Don't know if this is the appropriate place, but here goes...

Would love to hear reviews on Amazon's Kindle or any of its look alikes.


RichRuh's picture
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I have the smaller Kindle2, and I love it.  Very easy to use, and easy to order books online- I don't think their selection of 300,000+ books can be matched elsewhere.  Fortune, the Economist, the WSJ (and other newspapers) are available on it as well.  It isn't advertised much, but you can buy single copies rather than a subscription if you only read these publications infrequently.

After reading it for hours straight, I have NONE of the usual eye strain you get from reading a computer or other electronic screen.

Do you have any specific questions?


fr_jim's picture

Thanks, Rich!  Glad to hear the Kindle2 is a positive for you.

Anything about it that annoys you?


jael's picture

I've had the Kindle 1 since late October, and I love it.  Mine is stuffed with mysteries, sci-ft, romance, tech manuals, white papers and even a cookbook - all of which fit neatly in my purse so that I always have something with me to read in those odd moments waiting on something or someone.

The only thing I regret about buying it is that I waited so long.  The Oprah discount is what pushed me over the edge.



RichRuh's picture
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The only thing that really annoys me is it's hard to figure out how much more reading I have to do before the end of a chapter.  (There's a little bar on the bottom that shows how far into the book you are.)  This isn't that big a deal, but when I want to make a decision on whether to go to sleep or finish the chapter that I'm on, I have to flip forward with the "Next Page" button. 

Navigating the cursor with the little joystick is too slow.  This isn't something that you normally do, unless you want to look up the definition of a word, or enter an annotation.

The other thing that annoys me is that I paid $360, and now they cost $300.  The rumor is that I'll get a refund, but I'm not sure about that.


moematr's picture


I also have a Kindle 2, and I also love it! I agree with all Rich's comments and positive points.

My negative points would be:

- it is not a native PDF reader, which mean you are not allowed to transfer your files to your Kindle without having them converted by Amazon. I have many work files that I would like to have on my Kindle, but the process is slow. The new Kindle 9" is a native PDF reader;

- the screen, although much better than a computer screen in relation to eye strain, is still not "paper like". The e-ink technology is nice, it is very comfortable, but I still think the Sony P505 is better in this aspect (although overall I still prefer the Kindle 2!).

- It is not fast as lightning, but for a normal reading experience, it is just perfect!

Let us know what was your decision!


fr_jim's picture

I looked at the difference between the new Kindle and the smaller screened Kindle 2.  It seems the Kindle 2's smaller screen would make reading difficult.

What do you think about the smaller size of Kindle 2?


jael's picture

<shrug>  It's the difference between reading a paperback book and a hardback book, so it's a non-issue for me.

terrih's picture

I put the Kindle app on my iTouch... works great! Of course, much smaller screen. I'm sure I would love the actual Kindle device, but it's a bit rich for my blood, for a single-function device.

dad2jnk's picture

Just got a Kindle 2 from my family for Christmas.  Very impressive. 

I have subscribed to WSJ and would like to know if HBR is available for the Kindle?  

Many thanks and Merry Christmas!

dad2jnk (Ken)

terrih's picture

Hubby is getting me a nook ereader for my birthday. :)

I'll report back... alas, it won't arrive til mid-February... closer to his birthday than mine!! I told him I was OK with that, though.

One thing I liked about it is you CAN load PDFs on it, and some other ebook formats. Plus, documents from Google Reader! I love old books.

Gareth's picture

 Does anyone miss having the hard copy?

dad2jnk's picture


As the one in our family who gets to haul all of the recycling to the street, I can honestly say, I don't miss paper one bit!!  I get the WSJ and have purchased some pretty weighty books and haven't missed hauling either around.

The Kindle's screen resolution is great.  I have less eye strain than small print on a newspaper.

dad2jnk (Ken)

DPWade's picture

I bought one for my wife for xmas, she loves it.  I would love one just for periodicals, journals and free ebooks like goggle reader library.   I use my public library lot and save so much on books that my cost ratio prohibits it for now.  The thing that got me to buy her one (after much research) was Amazon Ceo Jeff Bezos' interview on Charlie Rose back in 2007 when the original was launched.  He said something I cant seem to forget.

The R&D people spent 3 years studying making the kindle so easy ergonomically, so it can do the one thing books do, and that is while reading, that a book disappears. 

