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My birthday is coming up.

I'm old school when it comes to a lot of things. To me, as a reader of books, one of the greatest thrills for me is to have the book in my hands and once I finish it, close the book. Am I the only that has that fascination? I'm curious to know what are the positives and negatives for a Kindle? I know my fascination would be impacted. Just curious to what people think of a Kindle
 

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If you get a cover for your Kindle, especially if you get a Paperwhite and one of the autoclose covers, you can still have that satisfaction with a Kindle.

Some positives about the Kindle:
• being able to carry hundreds of books with you at all time.
• never losing your place--the Kindle remembers it
• if you get a Paperwhite, never needing a light to red
• being able to look up the definitions to words.
• being able to highlight passages without ruining a book
• lightweight no matter how many pages the book is.

I don't see any negatives myself, but some people miss the smell (I don't get it myself, but different strokes...) or the color covers.  I read for the story and the sake or reading, so none of that matters to me.  I've read a handful of paper books since getting my Kindle.  So for me, the only negative is that the battery can run down.  But I can read while charging and, if really desparate, there is always a paper book lying around somewhere.

Others will have other positives and negatives.

Betsy
 

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All the things Betsy said, especially being able to take as many books as you want or need on a trip without figuring out how to pack and carry them. That also goes for being able to choose from any number of books at hand when you finish one book and are ready to start another, even in the middle of an airplane flight. I second the notion of looking up word definitions - I look up or double-check the meaning of so many words that I would have just skipped over previously. In fact, I get annoyed when reading a paper magazine or newspaper and I run across an unfamiliar word that I can't look up instantaneously. The other major thing that comes to mind is that my aging eyes are finding many more things difficult to read, and being able to change the font size instead of digging out reading glasses is a wonderful thing.

It's hard to imagine that you wouldn't love a Kindle if you enjoy reading. I will tell you the things that I do miss, although they are far outweighed by the benefits. I miss being able to flip quickly back through a book to find and re-read a passage or reference something like a map. There are searches and bookmarks that help to some extent on a Kindle, but in some cases it was easier with paper books. I pretty much always read fiction, but I'm sure that this effect can be magnified with textbooks and other references where you're often skipping around to multiple places you may have bookmarked. The other issue, at least with e-ink Kindles, is that illustrations and, especially, maps can be very small and hard to read.

For mostly linear reading of text, however, I don't think you can beat a Kindle.
 

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And remember that you have 30 days to try one out.  You can test it and return it if it doesn't work for you.  That was my plan with my original Kindle and I think it took about 30 minutes to decide that I loved it and was keeping it.
 

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Yes, get a Kindle! My wife is thanking me (less clutter at home) and my left-brain gets its fill (I get to read a lot, at any given time, making each waiting minute and commute time count).  :)
 

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GBear I also get a bit peeved when reading a paper book and I can not just touch my finger to a word to look it up!
I do still like reading a paper book..and I love having books on my bookshelves although I have pruned the book shelves considerably since becoming a kindle owner. Owning a Kindle is amazing in the ways mentioned already. I also love the sample feature and the sync feature (syncing with my iPhone means I literally have a book in my pocket at all times!) I am so happy that my Ktouch now has the book covers! I was gifted a paper white yesterday and I am very excited to try using it. One last thing to mention is that I have noticed a significant amount of books available for kindle from my library as opposed to a year or two ago.

Go for it!
 

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Well, you're on a Kindle forum so not many people are going to say "no".

For me, the main positives are:

-Not having to worry about finding space to store physical books. I know a lot of people love their book shelves and turn their noses up at ereaders because you can't proudly display your book collection on beautiful big book shelves. But I live in a small 650 sq ft apartment. I do NOT have room for the hundreds of books I've read in the last few years alone.

-Similarly, being able to carry more than one book with me while travelling, all on a device smaller than an average paperback. Even just for when I'm out of the house - the Kindle is so much smaller and lighter to carry in my purse than a book.

-And if I didn't bring my Kindle with me when I left the house? No problem, I can pick up right where I left off with the Kindle app for my iPhone. I am literally never without something to read.

-Being able to quickly and easily refer back to and quote passages with the search and highlight functions - which I can then access at www.kindle.amazon.com

-Reading samples at my leisure before buying a book. While book stores and libraries are nice, I don't always have the time to be hanging out there for hours reading the first chapter of books to see if I want to buy or borrow it. With Kindle, I can download a sample of any book and read it whenever or wherever I want.

