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Why I did/didn't choose kindle

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Offline Alex Reading A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
04 Oct 2010, 10:52 PM | Post: #1

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Why I did/didn't choose kindle

This post was last modified: 04 Oct 2010 11:48 PM by Alex.
Hi all

I received a personal message from a member asking me why I chose the kindle - what made it the right e-reader out of a variety that's available. I thought it would be a nice idea for me to share my response with everyone and hopefully you'll all be able to add your own reasons for you personal choices to this thread.

Here is my response.
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I didn't actually choose the kindle as my e-reader of choice, I'm being given it as a birthday present. That being said, once I found out I was going to get one I was very excited and having spent much time on various forums (this one in particular) I think it is the perfect device for me.

I want something that will replace a heavy book, or allow me to read with my hands virtually free, to have quick and easy access to some of the latest titles and to have total access to all the fab free titles that are available from great authors from the past. Even silly little things like reading a book in bed with a light that doesn't keep my fiance awake is a bonus.

I think I was one of the many who always said there was nothing that beat the feel or smell of a real book but I can see that this is the future. We went on holiday in July and took 20 books in our suitcase, how mad is that - when I could just take one, lightweight kindle?

I hope this helps you make a decision, I will be posting an actual review when I finally get my hans on my shiny new Passpartout (see, I have already named my kindle!).

All the best
Alex
I would also like to add that I'm not bothered that the kindle isn't colour (very few boosk are), nor that it has issues with it's browser (I have 2 computers and a 3G phone that can deal with that).

I have an ipod for playing music, which I love so don't need a replacement. I have a flickr account for photos and don't think I'll pay that much attention to a 'sleeping' kindle with random screen savers. So all in all, as a book replacement with added benefits, I'm in - give me one now!

If it can do some of these things in addition to being a 20th century book,fantasitc, if it's just a lightweight book then that is great too.
"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks.
And all the sweet serenity of books."
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Offline jacom700 Reading
05 Oct 2010, 08:00 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

I bought mine because it was reading on an Archos 5 and wanted something with an E-Ink display plus a longer battery life. I had never seen an e-book reader of any sort so had no way of knowing what was the best so I bought the Kindle because it was cheapest on the market and I could return it to Amazon if I wasn't happy with it. Once I got my Kindle I knew it was the right one for me and am more than satisfied with it. I now have a couple hundred or so free books on it plus many sample waiting to be read and just over 20 books from Indie authors bought after downloading and reading samples.
Offline herbertwest
07 Oct 2010, 01:52 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

I'm currently having a major internal battle over whether or not to go Kindle or Sony.

I've got a Sony PRS-505 on loan, which I've had for a good few weeks and have become hooked on. I've got the offer of buying it for £100, which is obviously around the same price as a Kindle. The pros and cons in my head are:

For the Sony:
-Sony supports the Epub format, so I can get ebooks out of the library and buy from other stores
-I'm comfortable with the Sony feel and design
-The Sony comes with a decent cover

For the Kindle:
-Amazon's Kindle store is the cheapest for ebooks *at the moment*
-They're beautiful
-Wifi - although I don't think this is too much of a big deal. I can use the internet from my phone when I'm out and have never really needed to buy a book *right this second*
-I'm very interested in the way Amazon are becoming the go-to place for 'indie' authors to get published and bypass the very flawed traditional publishing system. It'd be fantastic if this led to a more meritocratic market rather than the present fear-led culture based on what sold well last year, and I'd like to explore it more through a Kindle.
-The ability to add notations to texts may be useful to me one day.

Against the Sony:
-It can't read Kindle books

Against the Kindle:
-It can't read DRM'd Epub books
-I bitterly resent the way that Amazon are starting a format war by excluding DRM'd Epub books. Haven't we got past all that, and aren't Amazon big enough to be able to cope with the minor dent in sales that libraries and other retailers might make?
-It doesn't come with a cover. Sounds picky, but I'd have to have one to protect it in my rucksack and they're about £15 minimum.
-Once the platform reaches a critical mass and everyone's locked in, will Amazon put up the prices of Kindle books?