That device has potential to eliminate college textbook bookstores eventually.


morgan3's picture

Hello Fr. Jim,

I love my Kindle 2 for several specific reasons (in addition to some of the reasons mentioned above):
I travel a lot sometimes for weeks at a time and this is so much easier than carrying around a couple (or more) books.
When not reading books I am reading a lot of online articles. The problem is I don’t want to be reading them on my computer all the time at home because the family assumes that if I am on the computer I am working and that cuts into conversation time. If I am reading the paper, a book or the Kindle, no one assumes I am working. Also, it is nice not to be in front of the computer all the time.
What I do is take the online articles, print them to PDF as I find them and send them to Amazon for a free conversion into Kindle format once or twice a week. While the Kindle 2 does have a PDF reader (part of the latest upgraded Operating System) it is not great and I like reading in the Kindle format.
The other thing which is great about the Kindle is that you can highlight especially relevant text which ends up in a text file even after you delete the article. I often take and review this file just to be reminded of the most important thoughts. This works great. This means that when I finish reading them I just delete them. The originals remain in my Sent e-mail folder if I ever want them back.
Last item – when reading an article which mentions a book, with two clicks you can be on the Amazon bookstore, type in the books name, check out the user reviews, if it looks worthwhile, you add it to your Wish List. Two clicks later and you are back right where you left off in the article. Very cool.
Just like the iPod where a great part of the device is the connection to iTunes, a great feature of the Kindle is the intuitive wireless connection to the Amazon store.
And no – I don’t miss the hard copy at all!
Hope this helps.

bug_girl's picture

I have been dithering about a Kindle for a while--I am a voracious reader, and since we have a rural library, that means waiting months via interlibrary loan for anything.

This sort of news is disturbing:

(also....a really good lesson in how to alienate your customers! This is the second #AmazonFail in about a year.)

I have really been surprised the price of e-books has not come down more. Is it really cost effective to read books?  (I usually go through 3 a week. I know. I'm a freak.)

I want to keep the book industry viable...but I'm on a budget.

bug_girl's picture

Via ScienceBlogs, came across this:

Apparently ebooks are loss leaders??  Very interesting.

DPWade's picture

Bug_Girl - In my limited opinion, MacMillan is walking backwards in an economic parade thats got its own momentum now.  The time for this level of structuring was 2006, not after the train left NY and its in Chicago not looking back.  Also the whole DRM accusation was tackled way back on the 1G Ipod, now we have work arounds for that, in addition, Sony, Ipad and other e-read device competition will effect the DRM issues for the better as well.


jhbchina's picture

To BG and WP,

I quickly glanced the story about Amazon and MacMillian. The Amazon Kindle policy sounds the same to me as Apple iTunes.

You come to iTunes Store, download the music you want. You can listen to it on your computer or i-device, and NOWHERE else. You cannot share the file with a friend, or make copies PERIOD. That is why I don't have an ipod.

When I was a teenager,( and this will show my age) my friends and I would buy 4 or 5 albums and blank cassette tapes. We'd split the cost. Then we'd go home and make copies of the albums for our friends. This way we were able to get more music for the same cost.

Then we went to the shows, played the music at our parties, and more people listened to the artists music.

If you really want a book for free, Google the book name and add  " .pdf" to the extension. That's how the Chinese get books. Then they download the pdf and read it for free. In China the people say, "If the rule does not make sense, break the rule". And they do! This is what is happening in the digital world.

Does it make it right, that's a whole different story.

JHB  "00"

peterlevy's picture
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 JHB, the irony in the comparison to iTunes that you rightly made is that Amazon's music store was used as leverage by music industry when they forced Apple to back down from the 0.99¢ price for all songs to the variable pricing now in effect.

So the guys at Apple must be feeling more than a little amused right now, especially since this dispute comes hard on the heels of the iPad announcement.

bug_girl's picture

The thing I found most interesting in the story that broke down the costs of ebooks is that there really isn't as much of a savings as I expected.  In retrospect, this makes sense -- printing is just the very last step in a long process of reviewing, editing, and typesetting.  Alas, the folks that take the pricing hit are probably still the authors :(

I also thought it was interesting that Amazon was prepared to sell the kindle and e-books as a loss leader to firmly establish itself in the market. Which...pretty much worked!

The comparison with iTunes is very apt, since a lot of companies hung back over DRM concerns initially. As a customer, all I want is for it to be easy for me to listen and then purchase music.  Quite a few people have argued that more people have bought music legally since it was available digitally.

With wireless, the kindle lends itself to impulse purchases. Want the next in a series? Click!

And that is why I have not bought one :)


garyslinger's picture
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@JHB - China's disregard for copyright and international law is well known. I'm not sure I'd use them as an example for how things should be. DRM-less for your own use is one thing; open distribution without payment is another.

