Amazon Kindle -- A Year Later?

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I was hoping to hear from others who bought the Kindle early on what they current usage/liking of the unit is? After a year do you still use it almost exclusively? Is it a device you feel as comfortable packing in a bag to take on a plane as it is taking it into your kid's room to read their nighttime stories on? Curl up on the couch, sit on the throne, snuggled down in bed -- it is still the ruler of your book world?

Or is it sitting on some desk covered up in a years worth of papers or dirty clothes, and you just got back from the bookstore with a load of books to read because forgot you had Kindle?

I have several friends who swear by them, and I can use it to reduce clutter and keep copies of manuals for work. So I ordered on after Thanksgiving. Should be here the last week of March... Sigh.

For what it's worth, my friends are still carrying them after more than a year. Everywhere.

WAIT!! The Kindle 2 is strongly rumored to be being announced on the 9th.

Yeah the K2 launched Monday. Maybe the k1 gets cheaper!

Still love mine to death. My wife reads enough hardcovers that it paid for itself at around nine months. It's awesome on the road, and being able to just "grab" a book is great if you're trapped home with a sick kid, etc. We still buy books though. It's not exclusive. We kind of have to, since we only have one!!

I haven't used mine enough offset the cause (got it in November), but I do still use it and I still love the thing. I'm reading a book called Perdido Street Station right now that has been really good. In general I just love the convenience of the thing. Portable. Complete library of books. Wonderful screen for reading. It was great to have on a cruise we went on last December. It's great for waiting around at the doctor's office (something I've had to do a lot of late). Great to have on the couch while your spouse watches something you can't stand. It's just all around greatness.
---Todd

I'm waiting for cheaper content and a cheaper Kindle before I bite.

Newspapers and Mags are way too much money on the Kindle. There's no paperback prices on the Kindle afaik. And I believe that, although new book prices are lower than buying the hardcover, they should be even lower.

The Kindle could use some visual pizazz too.

Last I'm skeptical that one needs the Sprint cellular service pushed on them. I just don't see the need to buy a book wherever one may be given the fact the device can hold many many books. At the very least I'd like to know how much this "feature" adds to the cost of the device and to the cost of the books. IF it was significant I think a customer should be allowed to purchase a Kindle without this "feature."

I am interested to see what they are doing for 2.0.

btw, did you hear that Amazon is releasing Kindle books for cellphones now? It was in the news yesterday I believe.

LiquidMantis wrote:
WAIT!! The Kindle 2 is strongly rumored to be being announced on the 9th.
Whoops! No kidding... This would be just like me to buy one on the 8th. Any news of what the K2 will have? I'll go search for it now.

I love the idea, and do read often enough that I think it could be worth it, but when it first came out the asking price was just way too high for me to make the purchase.

*eh, edited because I answered my own questions with a quick browse on Amazon.

Still, too expensive.

I love mine more than my iPhone. It's the second thing (after my daughter), I'd take out of the house in case of fire.

sheared wrote:
LiquidMantis wrote:
WAIT!! The Kindle 2 is strongly rumored to be being announced on the 9th.
Whoops! No kidding... This would be just like me to buy one on the 8th. Any news of what the K2 will have? I'll go search for it now.

Current screen tech and a faster CPU, making for quicker screen refreshes. If the leaked pictures I saw are accurate then they recombined the keyboard too. The navigation buttons are supposed to be better designed against accidental page changes.

I was very close to getting the new Sony, although I've read the touchscreen has some impact on the screen clarity so I'd like to check it out first. Maybe I'll do that this weekend while waiting for the press release on Monday.

IMAGE(http://www.boygeniusreport.com/wp-content/uploads/kindle2_1.jpg)

Is the Kindle still pretty much useless outside the USA? I kinda wanted to check it out but was told most features would be gimped...

I don't know why but the idea of the Kindle has no appeal to me and the fact that it's fugly doesn't help.

Granted, I`m not a user so take my comment with a grain of salt.

trip1eX wrote:
I'm waiting for cheaper content and a cheaper Kindle before I bite [...] And I believe that, although new book prices are lower than buying the hardcover, they should be even lower.

$9.99 vs. $29.99 seems a pretty serious price reduction to me. I don't see how you can expect them to be lower than that. There are no other ebook sellers that can even touch those prices.

