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Share the kindle love?
February 24, 2010 8:36 AM   Subscribe

How do you like your kindle? Knowing what you know now, would you buy it again? How can I make a kindle/ebook experience better?

I'm a gadget geek, but I've been on the fence about the kindle (or any ebook reader). I love to read, and lately haven't done enough of it; I'm hoping that maybe if I actually bought a kindle (or other ebook reader) I'd get off my butt and use it instead of wasting away hours surfing the internet (mefi not included, obviously!).

So -- I have a couple questions. A lot of my reading will be done in the tub. Is this a bad idea? I've googled; there are waterproof cases, but most people say that a ziplock works just as well. Really?

How does the kindle work with non-amazon sources? Is the quality and experience just as good reading a .txt or PDF?

I'm in Canada, and have heard (a) that there isn't as much content available from Amazon internationally, and that (b) everything costs $2 more. Given the usual markup of books in Canada, I guess that's not completely out of the realm of reasonable, but still a bit of a piss off. Given those costs, can I really just download in 60seconds over 3G in Canada (Vancouver, specifically)? If I got an american credit card, would I be able to get american pricing?

Also, I seem to have the made the decision regarding the kindle (the smaller 6" one) vs another ebook reader, but if there's another (Sony?) that you love, I'd love to hear why. Or if you've tried others and have chosen the kindle -- why? Or even if the kindle's been the only ebook reader you've had, feedback is definitely appreciated! Thanks all!
posted by cgg to Technology (29 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've been on the fence on a Kindle as well for a while now. I've had the chance to use one a bit.
What I liked: Free wireless for downloading (Although this feature may be different for Canada), the ability to use said wireless for downloading stuff from Project Gutenberg

Disliked: Screen refresh rate when flipping pages.

Personally, I'm waiting to see how the iPad shakes out when it's released. Not because it's a considerable alternative (it's not for me at least- the electronic ink is part of the appeal of the Kindle), but it may either cause Amazon either bring the price of the Kindle down or get them to update it with new features. Additionally, there have been rumors of Amazon including a free Kindle with a Amazon Prime subscription. We likely won't see that until after the iPad is released and Apple is applying more pressure to try to sway people toward their product instead of the Kindle.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2010


i thought a long time about getting a kindle.

then i got an ipod touch.

i like that better because i make the text white with a black background and i can read in bed in the dark without needing a booklight. (there's all the usual options of text size and various fonts as well)

i really like that i can get free samples of books from Amazon.

it doesn't need to be connected to wifi to read the books, just to download them. and i haven't noticed it taking up any appreciable space. still plenty of room for games and music and other apps.

i read on it all the frickin' time. it doesn't hurt my eyes at all. in fact, i probably strain less because i'm not trying to read regular paper pages in poor light in my bedroom.
posted by sio42 at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a Sony PRS-505. I was thinking about getting a Kindle for the wireless but I want a bigger screen. The Skiff, Que, and other large e-readers are being touted as being shipped in the middle of this year. The bigger screens will move e-readers from being moderately useful but annoying to being killer tech objects. If e-reader designers would also allow readers to trade snappier response for diminished battery life I'd be very happy.
posted by rdr at 9:02 AM on February 24, 2010


gadget geek: do you have an iphone/touch? i suggest trying out kindle for iphone or stanza-- they're so nice, you might not want the kindle.

tub: sure, but double bag it.

international: yes, with an american card, you get american pricing and selection, but wireless purchases get a $2 surcharge (you'd be considered a traveling american). wirelessly, you'll still have the american selection. i BELIEVE the way to do this is buy a kindle on your canadian card, ship it to your canadian home, then buy a bunch of amazon gift cards, reset your location to the us (you'll need a mailing address, but i don't think they verify), and use the gift cards to buy books. 60 second download is true for me internationally.

customer service is sweet. my screen mysteriously went dark yesterday, and my replacement arrived today. check the warranty terms for canada.
posted by acidic at 9:18 AM on February 24, 2010


Bought a kindle. Used it for about 2 books worth, and then decided it wasn't worth it. Used it in the tub with a ziplock. It was nice. But the refresh rate was so so.The thing just didn't feel like a finished product. I felt like I was beta testing for amazon.
posted by lakerk at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2010


I like my Kindle and if it blew up today, I'd buy another one tomorrow.

