Posted by: terrytek | May 27, 2011

Kindle vs. traditional books

I was fortunate enough to be gifted a Kindle about six months ago. I do use it quite a bit, but continue to read traditional books as well.

There are several other dedicated e-readers out there (Nook, Sony e-reader to name a few), but I can’t speak about them since I don’t have experience with them.

Things I like about the Kindle:

1) Now that I’m, uh, not 30 anymore 😉 my eyes appreciate that the font size on the Kindle can be adjusted. I have progressive bifocals, and when I lie in bed to read I don’t look through the reading part of my lenses, so being able to enlarge the print is very nice.

2) You can carry an entire library with you for about the same size as and less weight than one hardcover book. Great when traveling.

3) You can read the Kindle with one hand. My dog appreciates no interruption in her petting 😉

4) You can immediately look up a word in the onboard dictionary by highlighting it. You can also make notes and highlight passages.

5) You can download free samples of books or content that you find interesting to see if you would like to purchase the content.

6) You can read the no-glare screen even in bright sunlight.

7) If you don’t leave the wireless connection on all the time, the Kindle will hold its charge for weeks, even with daily use.

Things I don’t like about the Kindle:

1) Currently, you cannot borrow e-books for the Kindle (well, you can if you know how, but it’s not easy). You also cannot lend books that you have purchased to another Kindle user. I read a lot, and borrow pretty extensively from the library, so not being able to borrow (or lend) is huge for me…having said that, though, the e-books that my library system offers are not the “hot off the press” titles. There is certainly current content, but it’s not what might be found in the 14-day fiction section of my local print library. Amazon has said the ability to borrow e-books is coming for the Kindle “soon”. Also, there are books that you can purchase that can supposedly be lent to other people, but this is left up to the discretion of the publisher and I have yet to purchase one thing for which lending is enabled.

2) There is free content for the Kindle, for example, many “classics” have been digitized and are free, but to read most current literature requires that you buy the book (or magazine or newspaper). I can sometimes go through several books a week, so buying everything I read would quickly get prohibitive.

3) Diagrams and maps do not show up very well on the Kindle. You can enlarge the image, but the images I’ve seen aren’t in high-enough definition to be any better when they’re bigger. This means that reading, for example, a computer reference book where there are lots of screenshots doesn’t work very well.

4) Photos show up fine on the Kindle, but there is no color Kindle yet (I know that there are some e-readers that do come in color).

5) And then there’s that intangible feeling of a real book in your hands…however, the longer I have the Kindle, the less holding a heavy 400-page hardcover book appeals to me.

What about you? Do you have a Kindle or other e-reader? Please share your experiences!



  1. being a avid reader i always thought i would miss the feeling of turning the pages ..etc, but the tablet i have with the kindle app, is so portable and convient. instead of taking up so much room in my back pack and adding a few extra pounds(cause normally i carry 2 around in case i finish the other) i have this half a inch tablet that weights less then 2 pounds…i love it. Though i still go back to the real books, always smelling it before i read (:

  2. Oh, something else I forgot to mention, I like that you can play games on the Kindle. This is especially nice when you are on a train or bus and need a break from reading…

  3. I have an iPad and a Nook, an d I like both of them but still use real books most of the time. The advantage to both of these devices is that you can check books out from the library. Once you have it set up, it is pretty easy to use. All devices are great for travel/vacation because you don’t have to pack so much. The iPad is awesome because of the multiple uses (games, Internet, etc) that you can do with it. But in the long run, I still like my paper books. Guess I’m just a dinosaur 😉 .

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