My Kindle Review

Post by Mark

I generally read a lot of magazines and a lot of online content but when it comes to books I hadn’t read one since The Lost World back in 1997. That’s why even though the Kindle intrigued when it first got released, I just couldn’t get myself to plunk down $400 for a device I might never use. Then Amazon started releasing newer Kindles and with each release dropping the price down until it hit $79. I don’t read books but for $79 I was willing to give it a shot so while in New York I passed by Best Buy and picked one up.

First thing I noticed once I took it out of the box was how light and small the Kindle was. It weighs just 170 grams which is slightly heavier than my iPhone but feels lighter due to the weight being spread out over a larger surface. The Kindle easily fit into my back jeans pocket and it even managed to fit into my jackets inner pocket. Because it’s so light you don’t feel it in your pocket and it also makes it easier to hold for long periods without your muscles fatiguing.

I carried the Kindle with me everywhere I went in NY since and whenever I found a free moment I would take out the Kindle read as much as I can and then put it away again. Because it’s a device dedicated to reading it makes reading very easy. I don’t need to turn the Kindle off or on and I also don’t have to worry about the battery dying. In just a few days I managed to finish reading my first book in years and I didn’t even charge the Kindle I just used it right out of the box. I didn’t even have to connect it to a computer I just logged into my amazon account from the device and bought my first book. Buying a book is also super easy since you just find the book you want and then click buy and that’s it. No need to log in or enter a password or anything like that.

For readers in Kuwait the Kindle makes a lot of sense since we don’t have a decent bookstore here but even if I lived in the US I would still prefer a Kindle over a real book. For one thing the Kindle is easier to carry around since it’s thinner and probably lighter. It’s easier to read since you can control the font size and most importantly you can carry more than one book at a time and buy a new one right from the device. Actually you don’t even have to buy books since Amazon offers a ton of books for free as well as other books you can borrow. I was going to buy a book called Elizabeth Street but since I’m an Amazon Prime member, Amazon offered me the option to “borrow” the book which I did. I played with the Kindle Fire and it seemed cool but I saw it as an iPad or Galaxy Tab competitor. The main competition to the $79 Kindle is the Kindle Touch and the Nook Simple Touch. Although I liked the feel of the Nook I thought it was bulky plus you can’t buy books from the Amazon Store which I prefer. The Kindle Touch on the other hand costs more than the $79 Kindle but it also has no physical buttons for page turning and I like the buttons as well as the fact that the buttons are located on both sides (useful if you’re holding the hand with just your left or right hand). The touch is also slightly bigger and heavier. The $79 Kindle does come with adverts but they’re not annoying at all since they never show up while reading. You only get to see an ad while the device is on standby or on the main home page but they’re really not intrusive and they don’t bother me at all.

If you haven’t considered the Kindle before or are thinking of buying one I would personally recommend the $79 version. It’s really cheap and has a lot of advantages which makes it a great buy in my book. Check it out on [Amazon]


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Event: The Avenues Summer Book Fair

Post by Mark

The Avenues currently has a small book fair taking place opposite Soccer Scene and That AL Salasil in Phase II. The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) is showcasing a number of their publications and books by Kuwaiti authors with the aim of supporting the local authors as well as encouraging the reading and purchasing of books.

The book fair is going to be up until this Friday the 22nd of July.

Update: I passed by the book “fair” today and it’s more like a book shelf then a book fair.


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A walk down memory lane – The Family Bookshop

Post by Mark

I passed by Family Bookshop today and took as many pictures as I could. I figured the place might shutdown any day now and so it might be a good idea to document the place. It was pretty depressing. They currently have a court case with the new owner of the building and they aren’t doing well at all. According to the guy I spoke to they get very few customers and those who do come are old customers who used to be young 20 or 30 years ago and now come back with their grand kids to show them the place they used to get their books from. I walked around looking for an old copy of Hardy Boys or Dungeons & Dragons but didn’t find any not even a Peter and Jane book. On the other hand I did find some left over Jughead and Veronica comics in their old comics section. Below are some pictures I took of the place.


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Kuwait in Harper’s Bazaar

Post by Mark

My sister who’s currently in Dubai sent me the picture above which her friend took of the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar (Interiors Arabia Edition). A few months back, Harper’s Bazaar was in Kuwait and I met with them and showed them around Kuwait a bit. They were planning to have a piece on Kuwait and it looks like it’s in their latest issue. I’m in it (bottom right of the page above) as well as the vertical gardens at 360 Mall and Open Flame Kitchen. I can’t really tell much else from the low resolution picture I got and the magazine it’s out yet in Kuwait but once it is I’ll obviously be getting a copy to check it out.


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Dalsan Women Association Book Donation

Post by Mark

The Dalsan Women Association are having a book donation campaign to collect books to send off to universities and other educational institutions in war torn Somalia. Students in Somalia have a severe shortage of books in university libraries especially scientific ones and donating at least one book will help students get a better education and a brighter future. I know a lot of people have books they finished reading or haven’t opened in years and now there is a way these books can help people. So if you have books you don’t need then drop them off at the Kuwait Writer’s Association located in Adeliya opposite Kazema Club or if you prefer you can send them to the Somali Embassy in Bayan Block 7 avenue/jaddah 8 street 1. You have the whole month of May to drop of books!


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The Family Bookshop

Post by Mark

Still alive… just not kicking.


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Al Salasil Bookstore now open

Post by Mark

The Al Salasil bookstore is now open at The Avenues. I was expecting the bookstore to be huge since according to their teaser it was going to be the biggest bookstore in Kuwait but from what I saw it didn’t look like it. I guess I was expecting us to finally get a bookstore as big as Kinokuniya in Dubai. Anyway you can pass by and check it out yourself, they’re located in phase 2 of The Avenues right next to Soccer Scene.

Update: Danderma just posted a review with pictures [Here]
Update2: 965 Malls have some more pictures as well [Here]


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Kuwait Times has a new look

Post by Mark

Today I noticed Kuwait Times got redesigned. I used to really hate their old layout since it looked really outdated but the new design is the complete opposite. Their typography and grid layout is very clean and it’s just wayyy more enjoyable to read now. You can check out their new design by viewing their digital edition online [Here]

I also spotted Arab Times ads on buses saying they will be updating their design in the coming few days as well.


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Gucci & Cupcakes – We’re in National Geographic Traveler

Post by Mark

Back in September I posted about how Kuwait was featured in National Geographic Traveler and how I felt the article was superficial because they focused on just The Avenues. Many of you also had your views on the article and it looks like National Geographic Traveler read them because in their latest issue they’ve featured us in their Inbox section which you can read below.

That’s taken from their January/February 2011 issue. Sweet!

Thanks Dalia


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Octium Jewellery in Wallpaper*

Post by Mark

Wallpaper* magazine featured an article on the Octium Jewellery store at 360 Mall. It’s not the first time Kuwait was featured in Wallpaper*, I know of at least one other time since I posted about it [Here]. Too bad the Wallpaper* article doesn’t really show how beautiful the Octium store really is. [Link]


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