I loan out Kindles at my library and the response has been pretty positive. A good number of borrowers went on to buy their own devices.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:30 AM on February 24, 2010


I won a Kindle in a raffle, and, so far, I am not loving it. The small screen, the lack of a place to easily hold the thing without pushing a button and the sort of clunky interface pretty much turn me off. The books I have seen so far also have terrible formatting, but I am debating buying a couple of higher-end things to see if that improves matters any. If I can find a good way to get my committee paperwork onto it, that may also change my mind.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:34 AM on February 24, 2010


I bought one for the reasons you listed; I love reading, didn't do it enough, and thought it would increase my likelihood of reading. It has accomplished those goals. I don't buy books, mine are all from free sources and I find they look pretty good. The one exception is converted pdfs where there are tons of foot notes, they just get mangled. I find it suites reading in short bursts much better than a book.

The refresh rate doesn't bother me, I've learned to time it so that I hit refresh, read the last few words, and then next page. I do think it's too expensive though. One last thing, since I'm reading all these "old" books, the built in dictionary function is really a highlight and I think it works well.
posted by syntheticfaith at 9:37 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like my Kindle (but I got it through work, so didn't have to shell out for it). I mainly use it for reading manuscripts and proposals for work, not for buying books. Not having to lug around many pounds worth of looseleaf paper is SO worth it (if I hadn't gotten one for free, I would have bought one anyway).

If you don't have a smartphone, having an internet connection on the Kindle is pretty fantastic. Now that I've got an android phone, though, I rarely use that feature.

If I were shopping for an ereader now, I'd look at the iPad first.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:38 AM on February 24, 2010


How does the kindle work with non-amazon sources? Is the quality and experience just as good reading a .txt or PDF?

Reading PDFs on the Kindle ranges from shitty to impossible. PDFs retain their page formatting, and the kindle then lets you page through them, but you can't change the font size or zoom (i'm not sure off the top of my head which it is, but no combination of settings lets you reflow PDF text to suit the Kindle screen), so some clean PDFs are barely readable, and just mildly annoying because they are broken up into weird pages and then the Kindle breaks up the pages again (the Kindle screen is not fast enough to scroll).

BAD PDFs, on the other hand, say...PDFs with ridiculous formatting, or "PDFs" that are really just scans of images wrapped up into a PDF, are generally not possible to read.

Text works fine.

Other non-amazon stuff varies. There's generally a way to make any eBook format work fine, (Kindle format is basically just a cleaned up mobiPocket format), but you may have to jump through a hoop or two.

I can't speak directly to your other specific questions, like the bathtub thing, but perhaps it will be useful for me to share my general impressions. One thing I don't like about the Kindle vs. say...a magazine or a book, is related to the bathtub issue you bring up. A lot of times, if you are say...taking the train to a party, or something like that, you might stick a paperback in your pocket, or a magazine. Worst case, you're out a few bucks. The Kindle is pricey enough to make this something I don't generally do. So like, I subscribed to the NYer on the Kindle. Its really cheap. And they seem to be adding back in at least some of the previously missing content (more about that in a second). I used to always stick the current NYer in my back pocket when I ran train errands, or went out, or really, anything. And then I'd just toss it after I got so bored that I caught myself reading the poetry and the dance listings and get something new. I never do this with the Kindle because I'm afraid of losing it or forgetting it somewhere.

The other thing that's a bit weird about the Kindle, especially with periodicals, is that the market is very much in "How the hell is this gonna work?" mode, kind of like the WWW in 1996. Remember there used to be search engines you had to pay for? So like, the Kindle edition of the Economist costs as much as the print subscription, which seems crazy to begin with, but it also includes *less content*, at least as of last time I checked. You don't get access to the web archives, IIRC, which you do get with the print subscription. Basically, the Economist's model is that Kindle is a premium convenience product over normal subscriptions. Other periodicals go with the "hey, its a discount digital subscription." Eg, the New Yorker. Its super cheap on Kindle, and it just shows up. It's great. Another periodical negative is that the NYT, for example, isn't the dream digital newspaper you were promised would contain your jetpack advertisements. The scannable newspaperiness isn't really there.

