For Mother's Day I got...
...a Kindle e-reader!
Like so many people, I've questioned whether I'd want to read on an electronic device. But I'd heard such good reviews of the Kindle, that I decided I'd probably enjoy it.
A few days after I received it, I'd made a case for it.
And with a fun way to carry it, I was ready to really get readin'!
The first full-length book I read on my Kindle was The Hunger Games. I started it in the tent at Relay For Life. (I loved being able to have multiple books with me without carrying much extra weight.)
My sister offered to loan me the other two books in the Hunger Games trilogy from her, and I really loved this lending feature. She went to her Amazon account, and from there sent me emails with links to the books. I just had to click on the links, activate them in my Amazon account, and they showed up on my Kindle (downloaded through a wi-fi connection.) Each book loan is two weeks only, but these books were hard to put down, so the time limit wasn't a problem! (However, not all books are eligible for Kindle loans, and the time limit might be annoying for extra-long books.)
I got the Kindle With Special Offers. It's a wi-fi Kindle that costs $25 less than the normal wi-fi version ($114 instead of $139.) In exchange, I look at full-screen ads when the screensaver is on, and small banner ads when I'm in the Kindle menu. However, there are no ads when I'm actually reading a book.
Some of the ads are for products (cars, skincare, etc.), but others are Special Offers from Amazon, and I absolutely love this feature. I claimed a code for a 99 cent mp3 album. Later, I received an offer letting me know I'd get an $10 credit from Amazon if I bought one book from a supplied list. I bought The Hunger Games for $5. Once the credit comes in, that means Amazon will have paid me $5 to "buy" the book!
I tried to claim an amazing deal from Audible.com...$6 for 6 audiobooks...but wasn't eligible since I'm already an Audible member. I'm contemplating an offer for a $100 Amazon credit if I get their credit card (which I'd probably just use occasionally when they give me a good incentive to use it!) The Special Offers are a huge plus for me--I'd want them even if we hadn't gotten a discounted price. I'm thinking eventually the Special Offers may pay for the Kindle!
As for the reading experience, it's overall quite good. Kindle screens aren't backlit, which means they are generally really easy on the eyes, can be read even in bright sunlight, and have amazing battery life. My biggest complaint is that I wish there was more contrast between the light gray screen and the black letters. Yes, it looks like a real printed page...but a page printed on light gray paper. At night, my living room is not that brightly-lit, and my eyes strain just a bit to read. (I need to get a good light to use for both reading and crocheting at night.)
I also just got an Android phone, and the Kindle app I downloaded on it is fantastic. When I open it, it syncs with my Kindle (and vice-versa), so whichever device I'm reading on, the software takes me to just the right page of the book. I've been using the phone if I'm reading in the bed while The Engineer sleeps, since its screen is backlit.
Overall, I'm really happy to have a Kindle. I hope in the future they can improve the contrast of the screen. I also think a touchscreen would be convenient, though I wouldn't be willing to pay a whole lot for it. Even with those complaints, I adore my Kindle and think it's a great way to read, especially while on the go.
Disclosure: I wasn't compensated in any way for this post.