Kindle 2 First Look

Feb 25, 2009

Yesterday my Kindle 2 arrived. Today my husband ran off with it to his office, so I can't play with it. I did manage to finish a novel on it last night though.

At first, I was completely against the idea of ebooks. I swore that nothing could ever replace the printed page. Interestingly, in college I swore that nothing could replace pen to paper and 4 years later I ended up with a minor in Computer Science.

About 6 or so months ago, I saw a Sony eReader display in Borders and after standing at the display for about 45 minutes, I was convinced. The eInk Paper used for eReaders is actually easier on my eyes than regular paper. It was so much like a book, yet I couldn't destroy it by breaking the binding or dogearing the pages, or scribbling notes that I could never find again.

Another flashback – I started the wine blog accidentally. I was taking wine notes, pen to paper, but they weren't searchable. I couldn't ever find anything again. So I switched to online, to what eventually became my blog, and it became searchable.

The Kindle, in particular, has the ability to add notes, highlights, "dogeared" bookmarks, and to pull sharable clippings. And it's all searchable. One search can sift through all the books on the Kindle, as well as Google, Wikipedia, and a dictionary. I think, perhaps, this XKCD cartoon says it best.

At TK09 a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine let me borrow his older Sony eReader, as he'd purchased a new one. I used it on the plane and kept reading it once I got home. At some point, the husband took it and he got hooked as well. (He has a habit of running off with these gadgets, yes?)  I was completely thrilled with the eReader reading experience.

Last night, I finished a novel on the Kindle. It's a novel I started in paperback. As a paperback, it's slightly oversized and large – a bit unruly. I have a terrible habit of breaking the binding on books and since I borrowed this one, I was having a hard time keeping it pristine. (My books all appear to be well-loved.) On the Kindle, the book was suddenly irrelevant and out of my way. I guess I'm trying to say that it was the content that suddenly mattered more than the form factor. The Kindle itself was so unobtrusive that reading the book was more of a pleasure than usual.

Happily I'm not just limited to ebooks from Amazon. There are a lot of free books out there that are legal. Some friends pointed me to where I downloaded Pride and Prejudice and L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Finally, there are the newspapers. I'm receiving the Wall Street Journal through an official 2-week free trial. I probably won't continue it, as I find $120 for a conservative newspaper a bit extreme. (I just love their tech reviews and the wine reviews.)  Through a straight RSS feed, I'm also receiving the Cincinnati Enquirer – my local paper. Although not as pretty or organized, it's still inherently readable and useful. Much more so than the actual paper, in truth, because it's searchable.

So there you go – my Kindle 2 review after less than 24 hours with the gadget. I love it. Not having had a Kindle 1, I have nothing to compare it to, but I'm perfectly content.

Posted by | Categories: Go Gadget Go! |

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