Kindle Gets Better

I have been in love with Kindle pretty much since day one. Early versions had their problems, most (but not all) of which have been solved.  Many people are nostalgic about print and don’t want to go over to electronic books, but there are advantages to my Kindle which can’t be denied:

  • I have thousands of books in this house, but very few of them are books I’ll need or read again. The books on my Kindle account are kept for me in the so-called Cloud. I may never read or need some of them again either, but if  I do, it takes about thirty seconds to download one and I don’t have to search the whole house for it first.  When we move it’s just the Kindle that goes in my purse, and not a hundred boxes that weight forty pounds each.
  • Whatever Kindle books I own I can also read on my laptop. This is important for research, because while I can take notes on the Kindle itself,  I don’t like flat keyboards. For academic or research work, I open the book on the Kindle app, which is more flexible anyway: better search and notation features. I can copy a paragraph I need to notes (and the citation information is automatically attached). Just the mere ability to search is like a dream come true when the issue is research.
  • I can read in bed without disturbing the mathematician.
  • I never lose my place in the book.

There are some great new features coming (see the summary here):

Starting in October, many (but not all) hard-copy book which (1) I bought from Amazon (new, not used) and (2) is available in Kindle format will be made available to add to my Kindle library for somewhere between free and three bucks. They are calling this feature Kindle Matchbook.

The wifi features are improving. The newest Kindle (also coming out in October) will have automatic access not just to definitions, but also to Wikipedia. Any word you touch (which brings up a definition) will be saved automatically to a list for future reference.

There is going to be a direct connection to GoodReads, the details still forthcoming (but this will be very useful).

There will be in-line footnotes. Okay, so I’m an academic, and this is a nerdy academic thing, but WOW. I can click on a footnote number and read it right then, no need to go searching someplace else. This makes me happy.

All this makes me so happy that I am going to give away a Kindle — the new Paperwhite Kindle version coming out in October. I’ll set up a way to enter the giveaway drawing in a week or so. So watch this space.


Note: mailart by Luciano Ragozzino, “Giornata della memoria 2012”



7 Replies to “Kindle Gets Better”

  1. You make the kindle sound so attractive. I have a kindle, admittedly a basic one, and I find it inconvenient sometimes and still end up buying actual books. When reading books with maps or endnotes, or any othe supplementary material you have to refer to, it’s a pain. I also look at my kindle listings and think– what’s that book about? I’ve had books on there for a few years I haven’t gotten around to and don’t know what they’re about. When I fly I have to turn it off when we take off and land, a bit annoying. If I take it on the beach I worry if it will be okay, will water get on it or will it be stolen. I’m finding in the past few years that it has a place, but won’t replace books in my household.

    1. Kristin — I would be surprised if everybody loved Kindle. To each her own, after all. Of the negative points you mention, the only one I’ve had issues with is having to recognize a title and know what the book is about. Sooner or later they’ll fix that, and in the meantime I can live with it. You might actually like the newest version of Kindle, but I can see that it’s probably not worth the investment for you. Especially as you can still read Kindle books, if you should want one for some reason, on your computer screen.

  2. Excellent! I have a new kindle on my wish list for Christmas anyway to replace my very basic one. I didn’t think I would like an ereader but I have fallen in love. It’s been wonderful to just order a book at the touch of a button which has gotten me plugged in with some great Indie authors I have met on twitter and was a blessing when I spent 8 weeks on bed rest and couldn’t go anywhere to get anything. I also love the dictionary function which has come in handy as well as highlighting the very best phrases. I love that they are linking with goodreads! That will be awesome!

  3. I have had two Kobo’s (in Canada) and was never satisfied with them, mainly because of how slow it is to 1) turn it on and start readin and 2) flip pages, compared to a real book. Is the Kindle good with that?

    1. Rachel — I never turn my Kindle off (it goes into sleep mode on its own), but I don’t remember it being slow to boot. And flipping pages is fast. You should have a look on the Amazon website, they’ve got videos and you can see it for yourself.

  4. A bit late to the party here in general, but on topic: I have no eReaders, and am in Canada. I remember when they first came out, there was some issue with availability of eBooks in Canada. These days, I can go to my public library’s website, download eBooks and music as well. So I figure it’s been figured out? Best case – if I were to win a Kindle, it would never be turned off, you can bet your boots.

    I’d also have to wrestle it from three, well, maybe, well, yeah, three avid readers (the 7 year old isn’t a fan of reading just yet – I haven’t found the perfect series of books to capture her imagination yet). Bad enough with my husband and I playing find the bookmark in bed. Oh wait. That sounds terribly exciting, and it’s really not. There’s also this dispute about dog-earing pages and cracking spines beyond hope of recovery. Can a Kindle store the “last read page” of two different users? That would be amazingly useful. Like vehicles that remember the settings of the rear view mirror or the seat position.

    Glad to see the place back in operation – honest, you weren’t forgot.

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