Friday, April 9, 2010

My new Kindle

I just bought a Kindle and I've been so excited I'm showing everyone I know. I bought the 6" one because I didn't want anything larger than an A5 size book to carry around and it's the perfect size. I've spent the last two days doing very little other than playing with my new toy. So far, for the most part, it does exactly what I expected it to do. I can see me carrying it everywhere and using it all the time. I love the screen. It's small but I can change the size of the text and it's much easier to stay focused on than a computer screen.

It's been an interesting experience so far. Of course, only having it for a couple of days, some of the problems I've had could just be me not knowing how to use it properly yet.
  1. My first attempt to buy the Kindle met with a message saying Amazon didn't ship to Australia. I found that odd because I'd done the research and Australia was definitely on the Kindle shipping list. It turned out I had to go into a specific International section to buy it (you can probably tell I rarely buy things like this). Once I got that, it was super-easy. The eight day shipping time turned out to be three days so it all came as a pleasant surprise.
  2. I'd like to be able to choose which songs I want to play as I read. As far as I can find out so far from the user guide, the Kindle simply plays the songs from the first one downloaded to the last, picking up where it left off at last use. That's fine most of the time but I play music to suit my mood and I can't do that with the Kindle. I guess I'll still have to carry my iPod with me.
  3. I'd like to be able to see the comments I add to the books I'm reading when I'm actually in the book. I can see where there is a comment but I haven't worked out how to see the comment at the same time the page is opened, like a footnote or something. It seems to just open a new screen to show the comment then flips back to the page. I'll play with that feature some more.
  4. The text to speech function malfunctioned tonight. For about an hour it wouldn't play at all, just gave me (eventually) an error message then suddenly it decided to work and played from the first page I tried to play at the beginning of the evening, even though I was by then in a completely different book. I had to just let it play through until it caught up with where I was. Hopefully that won't happen again.
  5. The battery doesn't last as long as all the advertising material said it would. I've had it three days and have already had to recharge it and the battery is back to half-charged now. I'll have to recharge again tomorrow. Perhaps I'm just doing a lot more reading than expected. I'm on holidays so I'm spending around eight hours a day reading.
  6. When I first researched the Kindle I decided I probably wouldn't be downloading books directly to it but by the time I actually bought it I'd forgotten why. I worked it out yesterday when I was out and decided to try the direct access to the Kindle store. It was really easy to operate and shopping in the store was very convenient. I bought two books then, when I got home, checked my bank account. With the download charges, those two books ended up more expensive than buying two paper books. In the future I'll stick to my other methods of buying books and download them to the Kindle from my computer. It's good to know I have the connectivity if I need it but I'll certainly try not to need it often.
Overall, I'm really happy with it. I've been wanting one for absolutely ages. I had wanted to buy an e-reader in Australia because I like to try before I buy and I like to know I have access to people in case of a warranty claim. Unfortunately the only one I could find didn't have half the features the Kindle offers. I just hope nothing goes wrong with it because getting it fixed is going to be problematic.