A few weeks back, I got a Kindle. To say I fell in love with it is an understatement. I love books. I love their feel, their smell. I could spend a day in a bookshop just browsing, taking in the smell and the feel of paper. I used to hate e-readers. I used to feel that e-readers, their makers, and those trendy people who use them on trains, should be sent to concentration camps. I used to argue with my friend that though I am all for technology, I don’t want any tech between me and my book. After one intense fight, he took revenge on me by gifting me a Kindle. And since then I’ve changed into a Kindle faithful. Now I feel people who read paper-books are dinosaurs who are killing all the world’s trees.
To understand why I fell in love with a Kindle, one needs to first look at it’s specs. The new Kindle, or Kindle 3 as some people call it, comes with a 6” electronic ink screen that Amazon says has 50 per cent better contrast than other e-reader screens. I compared it with a Sony e-reader and the difference is palpable. It comes with a thin as a pencil, graphite coloured body that weighs just 241 grammes. This size means that it is very easy to hold it while reading and is a pleasure to carry around. It is actually, surprisingly easier than holding a big paperback or hardback, particularly when you are in bed or lounging.
The biggest plus about a Kindle is its readability. When I opened the box I saw instructions on the screen regarding how to charge it, which I thought was actually printed on the screen cover, but then realised, in a see-it-to-believe-it moment, that it was actually on the screen. And page turns are incredibly fast compared to other devices. And the reading experience you get is so good that you can’t but marvel at the design, which has removed all buttons and jazzy designs. It is designed in such a way that there is only your book and you.
The ease of getting books on it, makes it doubly attractive. It straight away caught onto my Wi-fi and I could buy a book in less than a minute. Within two minutes of reading a review of Aravind Adiga’s new book, I was able to download it and started reading it. You will find that e-books are often cheaper than paper-books. If you are the pirated-book-downloading type, the sky is your limit. It renders PDF’s and Word documents beautifully, so you can read your personal documents.
Nowadays pretty much every device in the market has an e-reader app. After trying to read a book on an iPhone and an iPad, I realised that e-readers (particularly Kindle) are the only devices to use, if you want to do some reading. On a tablet or a smartphone, you are swamped by e-mails, Facebook updates, Twitter DM’s, games and such, which will distract you from your book reading.
The downsides to having a Kindle probably would be missing the touch and feel of a book, the inability to show off what you are reading, and the fear that maybe if your son doesn’t see you reading, he won’t pick up the habit.