Saturday, January 08, 2011

They say that the Kindle was the hot gift this Christmas, and it must be true: I got one, and I gave one to my brother and one to my niece.

I was apprehensive. As my niece pointed out, we like the feel of books, the texture of books, the very smell of books. But sometimes it's time to move on--not to replace the old, but to add the new.

So here is my review of the Kindle, after owning it for about two weeks:

It's wonderful. I was surprised by how quickly I adapted to reading from it, and soon wanted to read only books on Kindle. Part of this is simply my gadgety-ness. I LOVE a new gadget, and this is no exception. But unlike some gadgets I've had, this one is simple to use. Enter the code of my wireless router and it was pretty much ready to go.

Downloading books is as simple as finding them on Amazon and clicking the "Buy" button--they've made it almost TOO easy to buy a book! The download happens quickly, and then there the book is, on the Kindle's home page.

The display looks just like paper, and it acts just like paper. When it's dark, the Kindle is not back-lit and you need to find a light source--in other words, turn on a lamp. Mine came with a reading light, and using it to read the Kindle is just like using one to read a book.

They say that it is easy to read in sunlight because the display is glare-free. Since it's the dead of winter, I haven't had a chance to try this, but I can say that the display doesn't get an annoying reflection from indoor light sources.

I fought against this revolution in reading for a couple of years, but it turns out that there was no need. Books and a Kindle--it doesn't have to be either or. It can easily be both. Though right now the Kindle is in the lead on my bookshelf.

Available for $139 at


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