My lovely husband recently suprised me by buying me a Kindle. This is a device for which I had a real hankering, unlike many other new gadgets like the iPad or an Android phone (I’m a Blackberry girl before you ask). I am a fairly avid reader and this is a past time that has dramatically increased since I started commuting by train instead of driving to work. I now have more opportunity in my daily routine to read and so had joined the ranks of commuters waving a battered paperback on the Tube to distract me from the grind of the early morning journey.
To add some back story to this, my Mum is a librarian and has been leading a project in her county to source e-books for libraries. Interestingly, Amazon have been acting in a bit of a proprietary manner with the libraries and not allowing the e-book software that the libraries will be using to talk to the Kindle software, thus rendering the new library e-books useless for all Kindle users. This apparently is under review and might change in the future. I hope it does as there are so many Kindle users out there now, it would be a shame to exclude us all from borrowing library e-books. (Oh and by the way, instead of returning e-books to a library, the file merely self-destructs after three weeks. How brilliant is that?!)
Anyway, back to the point. I had been considering buying a Kindle for a while before I was so kindly bought one and I have to say, since I got it I haven’t looked back. I’ve so far read 12 Kindle books ranging from old favourites like Pride and Prejudice to holiday reads and biographies. I’m now starting to branch out into what I’d call work related books on subjects like marketing, learning and leadership. The flexibility of just being able to download a book whenever I like is just fantastic and has meant I’ve bought and read more than usual (although I’m not in the same league as Sam Taylor who read 28 books whilst on holiday!) I love the fact I can download sample chapters to make sure I’m buying the right book or it is something I really want to read and spend money on. The Kindle is also always in my bag which means that no matter where I’m going or what I’m doing, I’ve always got access to something to read. This is a real revelation to me. It used to be that I’d finish a book and often have a gap before starting a new one, but now I’m going through books back to back and am never ‘caught short’ without something to read.
I’ve yet to use the Kindle to its full potential though. I still haven’t put any music on it despite the fact it plays mp3 files. I also don’t use the wireless functionality for browsing either as I’m tending to stick to my blackberry for that. I’m planning to try this out more in the coming weeks. Having said that, browsing isn’t what I wanted from the Kindle. If that was my aim, I’d have bought a tablet instead. For me the Kindle fits a gap in my device arsenal perfectly and as well as filling many a boring hour on the train, it is rapidly going up my charts as a learning tool.
I heard a story recently about someone who thought they were getting a Kindle for their birthday. Imagine their surprise when instead they unwrapped an iPad 2.0…unfortunately, the person in question literally just wanted a device to read books on that was light and small enough to fit in her handbag. The iPad doesn’t fit the bill and she is actually really disappoingted to have received it instead of the Kindle! I know lots of people in my network also have Kindles – how does it rank in your list of tools? And if you have a tablet, do you need a Kindle and vice versa? Keen to hear how you’re using it if you have one.