I'd be grateful for comments :-) I *want* a Kindle, but I'm not sure why - probably because it's extremely shiny and lovely - but there are good reasons why I should go Sony.
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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

I chose the kindle because:
  • I liked the way it was layed out - the turn page buttons on both sides are great and the rest of the buttons are out of the way enough not to distract or interfere with reading
  • The kindle shop is so very easy to use, both from the computer and the device, the competitors' shops seemed a lot worse on usability to me
  • The books on the amazon shop tend to actually be a price I'd be happy to pay so I'd be less limited than elsewhere
  • There's a lot of indie books on amazon for under £1 so it's a cheap way to broaden my horizons and try genres and authors I might otherwise miss (and that I wouldn't if they were £4 or £5.
  • I can add books without plugging it into my computer
  • At the time I was looking, it was the only one with the pearl e-ink screen (latest generation of e-ink) I think.
  • The cloud ability of storing bookmarks, where you're up to in a book, annotations and archived books to be shared across multiple kindles or your kindle and pc (After a week of using mine, my OH was enamoured as I suspected he would be so we've got him one too - as long as we're not reading the same book, we can pick up the other's and be right on the page we were last reading, regardless of which device that was on)

I must admit I was really taken with the K3 from the off, so the pros and cons were mostly just checking my instincts were right.

I'd not had my hands on an e-reader before so it was a bit of a leap of faith, but at £109 it was a leap I thought worth taking, where I'd hesitate at such a leap without having a hands on go with one more expensive. (I did watch an awful lot of videos and look at photos, and read/watched about 20 reviews first, so it wasn't a blind leap).

The reasons against the sony/other brands for me were
  • Older display (not really applicable any more as the new sony has the newer display too)
  • Less book availabilty
  • Books tending to be more expensive
  • While I love the idea of being able to get library books for it, my local libraries aren't running that service and aren't showing any signs of jumping into it soon (I did check), which negated it's main bonus over the kindle for me
  • Looks/layout didn't seem as nice to me, and I like the matt casing of the kindle over the shiny of other brands
  • I don't like touch screens, I'm in the minority I know, but I have issues with them, especially for reading
  • Price - With the price difference I can use that money to buy more books, therefore get more use
  • Weight - it's only slighty but the kindle is just a smidge lighter and that's important for me
Offline Lesley-Ann Reading
07 Oct 2010, 04:40 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

Why did I get a Kindle?

Because I already had a Sony 505.

Rather a simple answer but one that actually swayed my decision in the Kindle's direction in the end. I had been interested in the Kindle when I first went looking for a dedicated reader but this way prior to the Kindle 2 international version coming out, also the Sony I settled on was the only reader available to the UK which was under the £200 mark when I bought it.

So, a year or so later, I am seeing how the reader market has changed and getting a tad antsy and feeling tempted by the newer readers being announced when I found out via the mobileread forum that a UK Kindle was available, or rather available to pre-order even though it was sold out and the release date hadn't even arrived yet.

So off I trot to Amazon and there in bold ads are the new Kindles available for pre-order from only £109 which was way lower than any other reader currently available. So I read up on what exactly a Kindle could do but was hit with only one 'real' roadblock. All my DRM'ed epub books which I had amassed since buying my 505. Totally incompatible with the Kindle. All the none DRM titles I owned? Easily converted via Calibre for the Kindle.

So I hemmed and hawed, checked out the threads on the new Sony readers due out just after the Kindle's release date, and eventually after much thinking, researching and changing my mind for and against purchasing a Kindle I suddenly had a light bulb moment.

I wasn't intending to sell on or in any way get rid on my 505, so all those DRM titles I could still read although I couldn't read them on a Kindle, so that problem was easily sorted out. Also did I really want to pay out more than the cost of a Kindle on a second epub reader? My main problem of late was getting the titles I wanted at a reasonable price which would be available to a UK resident. So I did some comparison's and went to Waterstones, a shop which I have never purchased an ebook from, and randomly took note of the top five best sellers they had on the front page. I then checked the same titles on WHSmith, which I have purchased from, and found that four were cheaper than Waterstones and a fifth wasn't available. I then checked with Amazon's Kindle store and found that all four that WHS had were even cheaper there and a fifth not available yet.