The last negative is that personally, I would say the large majority of books I want to buy are not available on the Kindle, especially anything that wasn't just published. So part of the reason I really was excited about the Kindle is that I always am carrying _so much paper_. The Kindle only slightly cuts down on it, because a lot of stuff you want, you still need to buy in print, so you still at any given time will have a stack of books, magazines, whatever by your bed, in your backpack. The shitty PDF support makes this even worse, because you'd think "well, at least I won't end up printing out PDFs anymore." But you will.

That said, there's a lot to like. I'm just figuring you know the good and want to know the bad. The device itself is very trim and reasonably well-designed (I'd change the button layout if I was designing it). It's extremely readable. The battery lasts forever. The Amazon software integration, etc. is ridiculous. Hell, you can use the shitty built-in browser for free in many countries. I was on a train in Switzerland yesterday, and didn't want to pay the insane AT&T data roaming rates, so I used my Kindle to check something and it worked fine (don't bank on this though, the browser is...kind of like a free Crackerjack prize.) If you put the font on minimum size, maximum words per line, its still totally readable and the page-turn issue becomes less significant because you don't do it as much. I like using it for technical books. I hate buying those, and I buy a ton, because they go out of date and you burn through them so quick. Pragprog and O'Reilly at least make most of their titles available in Kindle format, or some other format thats easy to get on there (I don't remember but I have several books from both on mine.) The use of Instapaper and other similar apps makes it pretty game changing for catching up on your long-format to_read bookmarks.

Oh. Here's one more thing I don't like but seems like someone could easily fix (if they were not as lazy as me): there's no good way to take a big-ass HTML document with many sub-pages and snarf it up into a nice Kindle book. Like, I'd like to be able to take some big ass Apple Developer Center HTML books and Kindle-ize them. This should be way easier than converting PDFs, because you have all the text and semantic structure, not just font outlines or whatever the hell is in a PDF.
posted by jeb at 9:38 AM on February 24, 2010


Also: if you commute by train or subway, e-readers are perfect, particularly because you never have to find your place, and if you finish reading something halfway through your ride, you can immediately go to the next thing.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:40 AM on February 24, 2010


I bought my wife a Kindle for reading during her light rail commute, and she loves it. I use the Kindle app for iPod Touch and I love it (though it eats battery like crazy). I still much prefer reading off paper, but being able to download complete books almost instantly, and relatively cheaply, is great and feeds my need for instant gratification. Free sample chapters are great, too, for getting a feel before you buy.

Before the Kindle app, I'd read maybe two books in six months, with the app I've read about eight books in the past few weeks. Even though it's not as pleasurable as reading off paper, the ease and speed in which I can download books means I'm reading much more, which is really the best thing about it.
posted by notmydesk at 9:41 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a Kindle 1 and now a Kindle DX. In general, I am very satisfied with the product, but fear that Amazon is looking more and more at a content provider model rather than being in the business of manufacturing the hardware. My Kindle 1 I bought to read fiction on, and for that purpose it was wonderful, though I tended to go through phases of reading books on it and "real" books. Still, I always went back to it and was amazed at the ease with which books could be obtained, literally as soon as they were thought of. I loved being able to read all the free ebooks out there on Project Gutenberg and the like and would often go months without buying anything from Amazon.
After I got my Kindle DX I switched to it for the most part, since I liked the screen better (brighter and bigger) and it just was a much more elegant product. I thought I would primarily used the DX for reading papers (I'm in grad school) and it works quite well for that purpose, though annotation on PDFs would be nice. Also, it beats me why Amazon is so slow about introducing some sort of folder system on the Kindle. Some way of organizing my stuff, especially when I have both work and personal stuff on there would be invaluable.
Anyway, since I found myself using my DX for both pleasure and work reading, I decided to send my Kindle to my grandmother in India who has extremely poor eyesight (cataracts) and loves reading. She'd been having a really hard time reading regular books and the selection of large print books seems poor, especially in India. So the Kindle has really been amazing for her; she seems sooooo much happier. I have not yet experimented with buying books on Amazon for her (the Kindle is still associated with my account) but I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out.
Right now my worry is not so much that the Amazon book format will become obsolete (since Amazon seems to be making a push to become the primary content provider for ebooks, what with the release of the Stanza app and Kindle apps for computers) but that the e-ink format will fall by the wayside. Time will tell of course, but I cannot explain how wonderful it is to read books on a Kindle and not have your eyes hurt. It really is like reading a book. Unfortunately this is something that's really hard to explain to people without them taking a Kindle or other eink reader home and trying it out for a few weeks. So I fear that the iPad or other non-eink based devices will become the standard for reading ebooks, which would be very sad, since that's the primary reason I like ebook readers over reading on a computer or my Droid, for example.
posted by peacheater at 9:41 AM on February 24, 2010


I received a Kindle as a New Year's gift. I love it.