-Equally, being able to browse and buy books and instantly receive them whenever and wherever I am.

-Freebies and bargains. Okay, a lot of them are self published unknowns but recently I picked up a Sourcebooks novel for free and a biography from HarperCollins for $1.99. The paperbacks for both are $11-12.

-Being able to set my own font type and text size. I don't particular need large print or anything but it is nice to always be able to read at my most comfortable settings.

-Instant built in dictionary.

-Ah! I almost forgot - it's so much easier to hold, especially with one hand. I love being able to sit on my couch with a hot drink in one hand and my Kindle in the other, able to turn the pages without putting my drink down.

For me, the downsides include:

-Not being able to share an ebook I bought with my friends and family. Normally, I would lend a good book out to various people in my social circle. Sadly, not anymore. While some ebooks are lendable, most have the feature disabled and even on those that are enable, you can only lend an ebook to one person ONCE ever for 14 days. This is a major issue for me.

-Images, charts and maps aren't ideal on the small, black and white screen.

-Not being able to see how many pages are left in a chapter. Kindle have tried to remedy this with a "time left in chapter" feature but I am not a fan of this since it makes me feel rushed and I don't always find it accurate.

-Missing the covers - not just in color but the size and texture. But this is only a minor issue for me.

-Despite the fact I love that Kindle saves my place and I never have to worry about my bookmark falling out, I do miss the beautiful leather bookmarks I used to use. Again, a minor issue.

As you can see, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives for me which is why I absolutely love my Kindle. Ereaders are not for everyone but I always recommend someone at least try it before ruling it out.
 

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I live in Mexico and read in English so my major advantage is that I can read what I want to read and not what I can find to read. I am old and being able to enlarge the font is a definite benefit, too. I never, ever, leave home without at least one book to read. In the past, I left with one or two books, a book weight to hold the book open while I ate, a light for reading in dark restaurant or coffee bars, and index cards on which to jot down words I wanted to look up when I got to an unabridged dictionary. Now, I carry my Kindle.

Negatives of the Kindle? I can't loan books I enjoy to friends.
 

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History Lover has summed it up nicely. I would only add that, although most of the freebies and bargains probably are self-published unknowns, I've picked up a number of them that have actually been quite good reads. And sometimes 'name' author books go on sale too . . . for example, they recently ran a special on James Bond books by Ian Fleming.

As to the cons listed. . . . . as she notes, they're mostly fairly minor, though I suppose some things could be more important for you.

I rarely loaned books anyway as there aren't that many in my circle who read as much as I do or the same sorts of things when they do. So even that one isn't a major issue to me.

As for images and charts, I find that they look better on one of my tablets or my computer -- because of the color screen . . . . If I think I'm going to want to refer to the chart/map often, I'll put the book there and mark the relevant page, so that whenever I want to refer to it I can open the kindle app and check it quickly. So that, at least, is a good work around for me.

Also, I find the 'time to end of chapter' to be fairly accurate and it works for me. On the kindles with a progress bar instead, it will have marks showing where chapters are which gives some idea of how close you are to a 'stopping place', but it's still not quite as clear as in a paper book where you can quickly flip pages.

I think the big thing most people have to adjust to is the use of locations rather than pages. . . .it does take a bit to get used to how long a book is, for instance, when you're using locations rather than pages. Fortunately, most books are also still published in paper, so the kindle file has a number of pages notation as well. I've gotten quite comfortable with just having my percentage complete and only really use the page count to judge how 'fat' a book it is in the first place.

Regarding covers -- the 'feel' of a good quality cover can be simulated pretty well with a good quality kindle cover. Though to really see the cover image in all its glory, you need to have a color screen device. I do remember looking at covers, especially when I've gotten halfway through a book, and trying to work out if the image really is representative. ::) And I have a few paper books even now that have really great covers. But, as HL says, a minor issue.

I do still have, as well, some really nice bookmarks given to me over the years. . . . one of these days I'll do something clever with them. . . . but mostly I used bookmarks that were paper and they tended to have a 'shelf life', if you'll pardon the pun. ::) So, yeah, a minor issue.

I have talked to one or two actual people who tried kindle and then gave up on it and went back to paper. Mostly, their arguments were that they found the tactile experience of a book was way more important for them. So that's a personal thing.

OR, they couldn't find the type of books they read available on Kindle. This was in the early days and many many more books are available now, though.

