Reading on The Kindle

I’m a pretty recent Kindle user. I’ve bought one about a month ago and just recently started to read on it. It works like a real book for me : no eye strain, you can read at direct sunlight and, having also acquired the lighted leather cover, I’m able to read at dark environments where there’s no or little lighting.

Plus the convenience of having the huge Amazon huge catalog of you disposal, lower prices for the electronic version of books and the fact that you can thousands of books at your hands inside your Kindle, without the discomfort of having to carry huge piles of paper around.

It’s important to note that I bought the e-book reader only version, not the tablet member of the Kindle family. I gave it a lot of thought before setting on the e-reader only device. My goal was to acquire a reading device with exactly the good features I just cited above and not anything else.

A tablet and all the social features it would bring with it would distract any reader from the experience of a good reading session. And I can confirm that having opted for the e-book reader only device actually improved my concentration on the text being read instead of me being distracted by Facebook/Twitter/whatever social bling would be available to look up in a tablet device.

However, there’s one caveat : technical content. For pure non-technical content, Kindle, the e-book reader only device, is superb. It will let you focus on the book being read nicely and get your “job” done. But, alas, for reading technical content it’s not all that good as I initially thought.

The Kindle has an ecosystem of things which will make the life of its users easier. Chrome’s “Send To Kindle” extension is one of these little assistants which are really nice. It will take a webpage, convert and format it to Kindle’s format and deliver it wirelessly to your Kindle for your own reading pleasure.

For a tech guy like me, you can imagine it’s a huge win to be able to send blog posts, articles and feed content to The Kindle and read it anywhere, anytime. Yes, indeed it is. But technical content is full of references to other online resources in the form of hyperlinks.

Here’s where Kindle, the e-book reader only device, is not a good device : web browsing. Sure, there’s a rudimentary web browser available and you can use it to browse any website using Kindle’s WiFi connection. The problem is that the device just wasn’t designed for this purpose.

Page turns are ok for reading a book, but are irritating slow for web browsing. The browser is also designed so it would essentially let you to read Wikipedia and access Amazon’s WebStore and that’s it. Trying to access anything else is a pain as it doesn’t support most modern browser technologies and rendering is really slow.

So, for me, Kindle, the e-book reader device, is a nice gadget for non-technical material reading. For anyone who are into the IT industry and needs to regularly read technical blog posts, articles and jump from page to page following references, I would suggest to buy a tablet instead.

That’s what I’m planning on doing in a not so distant future. Maybe even the Kindle Paperwhite, if Amazon finally lands officially here at my country before I set my buying decision on another tablet option already available at my country.

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