Looking at the Kindle library page, it looks like there are a few books that cost more than $9.99, and a good number that are lower (the first Twilight book, for example, is $6).

btw, did you hear that Amazon is releasing Kindle books for cellphones now? It was in the news yesterday I believe.

This is actually very exciting news, although I hope they don't just allow these to be used with iPhones or Android devices. I read tons of ebooks on my Blackberry using Mobipocket Reader, and I'd love to throw money towards Amazon for cheap new releases.

EDIT:

I was actually thinking about a Kindle if the second gen model was cheaper, but from the leaked info, it'll still be $350. I hope the cellphone availability will be fairly robust, because I'd rather buy an iPod Touch or something rather than $350 for a dedicated ebook reader.

My girlfriend reads more than she breathes and with news of the Kindle 2 being announced on Monday, my interest has piqued. I'm weighing out if I would actually be kind enough to drop my tax refund on one for her, if not now, 6 months down the line, whenever the waiting list winds down.

I imagine someday I'll use a Kindle or equivalent.

For now, my iPhone serves perfectly with audiobooks and Google Reader to cover all my reading needs. Plus, reading while washing dishes!

I wish the Kindle 2 didn't look so... generically "Apple."

They made the new model thinner, but it's actually LONGER than the first gen model which strikes me as really weird.

SommerMatt wrote:
trip1eX wrote:
I'm waiting for cheaper content and a cheaper Kindle before I bite [...] And I believe that, although new book prices are lower than buying the hardcover, they should be even lower.

$9.99 vs. $29.99 seems a pretty serious price reduction to me. I don't see how you can expect them to be lower than that. There are no other ebook sellers that can even touch those prices.

Well who pays $30 for a hardcover book? Does Amazon even sell them for that? Plus you can resell a hardcover book.

I love the idea of the kindle, but it needs to be cheaper, less ugly, have a better button layout, and have more storage. All of those things checked off? I'll buy one.

With MP3 players going the way of the dodo, what with their increasing integration into cell-phones, I'll be interested to see the next technology that gets lumped into the uber-devices of the next few years. Perhaps kindle-ish functionality? Would be cool, but the main impediment would be screen size. With this "digital paper" technology, perhaps a fold-out screen? I don't know how literal the paper analogy actually is.

Yeah I've been thinking about one as well, and version 2.0 has NOT made my decision any easier... that thing is sexy!

I was actually about to start a thread of this very same nature.

But, I found Stanza for my iPhone to tide me over until I can warrant dropping $380 on another device. It is actually pretty sweet, though at this point I'm just playing around with the public domain books.

I downloaded a pretty sweet (and depressing!) Vonnegut short story called "2 B R 0 2 B" about suicide and population control in a dystopian future. It was only 19 pages, and so it was just fine to read, but I'm not sure how the small scale of the iPhone would be for reading for longer periods of time - like on an airplane or something.

Got my wife a Kindle for her birthday last October.
She uses it *ALL* the time.
She gets the NYTimes headline/major stories thing - it's like $2/month. Now that the Washington Post is there, she may switch to that.
She gets a lot of books from Project Gutenberg for free.
She can look stuff up on wikipedia and more, anywhere she is.
Hell, she can even read metafilter when she really doesn't want to sit down at her PC.

She absolutely adores it. It won't completely replace "real" books in our house, but it's certainly made keeping her in reading material a whole lot cheaper. I'm pretty sure it's paid for itself already.

Battery lasts forever.
Readable outdoors in broad daylight.
Light.
Very easy to buy books from amazon.

Downsides include:
Can't be read in the dark.
Very easy to buy books from amazon.

I'm thinking of getting one for myself. I could probably give my zune away if I had a kindle. I can keep the crappy old Creative Zen for GWJ Conference Calls. And Certis will be glad to decrement the zune listener count.

I'll admit, I don't recall ever hearing about this until recently.
I like the thought of it though and wouldn't mind owning something like that.
Kind of ugly, but I can get past that.

This seems like a good thread to mention the donation/freeware Calibre.

The calibre page wrote:
calibre is a one stop solution to all your e-book needs. It is free, open source and cross-platform in design and works well on Linux, OS X and Windows. calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution and thus includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion, as well as e-book reader sync features and an integrated e-book viewer.

I'll be waiting for tomorrow's PR announcement with my Amazon.com credit card ready and waiting to get it Prime shipped. I <3 Bezos.

It's looking like the Kindle 2 hits the streets on the 24th for $359. Still waiting for official confirmation.

