I recently splurged and bought myself a Kindle, in part because on Craigslist you can nab one for about $65 NIB and at that price I was able to justify it and hopefully motivate myself to read a little more. After spending a little time with it I’m shocked at how great a device it is, even though it’s a single-tasking device. It’s an e-reader and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Super light with a two month battery and it’s better than reading a book because of it’s size, ease and the fact that you don’t have to deal with traditional page turning (and the ‘green’ element is nice too). But it doesn’t just best traditional books – it’s a far better experience than reading books on other electronic devices (well excluding other similar e-ink readers). The screen, size and weight simply set it apart. With a 6” screen it wouldn’t make a good phone and phones with smaller screens suffer from excessive page turns. What about tablets? You have weight and size issues but more important than anything, you get back to traditional backlit displays. I don’t want to hear about how you don’t mind reading off a backlight display and how it’s better for nighttime reading. That’s all an excuse. E-ink displays are by far the best for reading text and I don’t think there’s much debate there, except by people who have never used one. Even the display and thinness of the iPad makes a mediocre e-reader. An iPad is a bit big and heavy if you’re a serious reader and even the display on that is not as good for reading, And you can’t leave that thing in your jacket pocket the same way you can a Kindle.
And the Fire? Garbage screen, limited battery life and nothing against it, it’s a passable device, but if you’re into reading the display and nearly limitless battery of the Kindle set it apart.
I didn’t realize how much I missed reading and I’m happy I went for it. And I’m still checking prices on Craigslist and I’m tempted to grab another one to give as a gift to spread the love.