Justine gave me a Kindle for Christmas. I have been skeptical about these readers in that I do not like to read computer screens. I do it all day long for a living and I don’t do it for pleasure.
The Kindle, however, is not like a computer screen and is very much like a book. I bumped the font size and I have no problem reading it on the bus. I like it. I wish it had a back-lit screen, but that will happen eventually.
My second objection to the Kindle is that is tightly bound to Amazon and, for most people, there is no other way to download content to the Kindle. Most people will not read a book that they did not purchase from Amazon.
For me that is not a problem. I have found quite a bit of content. I already use torrents to download TV shows that I missed (I downloaded the first two seasons of Mad Men, recently). I searched the torrents and found that there are large numbers of eBooks that can be downloaded. I downloaded 6 archives of Science Fiction books, including many classics, which is about 1,000 books.
Most of the books I downloaded are in PDF format, but there is decent software to convert that to MOBI, which the Kindle likes. (The PDFs are unreadable.)
I now have about 500 SF books ready to read. I am half way through The Last Theorem by Clarke and Pohl. (Easy read, but I am not sure where it is going).
My opinion of the Kindle is that it is neat technology and well worth owning if you are technical enough to get your own books free. There is, however, huge room for improvement. I foresee that the next kindles will have better screens with back-lit lighting to read in the dark. They will have to have a better keyboard with a few extra keys, at least. They will have downloadable apps, similar to Droid and iPhone. The new Kindles will also have touch screens.
If you can’t afford a kindle, they will be available at garage sales this summer for $50 and then next summer for $5 as people upgrade to new tech. I may have several in my bag at a time, each with 1,000 or so books on each.
I wrote a WordPress App that lets you send a blog page or post directly to your Kindle, and there will be many other programmers that will write similar things. Ezine editors will want to be able to send their whole ezine to a Kindle using this kind of program.
I also received a box of books from both Larry and Ward (my brothers) and each is cool. Both boxes have books from the 1950s that are long out of print, have neat covers, and will probably never be available on Kindle. I have not given up reading words on paper, and I look forward to reading these paperbacks.