So, Amazon was cheapest of all three, WHS had their 30% off retail price, but Amazon had the four titles (at least I'm sure it was 4, might have been only three though), at even cheaper than 30%. In fact they were closer to 50% cheaper for those best sellers. I then started trolling through their store checking the prices of books in various genres and was impressed with what I found when compared to the same books elsewhere.

Even though some books are more expensive than I would like, I simply don't buy them until the price is more reasonable in my mind, the same as I did (and still do) with tree books. I find owning both a Kindle and a Sony, I basically have the best of both worlds, if WHS has another big 50% sale, I don't loose out, I buy epub versions and read them on my 505. If Amazon has the title/s I want cheaper, I purchase the Kindle version. Freedom of choice.

Although the new, non-glaring, touch screen Sony has released with their newer readers, given their abilities to highlight and annotate, more accurately and quicker, I don't regret not waiting and buying a new Sony.

Why?

Well, touch screen, while quicker and maybe easier than the Kindle way, using the cursor which is controlled via the buttons, I can't shake my experience with my iPod touch. While I wouldn't be without it, I love it, it's a major pain to keep clean. No matter how clean you keep you hands when using it, natural oils on the skin transfer and it's a continual battle to keep the screen clean and smear free.

As someone who has used, and will use, her iPod touch to occasionally read books, I know the problem with using a touch screen technology when doing so and while there is advantages. There are also disadvantages.

Also the newer Sony's are more expensive on initial outlay, more expensive than buying a Kindle. So while I could justify buying a Kindle, to read Kindle books and compatible formats, could I justify buying a new Sony. Even with the advancements Sony has made in their new models I just couldn't do it.

Basically I wrote down and pro and con list with each reader and knocked the points down one after the other.

The down side of Kindle.

No epub ... DRM or otherwise ... no problem I already own a 505 for reading them. One point cleared up.

No expansion slots ... but then I sat down and did some soul searching. Did I really need more memory than the Kindle has. The answer was a resounding no. While it's a nice option, one which my 505 has with it's two expansion slots, it's not a requirement and probably wouldn't be used even if it was there. Another point cleared up.

No touchscreen ... well I already covered that one. While turning pages is quick with a touchscreen, well it's just as easily to accidentally turn pages as well. Much easier in fact, something else I can atest to while reading on my iPod.

So there are my reasons for buying a Kindle. Which has turned into another long lecture ... I've did it again. But then it wasn't a simple straight forward question I could answer in two lines or less.
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Offline herbertwest
07 Oct 2010, 06:55 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

Some very good points here. It's interesting to see that people don't see a touchscreen as a plus on an ereader - I certainly wouldn't want one, I think it'd be far too easy to turn a page with a coat sleeve or bed cover.

One area that I think Amazons need to address is the lack of demo models that you can hold and try out. I'd heard that some branches of Currys had them, but I haven't been able to spot one.

I was able to have a brief play with one that a colleague had bought for someone as a present, and put it side by side with the 505. The Kindle's contrast is notably brighter, but I'm not sure that this matters at all - I've never found the Sony's screen indistinct and, if anything, the Sony is a closer match to the 'contrast' on the average printed paperback.

Another point that's come to me is that as the public sector cuts start to take effect and libraries shrivel to a shadow of their former selves, ebooks may well be one of the services to be ditched.
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Offline bryand Reading A short history of nearly everything - Bill Bryson
07 Oct 2010, 07:48 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

This post was last modified: 07 Oct 2010 07:49 PM by bryand.
    I've been doing some comparisons at work. Here's the same file (a PDF) being displayed on a Sony PRC-600, an iRiver Story and a Kindle 3G.
The Kindle wins.
Offline bookworm72 Reading Naked In Knightsbridge
08 Oct 2010, 07:18 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

