Amazon Kindle - Greener Reading & Liking it!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011  |  Admin

Back in February last year I first blogged about the Amazon Kindle and Sony Ebook. At the time I was tempted, attracted by the fact that I'd be helping minimise the environmental impact of book production.
Then in September we moved house. And when we moved we took boxes upon boxes of books with us. Literally enough to fill about 4 good sized, floor to ceiling book cases! It was this (and the clutter on my bedside table) that persuaded me to ask my friends and family to club together to buy me an Amazon Kindle for Christmas.
I chose Amazon rather than any other brand partly because they're a brand I trust. I buy from Amazon a lot and their customer service is excellent. There are also thousands of customer reviews of the Kindle so before you buy you can see if there's any drawbacks / irritations you need to be aware of.
So it was with great excitement on Christmas morning that I unwrapped my lovely new Kindle. Firstly I was surprised at how light it was (247g apparently), which is MUCH lighter than most of the books I read.
It was really easy to set up. It was literally 5 minutes to connect it to our home wi-fi (which I didn't have to do since mine is the 3g version) and then deregister it from my husbands Amazon account and onto mine.
Later on Christmas Day I got a chance to steal 20 minutes alone and have a proper read and play. I was relieved and pleased to find that it really was as easy to read as a paperback. Because it isn't backlit, it doesn't tire your eyes in the same way as reading from a computer screen (or the Kindle iphone app). It takes a fraction of a second for the page to turn but you soon get used to that.
I downloaded quite a few free 'classic' books including Dracula and Sherlock Holmes which seemed to download almost instantly. Plus I took advantage of an Amazon deal on new authors, randomly picking a selection of books for just £1 each.
The real test however was how it would perform in bed....
And it performed with flying colours! I was able to prop the kindle against my duvet, meaning that I only had to press the button to turn the pages, I didn't actually have to hold it. When I fell asleep reading it therefore it just stayed on the side of the bed rather than dropping to the floor. And it automatically switched itself off after I had fallen asleep which is great as it doesn't run the battery down.
I've now been using my Kindle for 11 days and it's telling me that I need to charge the battery. Apparently if I'd switched off wifi (just switching it on again when I actually want / need to use it) the battery would have lasted twice as long, up to a month which is good going.
As I think I mentioned before, I've got the Kindle iphone app. Although I've used it a little bit previously, I found it tiring on my eyes, so definitely not an alternative to the Kindle. However the other day when I was waiting for a midwife checkup I thought I'd have another quick look, to see if the new books that I had bought were available on the iphone. I was VERY chuffed to find that my iphone app had synced to the exact place where I'd fallen asleep reading the night previously. I had a quick read for 10 minutes, then when I got home and switched my kindle on, found that it had synced to where I left off that morning. Brilliant.
Anyway, in summary my updated list of Kindle / Ebook Reader Pro's & Cons:
Minimises storage space needed (holds 3,500 books!) Minimises environmental impact of book production Very easy to use and enjoy Light to carry around Books tend to be cheaper
Can't read in the bath! Book sharing is difficult (although if my husband decides to get a Kindle I'll register it to my Kindle account and we can share the books)Not all books are available in Kindle / Ebook format
So far, I'm really pleased with my Kindle and would recommend it to anyone who's thinking of buying one. One of the few gadgets that it is (IMO) worth shelling out on.

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