Kindle owners can email other documents to themselves for free and read them on their Kindles. So far, I've had no problems with this feature. I can also read my email (free internet) if I'm without my computer or wi-fi, so that's also a plus.

Since my storage space is limited, having an ereader was a must. I'm glad I received a Kindle, I like the electronic ink of the kindle - that and it saved me a boatload on my textbooks.

That said, I also downloaded other ereaders onto my laptop and use those for books that aren't available on Kindle. I also have Kindle reader on my computer and a borrowed ipod touch, so I can read my Kindle books wherever I am and on whatever device I happen to have with me. But I can't make notations or highlight when using the touch or computer, so I like using the Kindle more.

I love my Kindle so far and I'm thrilled my friend bought it for me. They're becoming popular here at my college - the *only* difficulty I have it citing anything I use from the Kindle (or any other ereader) in my papers... no page numbers.
posted by patheral at 9:43 AM on February 24, 2010


I love, in concept, e-books, but I would not buy my Kindle again. At least not in its present state of development. I find its controls clunky and unintuitive, the re-fresh slow, the photo [illustrations, etc.] quality very poor, and reading any kind of non-linear reference book (where you'd want to return or skip around to various sections) on a Kindle is, for me, more frustration than it's worth.

If you have an iPhone you can use Amazon's Kindle application whether or not you have a Kindle. Had I known this, I would definitely not have this Kindle.

Recently.
posted by applemeat at 9:44 AM on February 24, 2010


Reading PDFs on the Kindle ranges from shitty to impossible. PDFs retain their page formatting, and the kindle then lets you page through them, but you can't change the font size or zoom (i'm not sure off the top of my head which it is, but no combination of settings lets you reflow PDF text to suit the Kindle screen), so some clean PDFs are barely readable, and just mildly annoying because they are broken up into weird pages and then the Kindle breaks up the pages again (the Kindle screen is not fast enough to scroll).
I'm not sure if this is your experience with the Kindle DX or Kindle 1 or 2, but I don't find reading PDFs on the DX that bad. A few PDFs do get broken up weirdly but for the most part, PDFs display as a whole page when you hold the Kindle in the portrait position and as two pages in landscape (this effectively functions as a zoom). It is not possible to zoom any further than this though.
posted by peacheater at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2010


The last negative is that personally, I would say the large majority of books I want to buy are not available on the Kindle

Big problem for me as well. If your reading tastes rarely stray from big best sellers, you're golden. Otherwise, not so much.
posted by applemeat at 9:50 AM on February 24, 2010


I love, love, love my Kindle. Unlike others, I find the controls perfectly situated for my hands (I do have tiny hands, maybe that helps?)- this has changed my gym reading habits immensely for the better. I can't read a book on the elliptical machine, but I can hold the Kindle in one hand with my thumb ready to click the next page button, and have the other hand free for when I lose my balance and need to make a mad grab for a handle to avoid tumbling off the machine. The refresh rate doesn't bother me at all, it takes a fraction of a second longer than turning an actual page, but my eyes don't have to readjust to the top of a page like they do in a book. I have the text size set just right to be able to take in a good amount of words at once, and hence I think I'm reading a bit faster on the Kindle than in books. And for commuting, so much easier to pack the Kindle in my bag and not have to pack a couple of books (to either combat boredom with one book or be at that weird almost-done-will-need-another-before-train-ride-ends stage).

The one downside for me was that I tore through so many Kindle books so fast I found myself plunking down way more money than I normally would on books. I'm trying to balance my Kindle reading with library books just to reign in my spending a bit.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 10:01 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm on my third kindle (a DX). My first two, 1st gen and 2nd gen, are now with my folks, because I loved the experience so much I wanted to share it with them.

I don't read in the tub, so can't help on that front.

99% of my reading is non-amazon content. The fact that you can't annotate or re-size pdf's is annoying enough that I never read pdf's natively on the kindle, instead converting them to txt or rtf first. Thanks to calibre, converting between ebook formats is insanely easy, and relatively pain free. One of the biggest surprises I've had in the last year was discovering that there are other ebook retailers out there, with a selection that covered things amazon didn't have, like Fictionwise who has a kindle-compatible-non-encrypted format for much of their stuff.