DPWade's picture

Bug_Girl - There are many kindle breakeven studies by people on the net, all of them custom to certain reading habits.  Here is one (click the "spreadsheet" link in 3rd paragraph ) that calcs savings on textbooks more than a year ago when Kindle was $360.00.   The real savings is in newspapers, magazines and periodicals.  The WSJ renewal in print in 2009 is $349, WSJ on Kindle is $179, which makes the breakeven about 14 months of only reading the WSJ, and you dont have to perform the Horstman de-boning process!  

The intangibles that can only be personally quantified is having multiple books and journals without lugging around paper during travel, the ability to email word and pdf documents to your Kindle, nearly instant wireless access to new books, etc.


bug_girl's picture

Neato!  Your Google-Fu is stronger than mine :)

jhbchina's picture

I do not suggest that the way things are being done in China in regards to this discussion are the way is should be done by others. Here at MT, we often hear M&M talk about facing reality. This is what is happening and it is real. What to do about it is another topic.

I still purchase books on line, and sometimes get snookered when I end up with fake copies. Now I am willing to pay more to get original copies. Even then it is hard to tell if the money gets to the authors. This is very common in China in many industries.

JHB  "00"

terrih's picture

My nook arrived early (unless their projected date was a Scotty... that's OK)

I'm having fun with it... Although I'm not reading too much on it yet. Ironically, right before it arrived, I got hooked by a print novel my husband had bought. :-D [in case anyone's interested--"The Last Centurion" by John Ringo. More of a guy's novel than I usually read, but I'm finding it super engaging.]

But I'm reading "The Checklist Manifesto" on my nook for my nonfiction reading. I like the experience so far. I need to remind myself that I can add notations to the file and try out that feature. [It's rare that I can force myself to write things in books--I have an unhealthy reverence for them. So I'm not in the habit.]

I'm glad I bought one of the wraparound covers for it... I've already slopped a beverage on it. I like the coated canvas. Feels almost like a real book in the hands.

bug_girl's picture

on how well the nook deals with different formats (pdf, ebook, etc.). 

That's one of the things that is keeping me from jumping into a purchase.  Glad you're enjoying it!

terrih's picture

Yikes! Can somebody delete my duplicate posts? I don't know how...

wendii's picture
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terrih's picture

I have tested a couple of the PDF manuals we build in my department on the nook... they work very well. I would need to do some things differently in the source document to make them ideal, but it's doable if we decide to. (We're toying with the possibility of putting manuals on an ereader for QA inspectors to carry around when they travel--it would really lighten their load)

If the text in the PDF was text in the source document, then it flows in the nook screen according to the font size you set. However, anything that was an image (including text if it was scanned but not OCR'd) will display at "fit width."

I've also tried Google Books, and Adobe Digital Editions, and they're handled just fine.

I'd be willing to try out another format for you if there's something specific you want to know about. :)

terrih's picture

Thanks Wendii. :)

MsManager's picture

I also have a nook, which I received as a slightly late Christmas present from my husband.  So far, I am loving it.  I have only tried B&N ebooks on it so far, but I chose it because it seemed to handle some of the issues with the Kindle (LendMe technology, native pdf reader, etc.).


terrih's picture

Just discovered this resource today...

bug_girl's picture

I confess, I took the plunge and got a nook, since I can download library books to it, and it seems to handle PDFs well.

Love. It.

I am very much a bookaholic, and I was surprised at how easily I adapted to this new form. Best of all, I can lay it flat and eat or cook and keep reading!

Warning: these devices are designed to promote impulse purchases. I read the first book in a series...and then got the next one...and the next was deceptively easy :p

bug_girl's picture

Just finished packing for a week of travel. I got done, and my suitcase still had lots of space....what had I forgotten?

Nothing--just no more Tons of books and papers, that's what!!


I'll be interested to see how TSA handles eReaders during security checks--do they make you remove them from bags like laptops?

mtietel's picture
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I've taken a Kindle on a couple of international trips recently.  TSA didn't have me remove it from my bag nor did they single it out after it went through the scanner.

terrih's picture

That's great about traveling with it! I'm bad about carrying a jillion books with me too. Can't wait for my first trip with nook. :-D I have yet to try putting library books on it, glad to know someone's managed it.

One thing about the impulse purchases... I usually handle that by downloading the Sample instead... then I can evaluate later in the cold light of day. :)

dad2jnk's picture

I have been traveling with my Kindle a lot lately and no issues with TSA.  They don't require it be removed or find it interesting during scanning.

Still loving the battery life and connectivity.  Really loving not hauling newpapers out to recycle.

dad2jnk (Ken)

StormRiider's picture

I've had a Sony PRS 505 for awhile.  It meets my basic needs as a reader of general non-fiction.  There are a couple of things I'm not particularly fond of:  One is that there is no search capability, and the other is PDFs are not rendered very well because of their usual wide margins. 

