Do any of you have and use a Kindle? or plan to get the new Kindle DX?

This sounds like an interesting device.   It is super flat and is meant to bridge the gap between reading from papers or books and reading from a computer screen.

You can download publications, etc.   

This is very cool.  

Have you used one yet? 


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. David Young says:

    I own a Kindle v2 and love it. I read the Holy Father’s “Jesus of Nazareth” on it without issue.

  2. The DX model is supposed to be able to read PDF files, as opposed to only the proprietary format. Even if the latter is available with a large inventory, the ability to read PDF is a tremendous advantage. This could take the concept of an “e-reader” to a new plateau of acceptability.

    Some of us may never buy print again. Oh brave new world…

  3. Regina says:

    My friend has one. She loves it because it can fit in her purse and she can whip it out when she gets a chance to read while waiting for whatever she ends up waiting for ( kids after school,various appointments, lines at the grocery store, etc.). It’s very expensive for what it is…what? 300-400 dollars? Proponents love that the books are only nine dollars to download, and for the aging, it apparently has an option for “big print” display.I guess that’s a nice option.It has a lot of other bells and whistles- I can’t recall them now because they do not interest me. But it’s just another technology toy. There’s nothing like holding the book itself. The page thickness,the coarseness or softness of the paper, the smell of the book, the way it feels in your hands…that’s the reading experience. How can you go to bed with a technology device? I personally prefer cuddling with the book!

  4. JML says:

    Fr. Z

    I have an iPod and they have a free Kindle app. Reads about 1/8 – 1/4 page per screen. Print is fine for reading. When the Kindle DX drops in price, then I’d consider buying one.

  5. MCITL says:

    Fr Z,

    Would you like to have one of these?

  6. JML: Lemme get this straight. You can buy or subscribe to something for Kindle, and you can also use it on your iPhone? Both/And? Either/Or?

  7. TomW says:

    I’ve been eying this wonderful device for a while, but was waiting for the next generation, apparently the DX is it. I’ll be purchasing sometime this year.

  8. Brad says:

    I’ll buy one as soon as you can download library books. $10+ per book will add up *really* fast.

  9. Mark says:

    Both/And… I use it on my iPhone. Howwever, most of the books I like to read are not available yet. For example, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography by Peter Brown is not available. But of course, O’Donnell’s version is available.

    When the Kindle supports color and a browser over WiFi, i’ll buy one. I’m tempted now… but I’ll wait.

  10. Brad: That would be something.

    I bet a new-media minded community of Benedictines with an electronic scriptorium could earn some income digitizing books for this new tool.

  11. Mark: Avoid O’Donnell as a waste of time and money. If you must, scan it at the library.

  12. Do I understand correctly that this thing does not connect by wifi? It does not display color?

  13. Roleigh Martin says:

    Since the DX Kindle accepts pdf, and library ebooks are copyright-protected, time-out pdf files, would they not be downloadable to a DX Kindle?

  14. Roleigh Martin says:

    p.s. My eyesight requires reading glasses since I turned 50 and it\’s painful to read paper print (oddly, I can read computer fonts without glasses). I listen to audiobooks nowadays (5-8 a month) and can walk while reading, but some books are not in audiobook format, and if (a) they were in kindle format, I\’d get them in kindle format, but most books not in audiobook format are not available in kindle, only about two books I want to read are available in kindle but not audiobook. Because there are so few kindle books I want to order, I get them on my iphone via the kindle reader on the iphone. I have gotten two kindle books for my iphone. I can also get pdf documents on my iphone via other apps too. I rarely buy paper books anymore.

  15. Charlotte says:

    Predictions are that Kindle will be as popular as cell phones within 5 years – it will be a deal where, for example, if you subscribe to the New York Times for a 2-year period (digital format), you’ll get a Kindle for free. Other predictions: 1.) Kindle will be around $150 within 2-3 years. 2.) Kindle will make newspapers obsolete within (again) 5 years. 3.) Kindle will enable the start-up of excellent conservative digital newspapers because the enormous costs of producing a paper news source will be gone, and 4.) Indpendent book publishing (and self-publishing) will have a golden renaissance period because of the all-digital format – book companies won’t be needed to publish or promote books like they are now.

  16. Dave N. says:

    It’s great. It basically connects like your cell-phone would, so a little different from wi-fi in that the coverage area is much broader.

    I can’t imagine how much less newsprint I’ve avoided based on daily newspaper download.

    Not color, not backlit, so you still need your reading lamp at night.