OR, they found that they didn't really read any more than the had done, so didn't feel the expense was worth it so they sold it and went back to paper. (That's a bit mitigated now, since there is a relatively inexpensive ($69) basic model -- initially they ran close to $400 so probably not something for someone who only reads a book or two a year.)

And at least one person mostly reads stuff that isn't ideally suited to kindle -- things of a technical nature with lots of pictures or charts and better suited to a larger page.

Oh, and I have one friend who is a graphic artist -- book covers are a really important part of the experience for her. But, even she, who generally prefers paper books, has gotten a kindle for when she travels. :)

There's also at least one person who tried kindle early on, gave up (sold it) for one or more of the above reasons, and later bought another one. ::)

The great thing is, Amazon has a generous return policy, so you can try one out for a month and return it if it doesn't work for you -- all you pay is return shipping.

ALSO: don't let people tell you you HAVE to buy books from Amazon and can't read anything from anywhere else. That's just not true. As long as the book is in an appropriate format, or has no copy protection and can be legitimately converted to an appropriate format, it can be loaded on the kindle.

What IS true is that Amazon, like Barnes and Noble with the Nook, have copy protection on most books -- as a requirement of most major publishers -- and books purchased from one store won't work on the devices for the other store. Removing that 'digital rights management (DRM)' is against their terms of service but, really, there's probably not much available via B&N that you can't find on Amazon anyway. To that extent, you are 'locked' into Amazon's store. . .but there are lots of other places that have books with NO DRM which can be purchased and converted if needed.
 

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If you're looking for the satisfaction of closing a book, get a good cover/case that closes like a book cover.  Then, you can simulate the closing of a book that way.  Sure, it's not the same, but it'd be close enough for government work.
 

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Just a comment on loaning. It is rather a pain in the neck to loan a Kindle book - I haven't done this very much. However, my wife recently upgraded to a Paperwhite. As a result, we now have the capability of loaning books by loaning out her old K2 Kindle. Obviously, you wouldn't loan your device to just anyone, but it's nice to now have this option.

You certainly wouldn't have this ability to loan a Kindle until you become a second-generation Kindle owner - or, like a number of KB'ers, fifth- or sixth-generation  :D - but for me this is now mitigating my issues about not being able to share a good book that I just read.
 

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GBear said:
Just a comment on loaning. It is rather a pain in the neck to loan a Kindle book - I haven't done this very much. However, my wife recently upgraded to a Paperwhite. As a result, we now have the capability of loaning books by loaning out her old K2 Kindle. Obviously, you wouldn't loan your device to just anyone, but it's nice to now have this option.

You certainly wouldn't have this ability to loan a Kindle until you become a second-generation Kindle owner - or, like a number of KB'ers, fifth- or sixth-generation :D - but for me this is now mitigating my issues about not being able to share a good book that I just read.
That's a good point.

Also, in case it hasn't yet been explicitly stated, if there's someone you regularly share books with, you could both register your kindles to the same account. Just work out who pays for what and how and then you could continue to share anything either of you buy. I do this with my brother. If he wants a book that I have no interest in, I just have him send me an amazon gift certificate and I buy it and it's there. But most of what I buy, he's willing to read. He likes horror more than me, so I watch for the horror freebies and send them to his kindle.
 

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I really like my Kindle Touch.

I agree with the prevous responses. One drawback of the Kindle is that it always seems like I'm reading the "same book". By this I mean that every book is by definition going to look the same. With real books you get a different feel, appearance, weight, smell, page color, etc. but you'll have to get used to consistency when having a Kindle.
 

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murphycc said:
I really like my Kindle Touch.

I agree with the prevous responses. One drawback of the Kindle is that it always seems like I'm reading the "same book". By this I mean that every book is by definition going to look the same. With real books you get a different feel, appearance, weight, smell, page color, etc. but you'll have to get used to consistency when having a Kindle.
This is my main reason for having several Kindles. I like switching between my K4, PW, Touch and K3 because they're all so different and it feels like reading different books. I refer to my K3 as my hardcover Kindle because it's the biggest of the bunch. :)
 

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7vn11vn said:
This is my main reason for having several Kindles. I like switching between my K4, PW, Touch and K3 because they're all so different and it feels like reading different books. I refer to my K3 as my hardcover Kindle because it's the biggest of the bunch. :)
I keep different genres on my 3 e-ink readers, so that is part of the fun of switching between them!
 

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My college aged son and 80-something Mom both love the Kindles I gave them for presents. If you fall somewhere between them I imagine you'll like it. Happy Birthday!
 
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