My Kindle Review

Posted 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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71 comments, add your own...


  1. gunsmoke says:

    Right on – I was kind of against Kindles until my wife bought one, now I have my own. The experience is better than reading a printed book because you can flip the page with one hand instead of two (excellent for bed time reading.)

    Another really awesome feature is the Kindle content syncs to all your devices – for instance you can install the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet and pick up where you left off from your Kindle device (and vice versa), the reading experience on the phone isn’t so bad either, I finished a 1,000 page book on my Nexus One.

    • Mark says:

      Nat didn’t want one but now she regrets not getting one herself as well.

      A cool feature on the Kindle I found out from a friend is that you can have your instapaper articles sent to it. So now you can just mark articles on the web to read later and you can read them on your kindle.

  2. 3obad says:

    I got my fiancee one and played with it a little before getting one, but I have a problem buying books from amazon do u regional restrictions and so on. How did u get around that?

    Btw Amazon got great support, for some reason the kindle I got to my fiancee got screwed for no reason I contacted amazon support with live chat, the send me another one for free without even checking the old one just after I explained that I don’t live in the US and sending back the old kindle may take very long time or may not even reach there. Great people!

    • Mark says:

      I didn’t have any issues buying books with my account, maybe they removed the restrictions?

      • 3obad says:

        Ur amazon account on Kuwait credit card and address? Currently I m out of town but could give it a try thanks :)

        • Mark says:

          Kuwait credit card but US address.

          • mcnutty says:

            i had the same problem thats why i didn’t buy a kindle because you couldn’t choose different varieties of books because if you go to kindle app store through amazon .com and click on middle east the amount of books go down and the books they have is not interesting thats why i didn’t buy it

          • 3obad says:

            I have tried that, then it worked I got one book, then found an Email from Kindle saying that u r not from the US bla bla bla change the country or send a fax with a copy of ur social security number bla bla.
            I guess they found out that I logged from an IP outside the US.
            Would you Please update me when u get back to Kuwait if u get such a thing.

            • Eliasoz says:

              Just download your books from torrents and websites, and transfer them to your kindle. Problem solved, and you don’t pay a dime. Especially since often, the books are more expensive than their physical counterparts (which is silly).

              Even PDFs can be read by it, or better yet, converted to the kindle format.

              • Mark says:

                Kindle books are much cheaper than their physical counterparts. Stop being a cheap ass and buy the books instead of stealing them.

                • Eliasoz says:

                  I’ve read a lot of online complaints of kindle books being just as expensive (and in many cases more) as their physical counterparts. Which is silly considering no paper is wasted for an e-book.

                  Anyway, even if I DID have a job (I’m a student) I don’t think I’d pay for the e-books I’d be getting. I happily choose to be a media pirate.

  3. Bo Jassom says:

    I’ve had the last generation and got sick of it within a month.. it’s collecting dust for a year now.. nothing really beats holding the actual book

  4. daily says:

    Noooooo NOTHING replaces the feel and smell of a real book.
    Sorry….. ( depressing old fogie))

    • Patrick says:

      I’m a believer in that, but at the same time my iPad saved me of hours of boredom when I got really sick last Christmas and I ended up being able to finish 3 of the Harry Potter books.

      So I only buy physical copies of books that I really, really want.

  5. Ithink says:

    How can new books be downloaded? Can this be connected to the internet through a regular wired dsl connection?

  6. Aws says:

    They do have regional restrictions. A few weeks ago I downloaded the Kindle app for iPhone and purchased a free book to try it out. The book was in my library and I read quite a bit of it. A few days later, I got this email, and the book has been removed from my library.

    The restrictions are placed by the publishers on Amazon; they’ll never go away until the publishers decide to allow their books to be sold worldwide. In this case, it’s more restrictive than iTunes because it detects my IP even though my billing address is in the US, which iTunes doesn’t do with any purchases.

    ———-

    Hello,

    I see that you attempted to purchase “Thomas Jefferson” while in a different country than the United States listed on your Amazon account. Certain Kindle titles are not available everywhere. We are reaching out to you to ensure the best possible service for your account.

