From Eugene Eric Kim

My parents gave me a Kindle 3 WiFi for Christmas in 2010. I was reluctant to go the e-book route for a very long time. I'm a late adopter in general, and books and reading in particular play a very important role in my life.

I decided the Kindle route was acceptable for a few reasons. First, approximately 60-70% of the new books that interested me are available for the Kindle. Second, I thought the convenience of carrying a single, light device would have many useful ramifications. Third, the Kindle is now in its third generation, and it looks like many of the kinks have been worked out.

Having used it for a few days, here are some observations:

  • The screen is gorgeous
  • So is the device overall. Light and delightful. In many ways, it's easier to read than paper books, especially larger ones
  • Usability for anything beyond reading is still clunky. Specifically:
    • Navigating around a book is clunky. Found myself accidentally forwarding to new chapters and not being able to get to where I was (turns out the Back key works here)
    • Starting an annotation with a capital letter is a three step process -- hit a lower-case key, delete it, use the upper-case key. In general, wish the Kindle did automatic capitalization the way Android does
  • PDF support is better than expected
  • Collaborative highlighting is cool. Social reading!

I'm finding that the Kindle is encouraging me to read more, which is wonderful. First, it's a delight to read on. Second, it doesn't have the distractions of, say, my laptop. Third, because it's a single device, I can take many books with me at once. I also find myself inclined to purchase more books when I would borrow them from the library in the past (so as not to add to my clutter). In particular, I can include large PDFs or Project Gutenberg books that would normally just lay to waste on my laptop because I don't like reading there.

Isaac told me that he reads a lot more since purchasing his Nook, and he was already a voracious reader. He also had an interesting observation about privacy. The device itself offers local privacy -- people can't see what you're reading by the cover -- while you may end up sacrificing global privacy (in the form of behavioral data captured by the device manufacturer).

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