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It rekindled that habit. The habit formed in me when I still was a kid. The habit that made me understand good lessons about life without actually having to go through all those hardships. The habit that let me leave reality for a better imaginary world. Amazon Kindle did what once seemed impossible: Making me read, after the computer. And the Internet.

This is the day I got my hands on my own Kindle.


Since then, I’ve been reading. I’ve been reading on the couch, on the bed, on the bus and even on a Kottu place chair!

Yeah Kindle is like a book. Only better. Well.. minus the smell (solved already?). Minus, sometimes, the weight too. And it’s not just a single book, more like a mini library, right. OK let me organize my thoughts a bit and improve my bragging.

Don't Panic!

Something inside doesn’t want me to say this but I like kindle better than a book. Only thing I miss is the smell. (I liked the kindles smell though it faded too soon and not gonna renew with a new book.). Talking about the ‘wins’, first thing is ease of holding it. I don’t have to try and keep it open. It weighs just perfect that a book rarely will weigh less than that.

Surprisingly, it’s dimensions don’t ruin the thing at all. I said surprising because the first time I had a kindle in my hands (Bud’s Kindle) I thought it (the screen to be precise) was a bit too small for a book replacement. But it really is not. One day I was reading on Kindle and it just occurred to me, “Dude.. the Kindle’s screen dimensions are just perfect”. I should be exaggerating things a little but you still get the point.

The screen quality, as they have advertised, is really close to print quality. Kindle 3’s screen beats ‘LCD for reading’ any day, hands down. The text on Kindle has sharp, well defined edges comparing to other e-ink screens I’ve seen. Sometimes the screen shows a ghost of previous screen and other blurs and stuff but Alt+g wipes it all clean. To be done with screen quality, you can read on Kindle screen almost anywhere you can read a book. This means it serves fine under bright light and won’t magically light up in the darkness.

Once I slide the power button and get the device in life, thanks to the instructions on the screen savers, it’s pretty much straight forward to navigate and start reading.

Before I see a kindle for real I thought the page flip buttons on the sides are to flip to the respective side (left button to go left/back and right button to go right/forward). Once I started using one I realized it is not and that it would almost be a usability nightmare if it was. On both the sides the bigger, lower  button is to flip forward and the smaller, upper button is to flip back. This allows the user to have the device on either hand and not worry about flipping. And we rarely flip back, so the smaller button. I find flipping pages on Kindle to be easier than it is on a real book. Oh and I can go to a specific page using the menu and move between chapters with left and right navigational buttons.

When I read a book on kindle, it presents me with some interesting information on the bottom of the screen. From right to left, number of pages, current location and the percentage I’ve currently finished. Below that information is a bar that visually represents the progress and the milestones (chapters). This seems to be very encouraging when you are  reading. Yeah the little things matter most.

Little things...

The in-page dictionary look up has been very much helpful and convenient. Up/down navigational button spawns and moves a cursor on text and kindle automatically looks up dictionary for the word next to the cursor. The result is shown on a small box on top or bottom of the screen. I’d only ask for quicker ways to navigate! (hint: touch)

Amazon promises a month long battery life for reading (with wireless off). I could never test on this because I plugged the device to the computer many times and sometimes left it plugged for so long. But I can say I used it without plugging for more than a week and didn’t see a significant drop in battery level. Probably it’s the infinity for practical usage.

Kindle comes with many extra features, advertised and not advertised. MP3 playability and the browser are among advertised extras (experimental). Both the features will come pretty handy when you need them ’nuff said. Image viewer, minesweeper, Gomoku and screen shots features are not advertised by Amazon as I know. I use the image viewer just to show off.

Kindle’s text to speech is well advertised but I never seriously used it. Of course it adds up on show-off-ability.

I honestly think that the Kindle 3 is really great for reading. As Jeff Bezos wrote on his letter to me ;) (the letter appeared on kindle when I registered it online) the Kindle disappears in my hands – getting out of my way, leaving only the author’s stories, words and ideas.

Yes I jailbroke, rooted and did whatnot with my Kindle (thanks to the awesome people who made it real) but all that was only for few days. Now that I’ve had enough bragging and showing off, it has come down to ‘something I read on’ from ‘teh ozam thing’.

I can’t really ask for more but if It could accept touch on screen to navigate, I don’t think it would ruin the whole idea of simplicity in Kindle. Most the people who got this in hand tried touching the screen first. That probably is a result of the ongoing touch-hype but there have been times I’ve felt that I could use some touches for good.

OK time to read some awesome books on ‘the thing I read on’.

I love my Kindle.

PS: … and I love my friends who actually made me own one. Thanks @aerobender , @geekaholic :)

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