One of the hottest gifts this holiday season has been the Amazon Kindle. For those of us who like to travel, e-readers like the Kindle are a revolution. Now we can carry an entire library’s worth of books in one easily portable package. No more cramming books into every corner of the RV! Quite simply, e-readers deliver an enjoyable reading experience combined with a compact, lightweight package.
My wife has a Barnes & Noble Nook (also a fine e-reader), but I have a Kindle. Amazon makes Kindles in many different varieties that serve different needs and different budgets. Kindles have fixed storage capacities, but even the cheapest current model offers 2GB (enough to store about 1500 books!).
My own Kindle is the Mac Daddy DX version. It features a large 9.7-inch black & white (e-ink) screen that is not backlit. The “e-ink” screen makes it easy on the eyes in all sorts of lighting environments, even bright sunlight.
Overall I love my Kindle DX and its large display. But if there’s a drawback to my model, it’s that the DX is a bit bulky and heavy compared to the standard Kindles. It’s heavier in the hand. It’s also more expensive (thankfully, mine was a generous gift). I don’t think the DX sold particularly well, because Amazon isn’t really promoting it these days. The standard-sized Kindles are where the action is. Once you try one, it’s easy to see why.
My mother has two Kindles. One is the 6-inch size and the other (the new Fire model) is 7-inches – about the size of a traditional book. (For you ladies out there, Mom likes these sizes because they easily slip into her purse.) The standard e-ink Kindles are light as a feather and a joy to read. “Sometimes I forget I’m reading my Kindle,” Mom told me, “and I try to physically turn the book page!”
If you want larger text on a standard Kindle, it’s easy to adjust the font size to suit your eyesight. The entry level Kindle lacks a touchscreen, but it costs a mere $79. It weighs less than six ounces; if it was any lighter, it might blow away like paper! So it’s no wonder these amazing devices are selling like hotcakes.
In addition to the 6-inch e-ink Kindle (a black & white unit that’s just like mine but more portable), Mom also has the new Kindle Fire. The Fire is a more robust tablet that’s comparable in performance to an iPad or Nook Tablet. Its backlit full-color touchscreen isn’t quite as eye-friendly for readers as e-ink, but it does a great job with Facebook, email, web surfing, playing videos, apps, and games like Angry Birds. There’s no camera or GPS, but if you want a reasonably priced tablet, the $199 Fire is the bargain of the year.
What about e-books? It’s my belief that e-readers should lead to a lower cost for books. We all should benefit by the permanent retirement of the “dead tree” delivery method. The end of paper-and-ink printing and distribution should mean better prices for everyone.
Along these lines, we’ve priced my e-book on RV camping (Long Long Honeymoon – Living Large in a Small Tin Can) cheaper than a cup of fancy coffee. For only $2.99, you get a whopping 80,000 word book on RV camping. Not a bad way to start the new year.
So that’s a quick look at the Amazon Kindle. We’ll talk more about e-readers in 2012.
Happy New Year to all!
“The author’s book about RV camping Long Long Honeymoon – Living Large in a Small Tin Can is now available on the AMAZON KINDLE platform for the rock bottom price of $2.99!”