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Kindle your reading habit

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 0 Comments

One word, Wow! 

Book and Borrow was my source of reading when in Chennai. I liked their idea, you get books, literally, at the touch of a button (ok, not just one). Alas, i had to discontinue as we moved out of India. Then I decided to get an e-reader for myself and after spending some time looking for options, settled for Amazon's Kindle. 


With all the available options(Barnes & Noble's Nook and Sony ereader are among the top ones) and opinions, i was initially confused if Kindle or any reader for that matter will be worth a buy. To make it worse, I haven't personally seen a Kindle before. And you cant buy it in a store, so you don't get to see it until it arrives! But there was one blog post which made me go for Kindle, more on that later. So that's the reason for this post, let me present with you few facts to help you decide.First and foremost, have a look at my new Kindle and the cover :-)

  • The first FACT about Kindle is that it is an e-reader. JUST an e-reader. Of course you know it, but a word of caution, don't tend to overlook this fact. Don't expect it to play music, videos, games, store photos, surf the internet etc. More specifically don't expect the kind of things that lure you after having a look at those glossy iPads and Internet tablets in the store. They exist for a different purpose. Few opine that with Kindle, you feel less distracted to watch a video, play a game or have a peek into your mailbox when reading.
  • That said, Kindle has an experimental MP3 player which plays files in the order you added it to Kindle (possibly through USB). Am not a big fan of this feature as i can't control what its playing (though you have an option to move on to next mp3). Anyways, its there for you if you want to listen to songs when reading.
  • And Kindle has an amazing display. They call it e-ink display and differs from the LCD screens that comes with tablets and few other readers. You can read under any lighting conditions. See it for yourself

  • Kindle works best with MOBI format but it has a built in PDF reader too. This is hardly a problem with the wonderful Calibre ebook management library that can convert from a list of formats to another. But again, if you have a PDF in a native language, the conversion will not work. But i have quite a lot of Tamil PDFs which is readable with a change in orientation. This is what i was talking about in the beginning of this post. I read in a blog that one can manage to read Tamil PDFs with change in orientation and that made me instantly fall for Kindle.

That's the eternal Ponniyin Selvan :-) 
  • As you can see for yourself from the above pictures, it has a % tracker of progress made, it starts with the page you last read when the book is reopened, has an inbuilt English dictionary, options to jump to any specific page or to see table of contents, searching for a word in book(s), adding a note anywhere in the book, adding a bookmark - features that you expect out of any e-reader.


  • The Kindle I have is a Wi-Fi model. You can browse the amazon online store for Kindle books directly from your Kindle(technically its called whispernet), download few pages for reading and buy it if you like it. Its supposed to get downloaded to your Kindle instantly though i have not done that personally yet. There is a large collection available, not just books but also news papers & Magazines. You can also download your purchase to a PC and then transfer using USB.
  • Kindle doesn't understand folder structures. It has collections. Its quite a pain to 'collection'ize existing books but one can come over this shortcoming with free Kindle Collection Manager
  • It costed me $190 to ship from the US(to Netherlands). But i don't mind the extra price as I don't get it in India yet.
  • According to a recent article in Times of India, Amazon might come to India soon :-) Most welcome!!!
That's quite a long post. Never mind, it might help someone like me out there. Happy Reading!!!

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