I have always wanted an e reader but they were way out of my price range. When I first saw the advert on amazon for the launch of the uk kindle I was over the moon as the £109 price tag was within my reach. My husband said he would buy me one for xmas but I said I couldn't wait that long. He contributed to the cost and I pre-ordered my kindle. When it arrived on sept 1st, I was very excited. I have to say I love my kindle, it is better than I thought it would be, I had one hiccup when it froze, panicked and was advised to re boot it which worked fine and have had no problems since. The battery life is excellent, I have only charged it once in 6 weeks (and that was 2 days ago) even though the battery status was at roughly 30%. Holding it whilst reading a book feels so comfortable, the page turn buttons on the side make it effortless. I am extremely happy with my kindle and am so glad I bought it. The added bonus for me is the fact that I don't have to find room on a shelf for a book that I have finished.
A big 5 out of 5 for my kindle, I think I would be lost without it.
I Can't Imagine A Life Without Books
Offline David Derrico
14 Oct 2010, 09:35 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

(04 Oct 2010 10:52 PM)Alex Wrote:  I didn't actually choose the kindle as my e-reader of choice, I'm being given it as a birthday present. That being said, once I found out I was going to get one I was very excited and having spent much time on various forums (this one in particular) I think it is the perfect device for me.

My story is almost exactly the same: I received my K2 as a very generous birthday present from a great friend, but it's definitely the e-reader I would have bought for myself -- my friend was well aware of how much I liked the Kindle.

I love my Kindle because I love reading, and the Kindle makes the reading experience better. It gives me adjustable font sizes, a built-in dictionary, and text-to speech. It allows me to get new books in 60 seconds, save money with free and low-cost books, and bring my entire library with me anywhere. It's light and easy to bring with me, the battery lasts forever, and the e-Ink screen is very easy on my eyes -- there's no way I'd read on an LCD screen after staring at a computer monitor all day.

Of all the brands, the Kindle had the combination of best features, lowest price, and by far the best e-book store. Amazon is known for great customer service as well. I also like the Nook, but the small LCD touchscreen on the Nook makes it heavier, the battery doesn't last nearly as long, and it's slower. I also found the Nook was much less intuitive to use; for example, using the dictionary takes about 5 steps more than the quick lookups on the Kindle. Of course, now the K3 (with the new e-Ink Pearl screen, smaller size, and many other improvements) blows the Nook away -- I'm waiting to see what B&N comes up with for the Nook 2.

I definitely recommend that anyone who enjoys reading check out a Kindle. I think it's the best e-book reader out there.
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RE: Why I did/didn't choose kindle

This post was last modified: 20 Oct 2010 09:02 PM by charminglochie.
Like others on here I received my Kindle 3 as an early birthday/christmas present from my parents. They were interested in buying one for themselves and new I was desperate for one so this was how they tested it Smile Although they had been initially interested in the Sony touchscreen ereader, they had already seen it in the wild as my sister had one and had nothing but problems with it. Freezing screens, unable to navigate well and expensive titles were among some of them. The wifi and the 3g on the kindle was a big pro on the list along with cheap titles and price. And it's definately been worth it. I don't miss touch screen because, as someone else on here mentioned, it can be a bit of a pain on th elikes of the ipod touch and I find the buttons on the kindle really really comfortable to use.

The wifi and 3g is brilliant. As an example I was in Waterstones today and picked up two books to buy, one for me and one for my 12 year old. I sat down and pulled out the kindle and connected to the kindle store. Lo and behold both titles available, for less, on the kindle. Needless to say I didn't buy from the shop Tongue

And listening to my audiobooks on it is really good. I like the speakers and it's great to have all my current reads/listens in one place. One complaint I have is that you have to connect to the computer for the audiobooks but I can see the technical reasons why. And it would be nice to be able to have drm epub on the kindle but there's very few titles you can't get from kindle store so not a major issue for me.

All in all, the Kindle has been so good that I am getting one for the 12yr old for Christmas (mainly to stop him borrowing mine!!) and would reccommend to anyone who asked me.

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