Tech Talk: Kindle Love

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Find the Tech Talk Tuesday archive here.

I was debating between the iPad and Kindle last year for a number of months. Then I went to a conference packed with a lot of social junkies and saw all the iPads in action. That’s the gadget for me, I thought.

“And,” I told my husband in one of the many one-sided conversations he had to endure on the topic, “I can read books on it! I can! I will!”

I didn’t really think I’d get an iPad as quickly as I did: he and the kids kept it a terrific secret and on Christmas morning my six-year-old nearly burst, insisting that I had to open my present first.

I really do love my iPad, as much as it’s possible to “love” any gadget. It has made my life easier in many ways (though there’s been a new measure of learning to balance online and offline, too).

One thing I’ve been not-thrilled about is the reading experience. An iPad–or any tablet, really–is another glowing screen. It’s a little larger than is comfortable for me to hold. And on and on and on, a host of little things that added up to make me look longingly at the Kindle.

Could my sleeping problems of late have had to do with the amount of time I’ve spent curled up on the couch, reading electronically?

Well, let’s not go overboard, but suffice it to say that my poor, patient husband has had to listen to more one-sided conversations by yours truly, in which I expound on the benefits of e-ink, outline the number of close-to-free Kindles that must be available somewhere online, and flirt with complaining about how my iPad is just about 30% too big to be the eReader I really long for.

Lo and behold, in early January, wrapped up in my pile of birthday gifts was a Kindle Touch.

I was surprised and, yes, delighted.

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the touch feature (I had my eyes set on the lowest end Kindle), but as it turns out, I do like it.

It’s not ideal for reading PDFs, which is what a lot of the things I have to read electronically are, but I’m trying it.

In the last few months, I’ve read probably a thousand or more pages electronically, and I see that number increasing exponentially now. I’d like to use the Amazon Lending Library (unfortunately, right now I get my Amazon Prime benefits thanks to Amazon Mom and it appears the Lending Library benefits don’t extend to me).

Oh, and the pile of review books I have? I’m still working on those the old-fashioned way, too, and not complaining about regular old paper.

I like the idea of being able to share across devices using the Kindle app, but as small as the Kindle itself is, I don’t think there will much of that. It’s nice to know it’s an option, though.

Starting the year off with a new gadget isn’t half bad, really. And a gadget that involves my favorite hobby of reading? Even better!

Do you have a Kindle product or a new eReader? What’s your favorite aspect? What have you read recently electronically?

If you’re looking for an e-reader, consider making your purchase of a Kindle through CatholicMom.com and supporting the work we do here?

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard

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15 Comments

  1. My son bought me a Kindle Keyboard for Christmas… and so far, I love it. The non-backlit screen is much easier for reading, than the computer (I had been using Kindle for PC up until now) Since I don’t always have wi-fi access at meetings, a tablet would not be any better than the HP Mini netbook I already own, but the Kindle is much lighter and fits in the purse more easily… and for 99 cents, I got the note application. I agree about PDF’s – I have to adjust the font size to read many of them, but all-in-all, I am happy so far with the Kindle.

  2. Love my Kindle – don’t know what version it is, but it’s small, has a keyboard, and no touch screen. I’m not daunted by how much of a book is “left” and it’s easy to carry around with me. It’s tucked in the couch cushion (with my Saints for Moms book) for reading during those middle of the night nursing sessions. I still like paper books, but am finding a nice balance. Although – where I usually read two or three (or more) books at a time (love that stack of possibilities) I only read one at a time with the kindle.

    • Shelly, I agree about finding a balance…I never really enjoyed reading electronically until I got my Kindle. And oh, I have still found ways to read multiple books, though I’ve been trying to focus (for years, for YEARS) on only one or two at a time.

  3. I have a 4th gen. iPod Touch that I do most of my reading on. The Apple devices now have a night theme that makes it easier to read at night. I also turn the brightness down all the way. During the day, I use my iPad and Pod for reading news. Daytime book reading I have my devices on the sepia theme for lower contrast. The Pod is the size of my iPhone and is so wonderful! I like that it’s backlit, much easier on 52 yr. old eyes. Didn’t like e-ink like Kindle. Love my iPad for lots and lots of things. Love my iPod for reading!!!! Had them both since August, can’t say enough good things about them.

    • Claire, I’ve never heard of these settings! I’m going to have to check them out! And I am SUCH a fan of my iPad, I agree. The reading, though, is easier at times on my Kindle. (Husband has the iPod Touch, and it’s his. So the Kindle’s size has that going for it too.) Thanks for chiming in! 🙂

  4. I received a Kindle Fire from my hubby for Christmas, which he’s now dubbed “My Precious.” [It can be a *little* addictive.] But I’m happy to report I’ve read more in the last month than I would’ve without it [“Our Lady of Kibeho” and I’m half-way through “The Help”]. I took it with me to work-out yesterday and today I’m sore, so I figure it’s not only making me smarter but healthier 🙂

    • Oh, Julie! Loved Our Lady of Kibeho! Haven’t read The Help yet, but thanks to our library’s digital lending, there’s a chance I’ll be more on board with keeping up with current novels now. Yay for Kindle!!! Yay for the library!!! 🙂

      (Addictive? I know NOTHING of being addicted to gadgets….NOTHING AT ALL!)

      (Ha.)

  5. I have both a Nook and a Nook Color. I have to say that I completely agree with reading on the e-ink feature is so much easier on my eyes. After a long day in front of the computer and some tv time in the evening, my eyes are so tired. Alternating between an actual book and my original Nook definitely helps to relieve the strain. However, I’m now eyeing an iPad simply because there are so many apps that I’ve been drooling over!

    • Esther, my niece has a Nook Color, and she loves it. I used the Nook app on my iPad over my Christmas break and it was okay.

      And the apps…yeah. A LITTLE addictive. There seems to be an app for everything. My niece (same one with the Nook) and I have a little joke…we just randomly say “There’s an app for that!” Guess it’s not so funny when you read it, but we get ourselves laughing so hard. We are all pretty dependent on our gadgets. I especially like how they help me in my prayer life, but I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to being connected. 🙂

  6. The Kindle is wonderful for writers, too. For the past five days (and concluding today, Jan. 18) I’ve been able to give away more than 600 copies of my latest novel: “The World’s Funniest Atheist.” It’s been a great way to promote this modern-day Saul/Paul novel. I encourage your readers to grab one. (Free. Yes, free.)

    • Bill, that’s awesome, and a great point! None of my titles are available on Kindle (yet–my upcoming April release will be, I think), but what a great point! And I’ll definitely check out your book!

      Many blessings to you!

  7. I have a keyboard Kindle and an iPad. Got the Kindle first and I really do like it, though it hasn’t fulfilled my husband’s hopes and dreams of reducing the “book clutter” around the house. A year later he got me an iPad, which I also like, but I won’t put the Kindle app on it because I’m afraid of using up all its memory with my books. I do have the Nook app with a few books on there in case I’m stuck someplace with iPad and want to read something.
    It’s easier for me to read with the e-ink, as others have said.
    The one drawback of Kindle, for me, is that the title of the book is not displayed onscreen, so when someone asks me what I’m reading, I have to exit the book and return to the menu so I can find out the title! It’s not like I see it on the front, back and spine of the Kindle like I do with a “tree book.”

  8. I too am addicted to my kindle fire. I am currently reading Les Miserables and have tried in the past but lugging that humungous book around has always stopped me. It also is encouraging when the kindle tells me how far into the book I am. Oh, and for my old lady eyes I love being able to make the font LARGE.

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