In the span of about a year, I’ve gone from thinking I would never use an e-Reader to being an owner of a Kindle.  Much of this was spurred by the ease of deploying Kindle books.  I currently have 3 Kindle books listed on Amazon – perhaps it was time to take the plunge myself?

In July, I bought a Kindle.  At the time, I thought it was a second hand model.  It turns out that I was actually the third owner of the device.  It was a second generation model, but this didn’t bother me much.  The third generation models have more storage space, but if you run out of space on a Kindle, you have a serious reading problems (also, you can always delete and re-download).  Sure, the new generation had the sexy new version of e-Ink, but I decided to be economical and went the used route.

What do I like so far?

Experimental Web Browser

OK, so it’s the tail wagging the dog.  The Kindle’s browser is not going to put the iPad or Android tablets to shame.  If you have a smart phone, your experience will probably be better on your phone.  But for those of us who pass up smart phones for reasons of economy and battery life, the Kindle is a serviceable option.  Currently, Kindles that use 3G allow you to surf the web with no monthly fee.  That could change at any time, but it’s a nice fringe benefit.

The Classics are Free

I loaded the Kindle up with Dracula, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Count of Monte Cristo, and much more.  All for the price of NOTHING.  There are a couple of organization who are working to make public domain works available for Kindle.  This list will get you started, or you can go to Project Gutenberg for an easy-to-browse selection.  During this process, I came to the startling conclusion that  Daphne Du Maurier’s works are not in the public domain – for some reason, I thought she was born much earlier than she actually was.

Exclusive Content

My favorite author, Lawrence Block, began releasing short stories and novellas for bargain basement prices.  Many of these had not seen the light of day in many years, while other had been included in his omnibus Enough Rope.  He even cobbled together the after words from his books into Afterthoughts.  I’m not sure how many people would storm the doors of a store to pay $19.99 for a hardcover version of Afterthoughts, but at 99 cents, it’s hard to pass up (and Block will surely reap profits as people realize that there are several of his books they have neglected to read.

I Read More

I seem to be reading more since I bought the Kindle.  Part of that is the fact that I’m reading Block, whom I’ve always found hard to put down.  Then again, I’m reading the dead-tree edition of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, and I also am entranced by Stieg Larsson.  Perhaps it’s the fact that the Kindle is a one handed device, while it’s a bit awkward to read a book with one hand.

Those concerns I had about battery life?  Completely unfounded.  I probably charge once a week, just to make sure I don’t run out of battery power – but I’ve never had the Kindle below half.

What About You?

Have I sold you on the Kindle?  Swing over the Kindle Store at Amazon, where you can buy a Kindle and fill it with eBooks in time for the cold of winter.

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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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