I recent bought a Kindle.  As some of you know, I’ve long been a proponent of printed books and have resisted to urge to jump to e-readers.  Why the change of heart?

  • The battery life issue is not as much of a concern as I would have thought.  I was under the false impression that battery life would be measured in hours or maybe a day or two.  In actuality, battery life is measured in weeks.
  • Although I feel that a lot of the eBooks are priced too high in comparison to the corresponding printed version, there’s one genre where this isn’t true: public domain works.  You can download the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Verne and countless others for free!
  • It’s not just an e-reader.  Until recently, I wasn’t aware of the fact that the Kindles have a built-in web browser.  I’m told that this is clunky but functional.  That’s fine for me.  I don’t own a smart phone, so it will be nice to have a book that doubles as a web browser when I’m, stuck in a waiting room for hours.  If you have a 3G version, you get free access to the internet when you’re traveling.  Amazon does reserve the right to charge for “excessive use”, which does make some sense – I’m sure they’re paying a pretty penny to have this service provided to Kindle users.  On the other hand, it makes it easier for people to buy more books.
  • Not only can you borrow Kindle books from your friends, you’ll soon be able to check them out from the library, too.  In the near future, Amazon will be working with Overdrive to deploy this functionality.  The Nook (a Kindle competitor) currently allows checkouts from libraries.

I’ve been slowly coming around to the idea of buying a Kindle for the last few months.  I told myself that I’d wait until I’d earned enough money from my web endeavors to pay for one – at the time, this would have taken quite a while.

Recently, however, this changes.  I lined up a freelance gig that will bring in a bit of money.  At that point, I started looking around at Kindles.

Shortly thereafter, a friend mentioned that he had a Kindle that he was looking to sell.  It was a Kindle 2 (the current model is a 3), but had built in 3G (only available in the pricier versions of the Kindle 3.  We struck a deal, and the K2 should be arriving before long.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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