Saturday, April 17

To Kindle Or Not To Kindle?


If all we read is to be believed, traditional media is dead, publishing has an uncertain future and the digital revolution can save the entire industry. iTunes and eBooks are the superheroes that troll the content cities trying to save them. The iPad and the Amazon Kindle are currently the 2 leading “saviours”.  They are not to be compared as they service 2 different areas in my opinion. The iPad is about experiencing multimedia on the device. The Kindle is an eReader that focuses on the reading experience.

The decision to purchase a Kindle was the result of me running out of storage space for my books. I view all books as an investment and try to preserve them as best I can. The logical decision was to purchase a digital device that can store many books that you can carry around with you. The third generation Kindle has a 6” E Ink Screen. Depending on the model of your choice, it can be Wi-Fi compatible or have both 3G and Wi-Fi capability.

The positive features of the Kindle:

  • One can change the size of the text. No longer will you suffer from books that feature a small font size.
  • It features a new Webkit browser which makes surfing the Internet better.
  • The battery life of the Kindle is amazing; I have only had to charge the batteries twice in an 8 week period.
  • Amazon provides Kindle users the ability to preview books that they might be interested in. You can download a few sample chapters before you make the purchase decision.
  • You are saving the planet as books are not published on paper but rather viewed on your device.

The negative factors:

  • The screen has no backlight which means that you can only read in a room with a light on. The only way to correct that is by purchasing a case that had a light built into it.
  • You need a wireless Internet connection to be able to experience the Wi-Fi.
  • The charger uses an American plug which can only be used in conjunction with a converter. The converter will then aid you to charge the device through a normal plug.
  • The Rand/ Dollar exchange rate. As all content is purchased from Amazon the exchange rate will dictate how many books you can buy.
  • The buttons on the Kindle are a tad small. It takes some time to get use to not having the ability to use a touch screen.  Thus the buttons play a role in accessing certain menu items and can be very frustrating.
  • Not all books are available in the Kindle bookstore for Africa. Amazon have divided the world into regions and I suspect the reason being DRM and copyrights held by certain publishers.

The Kindle is perfect for someone who wants to read books on a device. The Kindle will also expose you to new authors or interests.


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