    If you have moved to a different country, you can easily update your country for your Amazon account at http://www.Amazon.com/manageyourkindle

    If this is not the case, and you would like to share information that you live in the United States, we can be reached by fax at 001-206-266-1838 from outside the US, or 206-266-1838 from within the US. Helpful information includes:
    – Passport
    – Military ID
    – Permanent Resident Card
    – Driver’s License
    – Other state photo identity card

    We want to assure you that we handle this information in a secure manner: these are dedicated fax lines, staffed in an area with limited employee access. The fax is never printed, just converted to an electronic image that is used to check the country, then the image is deleted.

    Best regards,

    Account Specialist
    Amazon.com
    Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.
    http://www.amazon.com/your-account

  7. Keith says:

    I consider the Kindle the best gift I can give near and dear ones. So far I have gifted 5 devices to friends and family. It is a good way to get people and kids to read more and simple enough for a five year old to handle. Mark, you may want to download ‘Calibre’ which will help convert any e-book format to Kindle, iPad, nook etc.

    http://calibre-ebook.com/

    I have a huge collection of e-books and use calibre to manage them on my Kindle and iPad. Happy reading!

  8. daily says:

    @Patrick- you’re right and ONE kindle versus carrying 33 books or so…..well kindle wins really….sniff sniff.

  9. visakar says:

    Kindle is an awesome device, it helped me to start my reading habits again. It also inspired my daughter to read books. I would prefer the advert version as it makes us feel that the device has life. Also kindle allows to read other pdf version of books. If you have a large collection of pdf books it is the best device to read it.

    I love Kindle.

  10. aaa says:

    I really wanted one until I found out about the weird regional stuff :( a friend of mine brought it to Kuwait for Christmas and was locked out of the US store until he went back (this was a while ago, first gen I think). I don’t know how it handles ebooks and PDF files.

    iTunes lets you buy books regardless of region as long as you use US cards, and on my android tab I just download ebooks and play them in any viewer.

  11. Mark says:

    Well just checked with my friend who’s had his Kindle for a while and according to him he hasn’t had any trouble buying books while in Kuwait.

  12. Bader alramadan says:

    The same happened with me unitl I changed my rgional setting to US and it’s fine now. Does anyone know if there’ gnna be a 3G service here in Kuwait or not?

  13. Burhan says:

    3G service works in Saudi(!) and UAE, surprised its not available in Kuwait.

  14. Ted says:

    Is there still a noticeable lag while turning pages? That and PDF support is what’s keeping me on the fence.

    • Mark says:

      slight. the new kindles don’t refresh the screen with every turn, they now wait around 6 turns to refresh. turning the page on the kindle is faster than turning the page in a real book.

  15. Amad says:

    Which is the best place to buy a new Kindle from in Kuwait?

    I believe the regional issue can be settled by changing the address to a US address, which I happen to have.

  16. Zainab says:

    love my kindle and i used it religiously! Unfourtunatky once I landed in kuwait from the states my kindle went blank. I cant reach the kindle store via my device and it doesn’t even allow me to download books via my desktop to my kindle. Customer service was also no help. Using my ipad to read now but its just not the same.

    • Eliasoz says:

      Download them using torrents, and simply transfer them via USB to your kindle.

      Obviously you won’t be paying for them anymore :p

  17. Rora says:

    Elictrozan sells the kindle dx and giant has the iriver ones . I bought my kindle from amazon and im reading a lot more now :) the only problem
    I faced is with the connections to my home wifi. Some problem with the network key but im downloading books via USB with no problems at all.
    If you are a book reader you need to get one

  18. Mark says:

    Eliasoz: So you haven’t even tried buying a book yourself yet you’re encouraging people to steal because you “think” or “Read” that ebooks are more expensive than real books even if thats not true. Can’t believe you’re too cheap to pay $7 or $9 for a book.

  19. Eliasoz says:

    Actually the price range goes up to $16 (at least from what I saw) for some fiction books.

    That said, clearly from this thread alone the kindle store has some problems functioning normally for everyone in Kuwait, and technically Kindles aren’t even shipped to Kuwait so there’s no real support from amazon.

    But honestly, what if I prefer to pirate books? It’s a personal choice really. I buy all my comic books (I have a huge collection which cost me quite a bit – still does), but when it comes to movies and books I’d rather steal them.

    I even buy a lot of the music albums I like on CD (something 90% of the population pirates). Because I like having a CD collection. Same with video games.

