Ebook Reader Amazon Kindle – Is it worth the cost?
A bookophile speaks out…

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Amazon Kindle with Jeff Bezos on Newsweek coverEbook Reader Amazon Kindle – is it worth the cost...frankly, it really depends on what kind of person you are and what you plan to use it for. I’ll admit, I’m a book person. I love books. I love the feel of the paper, the smell of a room full of books, the weight of a book when I carry it or hold it….

Yeah, I know. It sounds like a love affair. I have tons of books. Softcovers, hardcovers, collectibles, rare books, you name it. But I want you to know where I’m coming from as I review the Amazon Kindle. What’s the Amazon Kindle like? How far have ebook readers come?

The Amazon Kindle ebook reader is about the size of a paperback book. That’s important to me because it at least gives the illusion that you’re reading a real book. And it weighs 10.3 ounces which makes the Amazon Kindle reader “feel” a little like a paperback book. It even comes with a leather "book cover".

Which is nice because I’ve tried to read on little PDA screens and that’s obnoxious. And lugging a laptop around , especially to bed, and trying to read is hot and annoying. The Amazon Kindle is the first electronic option I’ve found that I actually use.

Does the Amazon Kindle reader make your eyes hurt like computer screens? And can I read it outside?Amazon Kindle is as close as you can get to a book

Surprisingly, no and yes. I’m not sure I understand the technology, but the screen reads just like paper. Amazon says the Kindle has a “high-resolution, electronic paper display”.

But the really important test was when I took my Amazon Kindle to my favorite sidewalk café and found a table with no umbrella and tried to read Bob Woodward’s The War WithinAmazon link.

I was stunned. No problems. No glare, no distortion, and I didn’t even have to "tilt it a certain way” so I could read it. I just sat there and enjoyed reading the book. The Amazon Kindle is amazing.

How many books does the Amazon Kindle hold?

I’m a bit ADD. I’m one of those people who will bring four books, two magazines and even a bunch of pages I’ve printed off of my computer to read. And I may read some of everything before my "bout of reading" is over.

The Amazon Kindle holds approximately 200 books. Even my ADD brain can get satisfied with that. What’s more, it can download newspapers, magazines, blogs…you can even “auto-subscribe” and have any of hundreds of newspapers and magazines delivered right to your Amazon Kindle and you don’t have to do anything. That’s a scary feature for me because it’s so easy that the temptation is to subscribe to everything I want. And that could be a financial disaster. beware the convenience of the Amazon Kindle.

Do I need to hook the Amazon Kindle reader to my computer to download books or magazines?Amazon Kindle shows how slim it is

No. You don’t even need to own a computer to use the Kindle. And you don’t have to have wireless service or be near a wireless “hotspot”. There’s no wireless fees, no monthly fees, just the cost of the books or magazines. And almost all new releases and New York Times Best Sellers are just $9.99. And the Kindle comes with built-in access to The New Oxford American Dictionary.

I’m not that thrilled the Kindle has built-in access to Wikipedia because I’m not convinced that Wikipedia is always a reliable source of documented  and professionally reviewed information. But I do use Wikipedia for things like the reference to the dictionary or the electronic paper display. What can I say? Nothing's perfect. Although, I have to admit, the Amazon Kindle comes pretty close if you’re a bookophile.

So how much does this miracle of modern science cost?

Amazon Kindle easy to read screenThat’s where the tough question begins. My Kindle set me back $399.00. Oh baloney, let’s call the Kindle what it is. It’s a $400.00 digital book reader. The Kindle isn't the first electronic book reader to come out. It’s just the first one I actually enjoyed reading with.

And the Kindle is small and light and convenient and carries 200 books. And I can just download books or magazines to the Amazon Kindle at home, at a restaurant on my lunch hour, a coffee shop on Saturday morning or the office.

And when you consider I spent $800 on my Compaq laptop so I could read and work in bed or away from home and all I use it for is work because it burns my eyes to a crisp when I try to read with it, the Amazon Kindle is a bargain. Boy, talk about your run-on sentences. My college English professor would be appalled. But my Creative Writing professor wouldn’t be. She’d understand the device.

If you want to look at the Amazon Kindle or take the plunge like I did and buy the Amazon Kindle, just follow the links. I hope you enjoy the Amazon Kindle. For work or recreational reading, there’s just nothing else out there like it.

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