staring at a computer screen without my glasses even for five minutes almost unbearable, and even if I have my glasses on my eyes get tired from an LED screen pretty quickly. Hence my desire of the E Ink display of the Kindle.

I seriously considered purchasing the Kindle for quite a while. The price tag wasn't astronomical, I told myself. It would fit into my budget. Plus, I would be getting a promotion and raise soon, so maybe it could be my little congratulations present to myself. But then I found this, and just had to have it. And there went my Kindle budget. Plus, a while later Brian and I got engaged and I have since entered into limited spending mode (minus the amazing bag I nabbed on our recent vacation...)

Surprisingly, I got over my Kindle obsession pretty quickly. It helped that I already had a stack of books lined up to read anyway. And then fate stepped in.

On Labor Day, Brian and I headed to visit our wonderful friends Tim and Steph, who had a beautiful baby boy the same day Brian proposed. I'm telling you, August 19 was a good day! Anyway, amidst the ring and baby sharing, Steph showed off the new iPad Tim had bought her. While he claims he bought it for her to enjoy while she is up at night feeding the baby, I'm sure most of the apps are his. Then, to my surprise, Steph said "Hey, weren't you looking to buy a Kindle?" I said that I had thought about it, but the concept had kinda faded. Long story short (because I know I'm rambling at this point) Steph gave me her Kindle, claiming she didn't need it anymore now that she had superior technology in the form of the iPad Kindle app. I tried to fight it, but she convinced me that it was really no big deal since it was a second generation that she got secondhand from her mom. See, all you e-reader haters? I got it for free, and third hand (if there is such a thing) so I'm pretty much recycling- ha!

Let me remind you, I was one of the skeptics. But now that I've had the Kindle for almost two months, I am completely in love. Let me get all cheesy and cliche and give you my top five reasons for loving the Kindle:
  1. It isn't the iPad. Yes, I know that this seems like a pretty weird reason to love something. But as I mentioned before, I didn't want a device that does it all. I wanted an e-reader for reading! Plus, I know my personality, and if I had any sort of a tablet I'd spend all my time playing Angry Birds instead of checking books off my to-read list.

  2. The E Ink display. Not to sound like I'm on repeat, but the display on this thing rocks. And I've been told the most recent version is even better. It is super easy on my eyes (I still have to wear my glasses, but I have to with a book too) and it has absolutely no glare in sunlight. Not that I've had too many sunny days off to test that feature on...

  3. Can you say free books? I'm working my way through a series right now, but as soon as that's done I'm headed straight for the thousands of free classics I can get on the Kindle. On the top of my list are several Charles Dickens novels that I feel like I should have read by now. But now that they are free, I have no excuse! And yes, librarians, I know, I could check these books out, but since my schedule doesn't give me too much free time to read I take forever with most books and then I feel bad keeping them checked out for weeks on end.

  4. The battery life definitely has to be mentioned. It probably helps that I have the 3G turned off (which is free by the way) but I can't even remember the last time I charged this thing. And I've been reading a LOT since I got it, not to mention that I didn't even bring a charger the whole week we were in Florida. I think I may have charged it at the very beginning of October, and the battery is still at about 60%. I'd love it if that were the case with my Android.

  5. Finally, I have become addicted to the Kindle's portability/usability/durability. Let me start by saying I hate putting a book in my purse, only to pull it out and find that the pages or cover are all bent and squashed. The Kindle has completely eliminated this issue. Yes, I did buy a case for it, but I love that I can toss it into any bag without worrying that it will be ripped, bent, or crumpled by the time I dig it back out. Another plus- have you ever tried to read a book on a crowded city bus/train with standing room only? I have, and trying to balance my bag (and self) while also trying to flip to the next page sucks. Whether I'm on the crowded bus, or sitting at home, being able to comfortably read with one hand is awesome. And because I have the cover on it, I can hold it open like a book if I so choose. 
Well, this started out as a short, to the point post which I have obviously extended. Ooops. Do any of you own a Kindle or other e-reader? Regardless of whether you have one or not, what are your thoughts?

Disclaimer #2: I did not receive any sort of compensation from Amazon for this review, nor is it a complete technical or official review... it is merely my thoughts on my third hand, second generation Kindle.