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The Bit Bucket (Greg Low): IDisposable

Ramblings of Greg Low (SQL Server MVP, MCM and Microsoft RD) - SQL Down Under

Review: Kindle (Amazon)

Since I've been posting book reviews, I've already had a few questions about the Kindle and what I think about it.

I have the 9" DX with 3G and love it. The 3G is so useful. You don't need to have a 3G provider account and it just seems to work almost everywhere I travel to (including even China). I'm not sure how Amazon make that work but it's great. I see a book, click to order it and moments later the book is on my Kindle.

The other big advantage is that it holds so many books. I've got a good library but it's at home and I'm travelling a lot. I now keep the books I use most on the Kindle instead and it's always with me. That's a huge advantage.

I find the 6" device screens too small. I'm sure I'm getting old and eyesight isn't what it used to be but technical books on 6" screens just don't work for me. A novel might be ok but not a technical book. The up-side of the 6" device is that I've seen people put them into their pockets. You won't do that with the 9" device unless you have really big pockets. It's more like an A4 sheet of paper.

I like the way that I can email a PDF to my Kindle and it's delivered through the 3G whispernet. There's a small charge but it's very useful and the options for controlling charging are great. While you can change font sizes, etc. for Kindle-format books, you can't do that for PDFs that you send to it.

The other reason I like the Kindle rather than say an iPad, is the electronic paper screen. I only charge my Kindle once every few weeks and the screen is a joy to read. It basically only draws power when you turn the page. By comparison, the iPad and other such devices have an active screen and I find them very hard on the eyes after a reasonably short time. By comparison, I can read the Kindle all day without an issue. Unlike the Kindle, active devices also need constant charging to be useful.

If you get a Kindle, you need a cover for it. I got the Belkin Neoprene cover from Amazon. It's excellent also.

The downside of the Kindle? You really will be buying your books from Amazon and not all titles are available in Kindle format. But I've found that availability is getting much better almost daily in the technical book space.

If you want to read old classic books as well, there are a *really* large number of them available in the Kindle store for free.

Overall, I couldn't imagine life without my Kindle now.

Published Wednesday, June 01, 2011 5:31 PM by Greg Low

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Boyan Penev said:

I just got mine last week - it's the smaller one, but I find it great for reading nonetheless. The availability of newspapers and magazines combined with the ease of reading is also a great little feature, even in greyscale.

All in all I agree - for reading it beats laptops and slates/tablets easily.

If they somehow add a touch-screen without disrupting the readability I'd consider upgrading - clicking the joystick/keyboard is the only annoying bit.

June 1, 2011 2:43 AM
 

Gavan said:

How do you find the graphics / diagrams on the Kindle for purchases and PDF uploads?

I've heard comments elsewhere that because of the bandwidth charge issues associated with ebooks on kindle, that they're often very compressed and only used very sparsely.

June 1, 2011 2:52 AM
 

Greg Low said:

Hi Gavan, I haven't noticed either any problem reading them or any lack of them.

June 1, 2011 3:11 AM
 

Gavanfor said:

Thanks Greg,

Suspiciously co-incidently, after posting I walked over to a collegues desk and he has the 6" one! (and doesn't mind letting me have a play with it).

June 1, 2011 3:20 AM
 

MQ said:

Do you have any SQL (or other technical) books on the Kindle? How is it with reading technical material where you have diagrams? Also, I find myself almost always writing notes and drawing diagrams on my SQL books. Is that possible with the Kindle?

June 1, 2011 11:28 AM
 

Catherine Sims said:

For classic books that are out of copyright protection, consider http://www.feedbooks.com/ and Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/.  You have to register at Feedbooks, but I've never gotten any spam from them.  Both are excellent sources of free Kindle books.

June 1, 2011 1:09 PM
 

John Pertell said:

Nice review of the Kindle DX. I've had the smaller one for a while now and I mostly agree with your points. However I also bought the iPad for technical books. I use the Kindle for "fun" reads and the iPad for technical. The Kindle screen is far superior for reading but too small for most technical books. Plus the iPad can read a .pdf file without having to convert it. Another plus for the iPad is its ability to play videos, a big plus if you want to watch a webcast on the go. Luckily now a lot of publishers create their ebooks in multiple formats so you can just buy the book once and read it on the device of your choice. I send .epub and .pdf to the iPad and .mobi to the Kindle.

June 3, 2011 12:48 PM
 

Iggy said:

I have been thinking of buying kindle for a while now but have just decided against it. I have even registered with amazon and have even purchased several books that I have read on my pc, iphone4 or iPad with kindle app installed. I have realized that there are no graphics or photographs in any of the books which was crucial to understanding the topic or issues relevant to it. I've done some research on the google and found out great majority if not all of kindle books don't have graphics or photographs incorporated in the books. Many people have actually returned the books and received refund from amazon. I am fanatical reader and this is extremely important to me. How can you read a book about photography and not have photographs in it? I have just read a book about Kennedy's assassination and there are no photos in it while I have seen the same book in bookshop with all the photographs of people, where it happened, the diagrams etc. It was hard to picture what the author was talking about when explaining where and how it happened without the actual photos. I wrote to amazon as many other people did and was told that that is an issue with the actual publisher. Why they don't include graphics is beyond me. Maybe and probably it saves on bandwidth when we download the books as they pay for it. Again, another example how suppliers actually never care about us customers. As long as they can earn as much as possible. Right? Well I'm not buying kindle or I have been thinking of buying kindle for a while now but have just decided against it. I have even registered with amazon and have even purchased several books that I have read on my pc, iphone4 or iPad with kindle app installed. I have realized that there are no graphics or photographs in any of the books which was crucial to understanding the topic or issues relevant to it. I've done some research on the google and found out great majority if not all of kindle books don't have graphics or photographs incorporated in the books. Many people have actually returned the books and received refund from amazon. I am fanatical reader and this is extremely important to me. How can you read a book about photography and not have photographs in it? I have just read a book about Kennedy's assassination and there are no photos in it while I have seen the same book in bookshop with all the photographs of people, where it happened, the diagrams etc. It was hard to picture what the author was talking about when explaining where and how it happened without the actual photos. I wrote to amazon as many other people did and was told that that is an issue with the actual publisher. Why they don't include graphics is beyond me. Maybe and probably it saves on bandwidth when we download the books as they pay for it. Again, another example how suppliers actually never care about us customers. As long as they can earn as much as possible. Right? Well I'm not buying kindle or any electronic book until this is sorted. We are already overcharged for these "digital books" ( no printing or distribution costs) and on top of everything we don't get the product we pay for. I mean....common. I read at least 1-2 books a week and I will not be buying kindle books until I can receive exactly the same version as print. What a fraud!!!

And yes another note to those greedy amazon execs and publishers.....please proof and format the books before you start offering them for sale AS THEY ARE ALL FULL OF GRAMAR MISTAKES. IT IS VERY ANNOYING AND DISTRACTING!!!!!

June 15, 2011 11:01 AM
 

Greg Low said:

I suspect that your experience isn't typical. In the technical books that I read, I don't find any missing content and all diagrams, etc. are there.

June 17, 2011 3:30 PM
 

Try this now said:

Hello; Very valuable thing in this post! Its the little things that will make the biggest difference. Thanks so much fo this!

July 19, 2011 6:39 PM

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