After months debating whether I should I add another tech gadget to my increasing collection of stuffs, I succumbed to the temptation and purchased the Amazon Kindle 3. (Talk about maintaining a life of simplicity.)
It took a while to get used to reading on an electronic device especially if you like the feel of holding a physical book and flipping worn-out pages. At first, my head got a bit dizzy from reading small texts in .pdf format. My fingers ached from holding the device. I left the Kindle on the shelves for three weeks thinking I had made another unwise purchase. Things changed when I bought my first Kindle book Marco Polo Didn’t Go There by Rolf Potts and started reading it on my bed the same night.
Instantly I realized why the Kindle has been Amazon bestselling electronic item and why it is a must-have gadget for seasonal travelers and those who leads a nomadic lifestyle.
- Save on buying books especially for those living oversea. I live in the Czech Republic (CZ) where non-bestsellers and older books are not available. Most of the time I can’t buy used-books sold by local sellers from USA, UK, Australia or Germany because they don’t ship items to non-Amazon marketplace (CZ is one of them.) If they do, the shipping and handling fee is equal the price of an used book or half the price of a new book. Amazon’s free-shipping deal applies only to the local country. Ordering a book through a local bookstore costs me twice at much. New books from a local bookstore usually cost more than Kindle books priced from $9.99. There aren’t many used-book dealers here. I rarely sell my books, therefore don’t gain anything back from owning the physical paper versions.
– Instant book delivery: I used to have a problem with instant gratification. However years of buying over Amazon, eBay and waiting one or two months before I can actually use the items have taught me the skills of self-refrain. Having said that, it doesn’t make much sense to wait for one month before I can read a book. I was amazed with the choice of being able to read my book only seconds after clicking ‘buy’.
– 1000 books on the palm of my hand: Ever since college, I haven’t lived in a single location for more than a year. With all the moving, carrying and throwing, I have tried not accumulate stuffs. This isn’t working very well I must say; I am a woman. Everywhere I go, I accumulate books and more books. I have two shelves back in my parents’ home and one stack I ‘lended’ to friends before relocating to Europe. If I ever leave CZ, I either have to sell or give away my current books. Sometime I want to reread books or use it as reference, and it is a waste of money to re-buy the same book.
– Learn and imrpove on English vocabulary: Kindle’s built-in dictionary enables instant vocabulary look-up which I find to be a great feature to improve my English. Before the Kindle, if I read a book next to my computer, I look up a new word using an online dictionary and either write it down immediately, underline the word on the book or simply do nothing about it. This process interrupts the flow of reading. Now with the Kindle, I understand the word while reading the sentence, double-click to underline and go back later to jot them down once I finish the chapter or the books.
- Ebook + audio book for the price of 1: With text-to-speech enabled, I can listen to the book. The automated voice is of course not the same as a human voice reading an audio book, but it is still surprisingly clear. Plus it’s free compared to expensive prices for audio books; I have nothing to complain about.
I’m becoming addicted to this new tool, toy or whatever you want to call it. Reading it before bedtime and on the metro going to work is certainly taken to a new electro level now.
Unless you’re from the UK, Australia or wherever there is a localized Amazon, you probably will buy from Amazon US website or pay double the price buying from a local dealer. The newest Kindle 3 Wireless, Wi-Fi is the cheapest. You don’t need the 3G version. It’s more expensive and i’m not sure of the use for the 3G.