When I unpacked it, I was already impressed by its frugal but elegant packaging, a sort of recycled cardboard, but the real surprise was about its protective foil: the quick start istructions were showed up on display, not on the foil. This gave me a first taste of the kindle’s display capabilities.
What I found really cool
Just as a disclaimer, I’m speaking about my thoughts on kindle, if you’re looking for a more detailed review, I think the web is full of articles on this topic, probably better than mine.
It might look obvious, but for me it was a surprise. I’ve loaded some ebooks I already purchased on my preferred bookstore and in few seconds I had a bookshelf in my hands. This is very useful when I want to select a book based on my mood or need in a particular moment of the day (after lunch, during relax, at the toilet…).
You know, I’m a passionate developer. This means that I’m always in a learn new stuff mode, I buy a lot of books on various arguments (mostly on programming, productivity, etc). Buying paper books means long waitings (from 2 up to 15 working days) and higher prices (yes, shipping and paper have a cost). Now I can purchase an ebook, saving around 40-50% of costs and 100% of time, because they can be sent to my kindle in a matter of seconds (throught a WiFi connection).
Reading at the maximum speed
Believe it or not, in three weeks I studied three ebooks and a half, dedicating from 5 minutes to 1 hour for each session. I only know that I’ve never reached these results with a paper book. But there’s more. Another cool kindle’s feature (perhaps of any other ebook reader) is the ability to highlight text and to add annotations. These are directly accessible from the kindle’s main page, so you can get a fast look on the important things.
Yes, you can read PDFs, but…
Another frequently asked question is about PDF support: it just works, but without some features, like links in the Table of Contents. I also tried calibre: it is an excellent tool to manage your virtual bookshelf, it’s also able to convert an ebook to other formats (like PDF -> mobi). However, when I try some conversion, I’ve noted a lot of flaws:
- there are links in Table Of Contents, but they don’t work
- code snippets (or similar pieces of text) are ugly (no indentation, crappy fonts, etc…)
From my point of view, it’s totally useless. Maybe it’s ok for articles and novels, not to study technical books.
Well, there isn’t a real conclusion :P I’m happy with my kindle, I enjoy its advantages (at least for my niche case) and I tried to show you my experience with it. I hope you’ll find useful hints in case you’re undecided ;)