Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Book Confession: One Year On - A Kindle Review

For my birthday last year a group of my friends clubbed together to get me a Kindle. I was so excited as it was completely unexpected and something I probably wouldn’t have purchased for myself at that time – the kindle was relatively new in the UK and I didn’t know anyone else with one. I know e-readers verses paper books is a major change both for readers and for the publication industry, so I thought I’d do a mini review of my first year with a kindle.

So a year after receiving my kindle and I have to confess it is one of my favourite possessions. I still buy physical books – especially for series I love – but in terms of practicality the kindle is fantastic. I don’t have to carry two books with me on the train when I’m nearing the end of one. It is lighter than most books – especially for the big tomes that I love to buy but don’t want to take up weight-lifting to read. I took it on holiday earlier this year and despite reading every day it never ran out of battery. Plus how fabulous is netgalley? I love having access to books ahead of their publication dates- and being able to read on the kindle is so much more comfortable than on the computer (which strains my eyes). The e-ink technology is great – it doesn’t hurt to read for long periods. As well as mobi files from Amazon, you can read pdf’s which is very useful.

I’ve not had any major issues with my kindle – I’ve only had to restart it once in a year and despite loading it with plenty of free and cheap books I’ve yet to fill the memory. And I have to confess I do like stroking the kindle as I read in the same way I do the cover of physical books!

But are there any drawbacks?
Battery life is pretty long but if you forget to charge it you can end up with nothing to read (as Sarah, my regular guest review discovered last week!). I’ve been lucky that it hasn’t happened to me, but there are mobile phone chargers out there that will work apparently. I miss seeing the covers of books and being able to read the back of them when I’ve finished a book. Also having books on the kindle does mean that occasionally an out of sight, out of mind mentality rules. Physical books stare at me from their piles around my flat, but I often forget exactly how many books I have on the kindle – and it is so easy to add new books all the time.

With the new cheaper, lighter Kindle format out in the UK and the Kindle Fire in the US, I don’t think the e-reader is going anywhere any time soon. In fact I’ve managed to persuade at least two friends to get a kindle in the last year! However, I will continue with my duel reading – both kindle and paper.

Which do you prefer? Have you avoided e-readers so far? Why? What do you think  the future holds for the reading experience? J


  1. I myself got a Kobo last year for Christmas, and I love mine. I have taken it on vacation, and it its great because otherwise you need 3-4 books to take with you. Also, I bought an adapter for about $8 that you can plug the USB portion of your charge cord into, and then charge it in an outlet on the wall rather than needing a computer. I still buy a lot of paper books, but now usually just ones on sale, as the ebooks are a bit cheaper. Also, sometimes me and my friends will all buy an ebook, and then share them, which is good because it helps save money, and we can all read it at the same time instead of waiting to borrow when they are done!

  2. I'm still really torn on whether or not I want to get a Kindle, but now that they are coming out with that Fire one, I want to see what people think of it!!

    Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

  3. I love my Kindle to death, really. It's been a real lifesaver when it comes to reading ARCs from NetGalley. Before I got the Kindle, I was able to read them only on my laptop, which got uncomfortable pretty quickly, and it wasn't always easy to stare at the screen for hours on end. I confess that I probably wouldn't have purchased a Kindle for myself, but it was a gift from my parents last Christmas, and I've found it pretty much invaluable.

    That being said, though, I still prefer hard copies of books. If NetGalley would send me a paper copy of all of the ARCs, I'd be in heaven! :)

  4. I agree with you, my Kindle is one of my favourite procession. If it wasn't for my Kindle, half of the books I've read on there wouldn't have been read- as I wouldn't have been bothered to go to the library/book store and buy them.
    I think the battery life is really good, but it seems to vanish even when it's locked..
    The only thing I miss about proper books when reading on the Kindle, is the fact that you don't get to see the cover.
    I think everybody should have a Kindle, they're amazing!

  5. I confess the same, I can't live without my Kindle. Though, my batter life doesn't seem to be as good as yours. I might have overcharged it or something. But yes, when people ask, I always highly recommend it. Though it's true what you said about out of sight out of mind. My Kindle is loaded with books. I need to find a way to organize them better.

  6. I love my kindle too! The best part is when Amazon has the kindle sales, I've got some amazing books that way.

  7. I have tried two, but had pdf formatting issues though, which sucks. And I skim faster, so that sucks too. I want blurbs, to jump back to page 34 fast...but other than that, I do like them

  8. Great post and such a conversation maker! I have an e-book (not a kindle thou) and I do like it but I don't love it, not the way I love reading a physical book. There are loads of times it does come in handier thou.

    But I do have to say - what a great present!! :D

  9. I've had my Kindle about a year too and I love it! Like most commenters though, I still love my paper books, but my beloved Kindle is very well used.

  10. I love my ereader. I just hope that our library will start to lend the ebooks out. Oh and the sales! Darn Kindle! ;)

  11. I really want a Kindle though I am happy enough reading on my iPod most of the time.

    Shelleyrae @ book'd Out

  12. I love my kindle too, I had a Sony ereader before, which I gave to my mum when I got my kindle. I still borrow the Sony ereader back off my mum to read my Simon & Schuster galley grab books as I can't read them on my kindle. I still however, buy tonnes of paperbacks I like having an actual book on my shelf.

  13. I've avoided it. The electronics just doesn't match up in any way to holding the book in my hand. Or seeing it on my shelf and remembering everything in it. I love flipping the pages randomly and remembering.

    But, alas, I'm asking for one of the electronic little evils for christmas this year. I've gotten so into the reading world I think it's time I venture a little further. *sigh* Wish me luck!

  14. So you wouldn't trade a kindle for a version where you could see the covers in color?
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  15. Great review!!

    I have owned a Kobo reader for the past 18 months and my story is very similar. It was only about 3 weeks ago now that I bought my first Kindle since they've just come on the market here in Australia. I absolutely adore it. It has so many better features than my Kobo. I still buy a lot of books, but my Kindle is convenient, especially when I am travelling, which is frequent!