If you read my earlier post on my experience with a Kindle, you may be somewhat surprised to learn that I now own one. I didn’t exactly love it when I borrowed one last year. However, I came to realise that I was trying to turn it into something which is was not. It’s not a multi-functional device, and it’s unfair to compare it with one – it’s not a competitor of the iPad. But it is a great reading device.

When I realised that the Kindle could actually be a useful way of replacing both the documents I carry with me on the train to read and also my fiction reading, I began to rethink the value of a Kindle. I complete online surveys to get gift vouchers and had saved quite a few in my Amazon account, and also kindly received £30 from a presentation I gave last November. So I began saving for a Kindle and a few weeks ago I ordered a 3G model (I was initially going to go with the wifi model but am really glad I opted for 3G as I do occasionally use it for web on the go – it’s not the most usable browser but it is a free way to browse the Internet and apparently works abroad, though this may only be for US customers). It’s great for reading RSS feeds using the browser.

The new model is so much better than the old one, it’s smaller and lighter which makes a big difference and the keypad which replaced the joystick is much better (though I still sometimes try to use it as a touchscreen!).

What I have found, which is a pleasant surprise, is that I’m actually really enjoying reading for pleasure again. I always read before I go to sleep but until I got the Kindle I was often using my phone to read RSS feeds and tweets rather than reading a book. Now I look forward to reading on my Kindle, and I can have lots of books on the go so I can choose what to read depending on my mood (I usually have one non-fiction and one fiction on the go at any one time). I’ve almost finished my second fiction book on it now, and definitely think I’m reading more as a result of having a portable device with all my reading on it.

It’s been useful for work related reading too, and I have also used it to store minutes and agendas for meetings rather than print them out. I’ve figured out how to send documents to it and have also managed to convert PDF files so I can read reports on the Kindle rather than on the PC. I find that I can concentrate on the Kindle better too; I get distracted by emails, RSS feeds and tweets when I’m on a PC.

Overall I’m really happy with the Kindle, it’s good value for what it is and is a great reading device.

  • That’s really interesting – I haven’t used it for documents or such yet, and have been a bit less keen than I thought I’d be when I pestered to have it for Christmas! Do you do Valued Opinions? I get Amazon vouchers through them, although these days I keep missing rewards because I’m too busy to do the surveys!

    • I wasn’t impressed when I first borrowed one, but I love the portability of this model and find it really useful for reading documents on.

      Yes, that’s one of the survey panels I am a member of. I do quite a few different panels and had let them slip but did lots in December and January to boost the Amazon vouchers and get the Kindle!

    • Valued Opinions is one of many that I do – I’ve been doing them for a few years now. I go through spurts where I do lots, but then life gets in the way for a while and it slows down. The motivation to get the Kindle certainly picked up the pace and what’s great is that now I can use the vouchers for buying books on the Kindle too 🙂

  • Have been meaning to comment for a couple of weeks…

    Actually your earlier posts on Kindle and iPad (and my friend told me what she thought of her Sony e-reader) were so useful and helped me to come to the same decision, and I got my Kindle about a week before this post!

    And I LOVE it.

    The reason your posts helped so much is that it made me realise that I wanted something for reading. I go away a lot and I read very quickly so (particularly in on a sunshine hol) end up taking about 7 books with me – which is ridiculous.

    So after much internal debate and reading of reviews I decided that actually I didn’t want something that can do everything. I’ve got a new smartphone, have a laptop and use of a dongle, so really in terms of my work flow feel pretty much covered. I just wanted something that meant I could read and which would help me manage my travel weight.

    And for reading books like you say – it really does this very well. The clincher, in one of your reviews for me was that you couldn’t read an iPad in bed. (and Kindle is loads more affordable)

    So thanks. Helped me a lot. 🙂

    Still trying to work out ways of using it in the bath/pool… have seen waterproof covers and think I’m going to get one to protect in from sun tan lotion but can see that they wouldn’t stop a proper dunking. No more reading on lilos for me.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Lisa and sharing your experiences which I’m sure will be helpful to other people too.

      I’m glad my posts helped you come to a decision, I know there are many people in a similar situation that I was in, wondering whether to get a Kindle or not.

      I’m actually really missing the Kindle at the moment – I’m reading a book a friend let me borrow, and it’s already really strange to be reading from an actual book, think I am definitely a convert to e-books. It’s not as easy to hold when reading in bed (where I do most of my fiction reading), and not as easy to carry around with me as the Kindle.

      I don’t read anywhere near as quickly as you do, but I do tend to flick between fiction and non-fiction, so it will definitely be good when travelling to have a selection of books to read.

      Think you may have spotted a gap in the market there for waterproof protection of a Kindle, though I don’t think a book would have survived a dunking either!