Dunno how the wireless will work in canada, but downloading a book in the US is very quick.

I prefer the size of the larger DX, but I can never get enough text on a screen, regardless of device. I am hoping the iPad lives up to my expectations, so I can read color comics, etc.

I spent a very expensive week going thru my physical book collection, finding those books that could be purchased via the kindle, and selling off anything I could e-replace. In theory, the $75/month I won't be spending on a storage locker full of books should cover that up front cost sooner than later. I don't care if I ever 'break even', I love having all my books available to me, rather than a half-hour drive, 2 hours of finding the right box, hoping nothing got wet and mildewy, then another half-hour drive back.

I do sometimes hate having people assume I will interrupt my reading to evangelize the kindle for them, just because I'm reading it in public.
posted by nomisxid at 10:45 AM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mrs MM is so-so on the one I gave her for Xmas.

Likes: convenience, gadgetophilia

Dislikes: Cost of books, lack of browsing fun, range of books, battery life

On balance - not a book killer, but not awful, either.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:54 AM on February 24, 2010


What I've discovered (have had a kindle 2 since last summer) is that it's much worse for school-related reading than I had expected, simply because the Kindle doesn't report page numbers. The annotation system is clunky, too, though I've learned how to work around it — one thing that's handy is that it stores selections that you've highlighted as plain text which you can copy straight over to your computer. If it weren't for the stupid page numbers thing, this would be ideal when writing papers.

The other thing I've discovered, though, is that it's much, much better for casual reading than I expected. I've bought and read a lot of books that I wouldn't have just due to the cost and physical size of the book in question (really, there's no way I'd dream of taking the non-kindle version of Nixonland on the subway), I've found and read a lot of sci-fi that's been released under creative commons licensing (most notably, everything by Peter Watts), and I've, uhm, liberated a lot of old noir stuff. If you're planning on mainly using it for casual reading, I'd give it a strong recommendation.

That said, one thing I've said to friends who've played with my Kindle and expressed desire to get their own is that the next iteration is probably going to be head and shoulders above the current one. Most notably, the addition of a touchscreen would make the navigation system about a thousand times better, and a short while ago Amazon bought a touchscreen design company.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:58 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks all! I did it -- I hit 'Place Order' on the Amazon page, and my kindle will be here early next week. I debated waiting for the latest and greatest, but there's always something new around the corner to make what you have obsolete. I'm excited -- there's so much good (as well as crappy mindless fun) reading to be done, and hopefully now I'll actually do it! Guess I'm also purchasing some ziplocks :)
posted by cgg at 11:17 AM on February 24, 2010


I love my Kindle so much. It's the first present I can ever remember that I have used every single day since receiving it, for a year and some change now. Love, love, love, will weep if it dies and then order a new one within five minutes. I do remember not liking the v1 Kindle of my mom's as much when I played with it - I think the controls improved with the second version.

Hope you love yours, too. The one thing I would add that has not been said here, if you're thinking about using the Kindle iPod/iPhone or Blackberry apps, is that they work for books but *not* for magazines or newspapers. I do love the Kindle app and would consider mostly ditching the actual Kindle for my iPod, except that I love reading the New York Times on my commute every morning and can't get it on the iPod app.

Report back about the ziplocs, please, I have not been brave enough to try that yet even though I love reading in the tub.
posted by Stacey at 2:45 PM on February 24, 2010


I adore my Kindle 2, which I bought last August. I lusted it all summer and used my paltry internship wages to buy one.

I don't read in the tub -- I keep a couple of paper books around for that purpose -- but as folks have said, ziplocks work fine.