    Also, I just checked the prices of a bunch kindle e-books and their physical counterparts on amazon. Usually just a $1-$3 difference? Sounds like a rip-off to me.

    • Mark says:

      Out of curiosity why do you consider it a rip off? Is the content different in the ebooks? You should probably read this article
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html

      • Eliasoz says:

        I have one gripe with that article, “Out of that gross revenue, the publisher pays about 50 cents to convert the text to a digital file, typeset it in digital form and copy-edit it. Marketing is about 78 cents.”, does this assume it costs 78 cents to convert the book to a digital format every single time? It’s digital, hello?

        That said, it seems like I’m doing my part in keeping libraries alive by not buying more e-books.

        Bottom line, Mark, is that when it comes to things I own digitally, I don’t care about pirating them. Just my personal preference.

        • Mark says:

          Marketing is advertising so even if its an e-book or a e-book version of the paperback, it still needs to be advertised.

          • Eliasoz says:

            My bad, I meant this part specifically: ““Out of that gross revenue, the publisher pays about 50 cents to convert the text to a digital file, typeset it in digital form and copy-edit it.”

            So make that 50 cents.

            • Mark says:

              Dude those numbers are the cost per book. It doesn’t mean it costs 50 cents to convert to digital and proof-read. It costs a lot more but the price is divided on all the copies they’re selling.

              • Eliasoz says:

                Ahhh yes. I’m a bit slow today ._.

                Seems a bit much, though. Even for an average.

                Either way. I’m sticking to pirating them. I’ll gladly pay full price for any book I purchase as a paperback or hardcover.

  20. Eliasoz says:

    Mark, I came by an article today which reminded me of our little Kindle book price discussion.

    Hate to say it but, I totally told you so:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/23/ebook-price-swindle-publishing

    They really are overpriced. Corporate greed ftw, eh?

    • Mark says:

      It’s an article without any examples or evidence so I would take it with a grain of salt. I’ve bought a bunch of books and all were a lot cheaper as kindle versions.

      • Eliasoz says:

        Not which is cheaper, but whether they’re overpriced or not. Articles supporting the price tags have no sources either.

        I think cutting the costs of publication, storage, and transport would net a bigger difference.

        Also, I’d like to report I’m happily pirating on my new Kindle. I actually tried to do it legally (just for the hell of it), and apparently we have a VERY limited selection of books for our Asia Pacific area of the world. Not sure how you can access the American store..

        • Mark says:

          I don’t know, I just can and all the prices of the Kindle books I’ve bought have been a lot cheaper than the paperbacks. Also some books that were out of stock I was able to purchase for the kindle which I thought was cool.

  21. Donawyn says:

    Mark! A friend of mine picked me the Kindle ($79) from the U.S. but got me the cover for the Kindle Touch. The cover is a little big and i considered sticking my Kindle but then it would make flipping pages difficult. Do you know if i could get the covers here in Kuwait? Or would i have to actually order one from Amazon?

    Also do you know of anyone seeking a cover for Kindle Touch?

  22. Peter says:

    Any more word on kindle downloading restrictions on the in Kuwait?

    I am planning on moving to Kuwait this fall and want to be able to purchase and download books without the use of illegal software.

    There was some talk about limited selection on the amazon store as well while in Kuwait, any more word on that?

    I am a Canadian national so would be using the amazon.ca site.

  23. Lilian says:

    I read the whole discussion, I have been eyeing kindles for over a year now but due to the restrictions in Kuwait, I haven’t brought myself to buying one. But I really want one especially after I read about the new Kindle Paperwhite, I must have it. >.> I have asked in the forums if the 3G option would work in Kuwait, and no it wouldn’t, plus they say if the country doesn’t allow Ebook download, then I won’t really be able to buy Ebooks even if I move to the US using my current Amazon account since I have a Kuwait address on it. I’d just want to know a way I would be able to buy Ebooks (No, I don’t want to torrent or load it from the computer, I’d really want to be able to buy them within seconds using the Kindle itself.) I see, Mark doesn’t have any problems, so basically you have your amazon account on a US address but you’re still paying using a Kuwait Creadit Card?

  24. Ziring says:

    Does the Kindle 3G have support on Kuwait’s wireless cellular network?


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