Why I bought a Kindle instead of …


I admit it … I bought the Kindle on an impulse. Now that I have bought it and have been using it (I may be rationalization but) I do like my Kindle and there are several reasons for liking it.

You must be thinking why Kindle, why not iPad or Galaxy? After all, with these devices you get color, touch, browsing and many other things.

Kindle is monochrome and without touch screen. You also need a Wi-Fi connection to browse.

Then why did I buy the Kindle?

It all started when Mahadevan announced that he is going to buy a Kindle. He has checked one of his friends who is an avid book reader and has got a strong recommendation for Kindle.

I was under the impression that Kindle will not work properly in India. However, I was wrong. The 3G version of Kindle comes with a built in 3G connection which will work anywhere in the world and there are no extra charges for it.

That did it – I told Mahadevan to order one for me also. If it did not work out well we would have company in our misery.

Kindle arrived in 2 days

It came from UK – reached our office address in two days. No hassles.

I opened the packed and thought that there was a sticker with instruction stuck over the display. I was trying to figure out how to remove the sticker.

It took me about a minute to realize that what looked like paper was the kindle display! It was brilliant. It was just like printed paper.

Will the 3G work?

My first worry was will the 3G work properly? Or would it entail going through some elaborate and time consuming process to enable it? At the back of my mind there was a worry that it will not work at all.

To my relief, when I switched it on, the 3G connection was active!

Transferring the ownership

However, it greeted me as Mahadevan.

Since Mahadevan had purchased using his account the ownership had to be transfer. The process was simple and smooth. Mahadevan just released the device from his account and I included it in my account.

The transfer happened immediately and the Kindle greeted me as Udayan.

Initial Reading experience

The Kindle was of the size of a typical paperback book – much thinner and a little heavier. The display area was slightly smaller than the paperback – and easy to read.

My only initial crib was that the previous and the next page button on the left side should have been reversed. Several times I pressed the next button on the left side while trying to go back. However, I have got used to it now.

I connected it to my laptop and started charging it. Not sure how long it took to charge completely (may be around 2 hours).

I could transfer a PDF file but the text is not free flowing. That means either the whole page will display but the font will be too small or you have to use the scroll button to read. Either way it is very inconvenient.

Amazon provides a free service which you can use to convert a PDF file to Kindle format – I have not yet tried it.

Purchasing the first book

The Kindle was preloaded with the instruction manual and a dictionary. So, the next step was to purchase the first book.

I had borrowed a book called “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time” from Just Books lending library. The first book in the list was “Flow” – I had heard about it earlier but never got to read it. So, I decided to explore.

Using the Kindle, I could easily locate the book on the Amazon store and download the first chapter free to get a flavor of the book. No problem.

After glancing through the first chapter, I decided to buy it. 1-click order worked smoothly and before I realized the book was downloaded on the Kindle.

Reading Experience

On the whole I think it is more convenient to read on a Kindle than a physical book, especially if you read lying down. You don’t have to struggle to keep it open. It is definitely lighter than any hard cover book. Only problem is you cannot throw around like a book.

Off course you can search the content. It is very easy to mark a portion and take your own note. Interestingly, you can also see what others have also marked. You can also directly post your marked portion to Facebook or Twitter – I have not tried it yet. What I miss is the ability to flip through the book.

After the first charge, in one week, only about 20% to 30% is consumed. So, one month from charge to charge can be expected.

Lack of color was hardly an issue – after how many books do you read in color?

You may miss the touch but I don’t think it is a very serious loss.

Overall verdict

If you are a regular book reader and have a habit of purchasing books – just go for a Kindle.
Why?

  1. Reading experience is good – much lighter than iPad or Galaxy – easier on the eye
  2. Long battery life – no worry about running out of charge when I am going to US
  3. Free 3G connection buying books from anywhere in the world – I can buy a book when I am in a hotel at some part of the world and desperately need a book

I just wish that I had a magic wand which I could use to transfer all my physical books into the Kindle.

Comments
17 Responses to “Why I bought a Kindle instead of …”
  1. Sanjaya says:

    Hello Udayan

    I am planning to get a kindle brought from the US through a friend of mine. I would like to know if I can access sites other than the kindle book store and Wikipedia via its free 3g facility. I understand that sites that contain loads of graphic can not be browsed through it. But I came across somewhere that you can browse sties like facebook, google and blogs.

    Please clarify the above points from your experience. If the 3g doesn’t work in India to use the internet, then I would rather settle for the wi-fi only version.

    Thanks,
    Sanjaya

    • Udayan Banerjee says:

      The 3G works anywhere in the world but it is primarily used for buying and downloading books. You cannot use it for web browsing.

  2. rahul says:

    Udayan

    I bought my Kindle recently in the UK where it worked just perfectly, automatically connecting me to the Kindle Store via 3G.

    However, back in India (Pune), although the 3G symbol with solid black connectivity bars is showing in the top-right corner, I can’t seem to access the KIndle Store or carry out searches on Wiki/Google etc.

    As 3G connectivity was not automatic back in India, I selected Tata Ind (3G) on the Kindle to obtain the 3G symbol with solid connectivity bars.

    Is the above problem due to my selection, i.e. Tata Ind? Who does Amazon use for free 3G in India? I hear they use Vodafone in the UK and AT & T in the U.S.

    Can you please help?

  3. Corneliu says:

    “I opened the packed and thought that there was a sticker with instruction stuck over the display. I was trying to figure out how to remove the sticker.”

    Haha! When I’ve opened mine, I thought the exact same thing!

  4. Akshay says:

    How much did you pay for the kindle including tax duty etc.?

    • Udayan Banerjee says:

      I paid Rs 11.5 K for the ad-free (3G+Wi-Fi) version. However, you may be able to get a better price now.

  5. I saw a Kindle when i was in London and wondered why one would buy it instead of iPad. I understand it’s less complicated but do you all these features wouldnt also be available in iPad?

    Your suggestion will be very useful since I am thinking of getting an iPad.

  6. Lata says:

    I think the free 3G is the best part of kindle. Is it lifetime?

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