Other points:
1) Reading has always been one of my passions, and I do find that I read more with the Kindle -- it's a convenience factor of having such a range of books at arm's reach, at all times. It's always in my bag.
2) Only a small selection of the books I have are from Amazon. Try searching through Inkmesh, which is a great source for price comparison. For sources, FeedBooks has the best formatted files and Project Gutenberg tends to be solid. I've had nothing but tears and shitty formatting with Internet Archive files.
3) Calibre is a must-download piece of software -- makes it easy to reformat txt, rtf, and pdf. I do a lot of academic PDF reading on my Kindle, but sometimes the PDFs are photocopies of two-page spreads, and that's a no-go as far as conversion is concerned.
4) Bear in mind that light has a huge bearing on readability. I know this is an obvious statement, but seriously. Get a decent booklight or a reading lamp because it makes it MUCH easier to read. The e-ink is absolutely gorgeous in sunlight!
5) Not that MeFi isn't all that and a sack of potatoes, but the MobileRead and KindleBoards forums are both great for trouble-shooting or asking for advice. The Amazon-hosted Community Boards are pretty horrible/pointless.
6) Check out Instapaper, a magical web-clipping service. Getting the issues sent to your Kindle is like subscribing to a magazine where you want to read all the articles.

Enjoy your new Kindle!
posted by fantine at 4:44 PM on February 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


*lusted AFTER it
posted by fantine at 5:18 PM on February 24, 2010


A kindle is a kindle. Buy a book (miracle of technology), read a book. It is perfect indoors and outdoors, in bed, in the tub, in queues and waiting rooms. The one thumb page turn (4 lines ahead of the last line) is sci-fi lusty.
It is what it is--a portal for books of the supermarket/backlist/whim purchase/hey! that looks great from Entertainment Weekly review type of books. If you like the thrillers, discovered a new author (who has been actually publishing books for 20 years or more) Kindle is your best friend who drops that book off in your hands the SECOND you crave it. Stumbled across Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and HAD TO READ MORE from the author? Kindle is your friend.
Kindle is for quick reads, impulsive purchases, serial author obsessions, and secret literary vices. (Victorian erotica).
It isn't a PDA anyway, anyhow. Think of it as the ultimate, most wonderful supermarket shelf of your imagination. Sue Grafton--- all her earlier books stacked behind the latest one. But.....discounted!
posted by Pennyblack at 9:28 PM on February 24, 2010


Holy Crap. It's here. Less than 24 hours after placing the order, my door bell just rang. Unfortunately, my apartment door bell is linked to my cell phone, and I'm at work... but UPS has it, and tried to deliver it. Wow. I'll hang around and wait for it to show up again tomorrow :)
posted by cgg at 10:08 AM on February 25, 2010


I've had a Kindle for a few days now. The contrast is a bit disappointing, and for comparison, it's closer to reading a newspaper than a book. It's still not bad but it's a pretty subjective thing. Having as much light as possible is definitely a good thing.

You may want to look around for the font hack which is pretty easy to install (I prefer Helvetica), and the screen saver hack that lets you add your own images.

As someone who doesn't plan on jumping on the iPhone/smart phone bandwagon, I like the Kindle browser, as slow and limited as it is. Reading Metafilter can be a bit of a hassle... You need to switch to the Kindle's advanced mode just to save threads to your favorites, and for some reason this also results in text being more gray than black.

And it'd be nice if you could sort your web bookmarks, but that's a minor gripe. Another thing is that if I walk around town with my Kindle in its spiffy blue case, I feel like I'm holding a purse. I've seen very few people with eBooks in general, but maybe that'll change when the iPad comes out. But all in all, this is gonna make me wish my daily bus rides were longer.

Also, mags and newspapers have gotten a lot of bad reviews, but it seems USA Today at least has improved its formatting, because it's about as perfect as it could be, and it even includes images. I'm on a free trial, but I'm not sure if the convenience over using the free web version would be worth the $12/month.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 5:14 PM on February 25, 2010


I'm also in Canada, and have had a Kindle for a few weeks now.

100% of my reading is non-Amazong content.

Surprisingly, I find myself spending most of the time reading things I queue through Instapaper. If you are not familiar with it, it's a bookmarklet you click when you stumble upon a long article that you'd like to read later. It strips out all the HTML/menus etc.

My queue consists of my own things, plus suggestions from givemesomethingtoread.com, which is an incredible source of really interesting long-form articles on a wide range of subjects.

I've used the Kindle in the tub, without ziplock or anything, and it's just fine. It's easy enough for me to be careful about it.

The biggest drawback is really the lack of backlight. There is a long thread here with tests of many "clip-on" lights, but it's pretty much a problem because of glare.

What has been a bit frustrating is that if there is a specific book you want to read, there is a high probability that it won't be available on the kindle store. That has been my case. Drop me a line if you have any questions, would be happy to help.
posted by plombir at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


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