So, my leaving present from St Mark’s was a Kindle 3G (which I chose myself). I’ve wanted an e-reader for some time and the Kindle had the best reviews for legibility and price so I’ve held out until it was available in the UK.
I love books. I love owning books. I love the feel of books. I love the smell of books. So why on earth did I get a Kindle? Because I hate the weight of books, whether in bed at night or lugging them around in luggage. I know that my Kindle will never replace books in my life but it is handy for those occasions when a pile of books would just be a nuisance.
So, how am I liking my Kindle? Just fine, thanks for asking. Of course, I haven’t read all the instructions yet so it probably does much more than I have instinctively picked up so far. Yes, it is incredibly easy to use. YOu find a book on Amazon that has a Kindle version, click on the Purchase button and within seconds it is there on your Kindle. How clever is that? Almost spooky. Quite a lot of the Classics are available free to download: things like Barchester Towers; Pride and Prejudice; Winnie the Pooh (with original illustrations); Kim; etc. Other new titles are cheaper than paperback. But not all titles are available for the Kindle yet, although you can suggest to the Editor that they do that soon by clicking a button on Amazon. For example, I haven’t found a decent version of the bible yet for the Kindle which was a big surprise – and disappointment. But I’m sure it will come.
Turning the pages is quick and if you shut it down, it takes you back to the same page when you open it again. There is a bookmark facility too. You can also underline particular passages and make notes – and I think the underlined passages show up for all readers of that book to see, if they wish. You can switch it off if you don’t want it although I haven’t found it intrusive. You can change the size of text but I’ve found the set size just fine with my reading glasses. (I have the 6″ version but there is a larger one.) The clarity is great in sunlight and when it is dim. My sister says she can read it in the dark, but I bought the cover with a built-in light which operates from the Kindle’s battery. And you can read for about a month before you have to recharge it.
I got the 3G version which is about £50 more than the normal one, but it means I can shop for books when away from home. (Amazon pays the cost of the 3G.) I haven’t tried that out and about yet so can’t comment on that aspect. Nor have I tried downloading documents or newspapers yet, but I know you can do that as well as getting magazine subscriptions.
So, there you have it. Perfect for travelling, waiting rooms, on holiday and the rest. I love it. I can see that in the future we could use it for our liturgy at the altar. How cool would that be?
Just a pity it doesn’t come in purple…