There is a piece of free software called Calibre. You can use it manage your eBook collection, search through the collection, get free content from newspaper and magazines free sites, and convert between eBook formats. It's free and works with Kindle & Nook as far as I know. It made my Sony 505 experience way better than what the Sony software could provide. 

Hope you find it useful as well.

bug_girl's picture

This is a really wonderful article on the difference between books as objects and as digital forms:

"Of the books we do print — the books we make — they need rigor. They need to be books where the object is embraced as a canvas by designer, publisher and writer. This is the only way these books as physical objects will carry any meaning moving forward."

lgh2's picture

 I love my Kindle DX, and yes....I would marry it.

dbobke's picture

So...I was a bit resistant to the idea of e-readers and e-books in general.  Being a book lover since childhood, I love holding books, hearing and feeling the crack of the spine when you open a new book for the first time, and annotating and writing ALL over them when I read them.  I tend to read 2-3 books at a time, so one of my long-time problems is carrying them around with me - specifically when traveling.  I also LOVE to lend a book to a friend if I think they will really enjoy it.

However, I live and work in the IT world and I do enjoy technology and gadgets, so I tried it out.  The crack of the spine is gone, but I have to say that I do really love the Kindle.  I can carry hundreds (maybe thousands) of books with me in a nice neat package.  Initially, I missed the annotating activity, but you can do that with the Kindle although it is a bit more cumbersome.  A very cool feature is the ability to see what other readers have highlighted in the book - a great little collaboration tool.  Other cool technical features:

- Text-to-speech (depending on author/publisher) - it will read the book to you.

- adjustable font size - very handy as my bifocals get stronger year over year

- multiple choices for reading - there is a Kindle app for just about every major platform (iOS, Android, Windows).  You can read your book just about anywhere you happen to be and your place in the book is synced across all apps/locations

- ease of purchase - you can get a book from Amazon in SECONDS sitting on the beach!

You CAN loan books to another Kindle owner - but it varies by author/publisher.  Amazon enabled that feature a little while back.  It allows you to loan the book for two weeks.  A little restrictive, but better than nothing.

The place it excels over most others is the screen.  Try reading an iPad in the sun - not gonna happen.  Their ad with the guy and girl at poolside comparing the Apple to the Kindle is spot on.

I HIGHLY recommend the device.  I still buy a hardcover book every once in a while - just for old time sake!

GlennR's picture

This web site will send you emails daily alerting you to free downloads. I recently was able to download Mickey Mantle's biography complete with extra video at no charge. I would say that I find about one book a month worth downloading.

On a related subject, I have both Time and Sports Illustrated's free Ipad apps. I much prefer reading on the iPad to using the actually hard copy mags. It's not just for the embedded video, it's also because the pictures seem to be more vivid.

stevenguy's picture

Great kindle but if your unshore of buying one get a gift card then you can get something other if you are dissapointed

tpedrick's picture

Just got the Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and I absolutely love it.  I have gone from using my iPad (Kindle app) to the Paperwhite and have increased my reading speed because of less eyestrain and lighter device.  I've always been a fan of the Kindle and the Paperwhite is phenomenal.  The fact that I can read in a dark room without distracting my wife or straining my eyes is a big bonus.  Still enjoy having a physical book but, to have that ability to carry a library in my back pocket is amazing.  Thomas Jefferson would have been giddy with joy to have had one.



stettlerm's picture

Hi all,

There are just to many versions of the Kindle ;-) Which one should I choose?

Does anyone own the "Kindle Fire HD"? Seems to be a "cheap" iPad? How good is reading on this device? And if I choose that one, I may as well buy the iPad and use the Kindle app?

I heard from many (and from Dave) that the Paperwhite is perfect. Sounds great, but if I want to get magazines like Fortune, HBR,... on it, would i be better to have a colour display...?

Hard to decide ;-)

Maybe someone can help me?

Thanks for all inputs


etapbeta's picture
Licensee Badge

Hi Marc,

In my experience the "normal" Kindle (not Fire)  is excellent for reading books and documents. I own one and use it a lot.

A feature I really like is that I can send pdf and word documents by e-mail to it. It is useful for reading reports that I often read once or twice, instead of printing them out.

I do not own a tablet (iPad or Kindle Fire), but I have used an iPad for some time. The iPad is good for internet contents, but not for reading.

The Kindle will not make your eyes tired. It cannot easily go on internet and it definitely cannot show colors, videos or complex web pages, which is good for reading: no distractions.

I hope it helps.