Two new fiction works have made their way to my library. The March by E. L. Doctorow. This book was required reading for the Yale course by David W. Blight on the Civil War era which I mentioned here. I picked up a nice hardback used and am listening to it on my MP3 via download from the library.
I took the plunge and bought an Amazon Kindle 2. This was a tough decision because (here’s where my family roll their eyes) I’m a bit obsessive about my books. But there are times when I’d really like a book NOW. So I’m considering this an expensive experiment. Here are my impressions so far.
Packaging was very cool. Nicely done.
Instructions were very easy to follow. I was up and running in seconds.
The device came set up and registered so I didn’t have to register it. I could start browsing the Kindle store and downloading.
I bought the standard leather case (see below) and I’m glad I did. It lets me feel like I’m holding a real book which I like.
The Whispernet technology was amazing. Well done Sprint.
It came with The New Oxford American Dictionary loaded for free which is always handy.
I can preview books for free.
I’ve bought already The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, Richard Crawley ($0.99) which I ordered from the Kindle itself.
I then ordered – via my computer on Amazon’s site – David Liss’ book, The Whiskey Rebels: A Novel– and with one click, it was automatically sent to my Kindle 2. It was done in seconds. Sweet! And I paid $9.99.
I can also download and listen to audiobooks but these I must download to my Mac and then transfer to the Kindle. The unit has two speakers and a headset jack.
The Kindle comes with text-to-speech technology so i can have any text book read to me if I choose. The voice intonation is not at all bad. It’s not a performance but it’s quite functional.
I can archive content on Amazon’s site and reload anytime I want which is great. No need to hook up to the computer or store on an external harddrive.
I can bookmark, mark up, highlight, and add notes to what I’m reading.
I can store personal documents. I can send any document to my Kindle email and Amazon will convert it to pdf [CORRECTION – IT DOESN’T CONVERT TO PDF BUT A PROPRIETARY FORMAT but read the comments for more options] for free and ship it back to my computer. To send it to the Kindle, they will charge a small fee. This is one of their “experimental” features.
I can transfer MP3s to my Kindle to listen to music while I read. The transfer would be from my Mac.