I have been wondering about the Amazon Kindle for a while. While I love books and will happily go through 4 a month, the thought of replacing my pleasure of turning a physical page, with a device I cannot use to decorate my library shelves made me hesitate in getting a kindle. Recently I was on my way to my friends wedding in Canada and found myself cursing at the limited selections of books in the airport, as I quickly realised Waterstones had non of the books in my Evernote “Books to Read” list. Another 30 minutes of pacing and thumbing through the books in their fantasy section offered no help and then I decided, since I had my wife’s Ipad with me, I should just just go ahead and give the kindle app a try.
I quickly downloaded the app, logged in and quickly looked for the books in my list… Not yet in kindle format… not exactly a great start. At least I can check Amazon for recommendations. In minutes I had two books I was interested in reading and I had confirmed that they had been adapted for the kindle. I quickly downloaded the books right before I had to put off the iPad in preparation for the flight. Once I started reading the books, I quickly forgot I wasn’t holding a book but a computer tablet and unconsciously started reaching to “turn the page”. I loved the fact that if I saw a word I wasn’t sure of, I could just double tap the word and I’ll have the definition literally at my fingertips and with the app also available on my phone, I found I always had my book with me synced to my latest page.
A problem I ran into, using the kindle on the iPad was that I was not able to read the book if I was outside. Now this is not a problem if you have the official Kindle reader, as the e-ink technology makes reading in sunlight possible. I also ran into what I consider to be a product flaw. Why, o why, can I not send a pdf to the Kindle app? I know it is possible to do it on the kindle reader, but why Amazon decided to remove that functionality from their Kindle app escapes me. Surely it cannot be that difficult to give everyone who downloads their app a kindle email address? Or alternatively, have it work with the email address associated with their Amazon account?
Minor gripes aside, I was really pleased with the Kindle app. With it, I could literally buy a book and start reading in seconds wherever I might be, although I am not sure if I will be purchasing a proper kindle…. yet, as it just seems like yet another device to sit beside my laptop and tablet. And while I will continue buying books as I still love the feel and the look of my hundreds of books all lined up on the shelf, the convenience of the Kindle will ensure it is never a forgotten option in my mind.
Amazon recently released the Amazon Cloud Reader, which is a site developed in HTML5 and allows you to read your kindle books right in your web browser. FYI, the Amazon Cloud Reader works perfectly in chrome, but I do know it is incompatible with some browsers.