I bought my Kindle a few months ago and have had the opportunity to play with it. It’s filled in for “real” books a number of times.
A few advantages (there have been no disadvantages …yet!):
1. It’s very, very easy to travel with. I found myself getting lost in reading the books I have (I’m up to around 90 now) in busy airports while waiting to board, on the plane, in the car while my mother is shopping when I’m home on vacation. I was reading in the comfy chairs in stores while my mother tried on clothes…you get the picture. (Love you, Mom!!)
2. Use it as a supplement to real books. I’m an avid speed reader. I can read up to 40 books in a month. Now, if I were to do this buying books, it’d cost me a fortune. So of course, I use the great library system here in Atlanta. However, sometimes books I really want by authors I trust have an incredible wait time at the library. I buy those on my kindle. Sometimes I want to read a book that’s 1200 pages long. That, too, I buy for my kindle. Why? Because as much as I love the smell of real books, I cherish my hands more. They hurt when holding up that many pages for the length of time it takes to read a book of that size… even at the speed I read.
3. My Kindle encourages my six year old nephew to read. He loves gadgets and electronics and he’s always begging me for a chance to read the Kindle. I downloaded several books for him and next thing I know he’s losing himself in them as well – and giggling because instead of turning a page, he gets to press a button.
4. The battery is incredibly long lived. I am horrible at charging things and one of the things I was worried about was having to wait for my battery to charge when I, inevitably, forgot to charge the kindle. I just keep my wireless turned off (unless I need it for some reason) and I can go for weeks without having to charge. So, there’s no wait period for my Kindle. I was worried about that.
5. It looks like paper. There’s no glare. Really. It’s not a gimmick! In fact, I think Amazon should give me royalties. Every time I go to the coffee shop or store and read my Kindle I make at least 2 sales of it. After having read about 5000 pages on my Kindle I can tell you my eyes are no more strained than if I read real books (and my hands are considerably less strained). And.. I don’t have to search for bookmarks or dogear pages (gasp). It saves my spot, right there, for me. Oh, and that passage that I loved so much that I wanted to share with my friends and family, there’s a clipping of it. I made that and it’s so much easier to find then stammering as I search dramatically through the paper book I’m reading. A friend said it best. The Kindle is a supplement to real books. Is it expensive? Sure. It’s pricey. But I was paying $30 round trip 4-5 times a year to bring books home to read. I was juggling 2 books when close to the end of one and I wanted to take the kids to the park. How often can you stand in line somewhere and pull a book easily out of your purse to read without having to fiddle with keeping it open? It seems silly and like these are little things, but they all add up to making that $260 price tag worth it. My kindle has already paid for itself in new books, travel expenses and experiences enjoyed.
As a side note: Why didn’t I go for the Sony E-Reader or wait for the B&N Nook? Simple. I don’t want to touch the screen I’m reading, so touch screens were out. I wanted wireless capabilities, so Sony was out. And I didn’t want to be distracted by flashy, color pictures at the bottom of my screen, so the Nook was doubly out. I wanted simple, functional, a use-able keyboard, wireless and compact, and the Kindle fulfilled everything I was asking from it.