IMAGE(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/2/8/1234136905905/amazon_kindle_2.jpg)

How does the Kindle handle books with charts, graphs and maps? A lot of the history I read is more than just straight text like you'd find in fiction. The price is still out of my range, but this sounds like something I'd like to use.

Funkenpants wrote:
How does the Kindle handle books with charts, graphs and maps? A lot of the history I read is more than just straight text like you'd find in fiction. The price is still out of my range, but this sounds like something I'd like to use.

It can display images, but there's no color yet. And I have never seen a Kindle book that has graphs and charts.

The thing is, someone has to have actually made the book you're looking for into an eBook, and so far, none of my textbooks have hopped onto the Kindle bandwagon. Presumably, if the graphs and whatnot were important, they'd put them in there nicely.

Despite loving my Kindle, I don't think it would be good for that type of book. Anything reference-like, or in the math, sciences, or anything that involves flipping pages quickly, just isn't suited for the eBook form. In those cases, I've never had anything trump my sticking a pencil in between the pages and flipping to the index/other page and back. Not to mention being able to hold it halfway and look at page 25 and 653 simultaneously. Even a dual-screen eBook reader couldn't handle that process as elegantly.

Can you haXXor this thing? And by that, I mean 'Can you put your own PDFs and .docs on it instead of buying from Amazon's donkey list.'

I thought the Kindle was a failed project for sure, but I was pretty interested to see a number of people in this thread deliver glowing reviews.

Woot! Pre-orders for Kindle 1 are automagically upgraded to Kindle 2 and will be in the first shipping group! Cool. Not only do I get a month before they promised, but I get the new one.

New features that seem awesome:

Faster page turning, though 20% of less than a second is hardly an immense leap forward. But for those who really disliked the refresh rate before it might be noticeable.

Text-to-speech. It can read to you in a male or female voice. I hope it's sexy. Penthouse letters, ahoy.

Features I wish had been added:

Native PDF and .Doc/.Docx support. The conversions suck sometimes.

A better page count system. I realize being able to change the text size makes this difficult, and you still have a "marker" that gives you an idea of where you're at, but I want to know where I'd be at if I were reading the paper copy, too (important for when you're working with those poor Kindle-less bastards.) And even after a year I still don't find the Kindle's location scheme intuitive.

Features I'm unsure are positive:

No more SD-Card slot. The storage was limited, but as soon as I threw a 4gb card in there, the new Kindle's "2gb of space!" seems less exciting.

It's thinner, but the thing was already the size of a pencil. How you grip it on each edge was more of an issue. I can't tell if the new button setup improves that.

Battery life is improved, but the thinness makes it unclear if it's user-replaceable.

Interesting notes:

The much lambasted cover is now sold separately, maybe that's one small cut to launch it at the same price?

16 shades of grey instead of 4! Fan...tastic?

Clemenstation wrote:
Can you haXXor this thing? And by that, I mean 'Can you put your own PDFs and .docs on it instead of buying from Amazon's donkey list.'

I thought the Kindle was a failed project for sure, but I was pretty interested to see a number of people in this thread deliver glowing reviews.

You've always been able to do this. You either just convert it yourself into mobipocket format, or email it to Amazon and it's automatically converted and emailed to you, for free. Or it can be delivered wirelessly to your Kindle for .10 each. The quality of the conversions varies (I get a lot of class reading that is actually just scans of journals, and especially when it's done sideways, two pages at a time, the conversions are terrible. Text-only it does perfectly.)

Robear wrote:
Woot! Pre-orders for Kindle 1 are automagically upgraded to Kindle 2 and will be in the first shipping group! Cool. Not only do I get a month before they promised, but I get the new one. :-)

So if I ordered the first model now while it's out of stock I would end up with the new version?

I wasn't a fan of the look of the original Kindle, but the Kindle 2 is really pretty. I could probably use something like this if it weren't so expensive. What's the book selection like? They advertise a selection of 230,000 books, but is that just the 235,000 Dean Koontz books? Does it have a good selection of books from more obscure or literary authors, or is it really just good for mass market books?

I love the idea, but I'm still not ready to jump in. More of the big publishing houses are starting to get into it. If they truly commit to the tech, I might just do it down the road. Of course the price is a big hang-up for me. I'm one of those rare souls that makes almost weekly trips to the library and rarely buys a book anymore outside of the smaller used-book stores that I try to support.

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