  17. MCITL says:

    WEAR THE BLACK to PROTEST THE RED blood of aborted babies 17 May

  18. Marty Greene says:

    I have the Kindle v1 and absolutely love it. Got it for my birthday last June. I take it everywhere. I have it loaded with books including the Douay-Rheims Bible.

  19. Dove says:

    I don’t have one, but I might get one when they develop a color display. It would be nice to have when traveling on long plane trips, you wouldn’t have to carry heavy books, assuming that the books you wanted to read were available on Kindle.

  20. km says:

    wouldn’t it be nice to see the 1962 missal? we could bring the kindles to mass!

  21. Gary says:

    With 2 kids in college and one in high school, I think of the money that could be saved if textbooks and articles could be loaded onto Kindle. Many textbooks run $100 to $200 but could be had for a fraction of that – good news for students and parents! And instead of having to pay to reprint a whole textbook for just a few changes, publishers could just \”update\” the electronic file. I\’ll get in line for myself when they get the 1962 Missal & Breviary (Latin & English)onto Kindle.

  22. Mike Morrow says:

    A book! I’ll still take a real book.

    The *only* appeal that devices such as this have to me is the tremendous amount of text that could be stored. An extensive personal library could be contained in a small package. But think of the price, at $10 per book, and doubtless limited selection. And as yet, no color.

    I’ll take a book. And for *traditional* Mass the hand missal should always be a *traditional* book. However, for novus ordo services, a progressive play toy like this could indeed be useful, and perhaps become canonical. IMHO.

  23. Thomas Burk says:

    NY Times reviewed it back in Feb. I’m interested, but find it’s much too expensive for me. Some day it will have better features and will be more affordable, perhaps.

  24. Brad says:

    Fr Z:

    You’re right, there is no wi-fi. Amazon has a deal with Sprint to provide connectivity to the Kindle. That’s a point of contention for some as they (rightly) wonder how much they’re paying for the Sprint connection.

  25. Matt says:

    I am waiting for “flexible” screens so that I can roll it up and treat it like real paper. It is not too far off.

  26. Bobby says:

    I use a Sony PRS-505 and would not trade it for anything. has a huge amount of information about different devices.

  27. MenTaLguY says:

    I think it’s a pretty great idea in most respects. My main difficulty with eBooks generally, and this is as much a difficulty with the Kindle as anything else, is the idea that I don’t own a book I buy anymore, and that in many cases I have continued access to it only at the vendor’s sufferance. Also sacrificed are the abilities to resell or loan a book.

  28. MenTaLguY says:

    (That is, in buying an eBook, you are acquiring a limited license rather than purchasing anything, which has significant implications for what you can legally and practically do with it.)

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve considered getting a Kindle (or similar device) since I’m a grad student. Anything that would reduce the poundage of books I have to lug at the end of every semester is something that catches my eye. At the same time, since I tend to use old, rare, hard-to-find books, a Kindle that only does books isn’t something I find myself needing. I do use a ton of PDF articles. JSTOR, Project MUSE, and academic journals provide articles in PDF format. Since the only thing I’d use a Kindle for would be predominately PDFs, the PDF-unfriendly Kindles haven’t been worth buying. If I weren’t a poor grad student and had the money, I’d jump on a Kindle that supports PDFs. Then I wouldn’t have three reams worth of articles to lug every time I move my articles. Particularly if prices decline over the coming years, I can see Kindles becoming a mainstyle in the academic world and not just with the people who like their cheap paperbacks.

  30. John Polhamus says:

    I have no use for this, as I write in the margins of books and underline them. Also, your eye can find references in a book far faster than that thing can flip its pages. I’m sure they’ll be perfect for Anime novels. Just think, if the Vatican Library used a few of those, there’d be no need for them to keep all that junk parchment (takes up SO much room!). Nothing but a breeding ground for mould, that stuff. Not to mention all the useless hard-copy bulls and documents…say, don’t you think the Veronica would be much more effectively viewed after being digitized? Or the Shroud of Turin? Then we could recycle the originals. Well, in light of subsequently reasoned thought, perhaps I’ll change my mind. After all, CHANGE is what we HOPE for…if you get my drift.

  31. Ron Draganowski says:

    I’ll make some predictions of my own to piggy back on the ones made earlier. In five years not only will this device be much cheaper, but it will also:

    – allow for taking notes as you read (oral or with stylus)
    – allow you to store both the book and the notes on your PC or Mac (or maybe in the cloud) so they CAN BE SEARCHED (take that, all you margin writers!)
    – link to your web browser so if you see a document (.doc or .pdf) you like on line, you can “Send to my Kindle”.
    – fold in half, like a book, for easier storage.
    – Some versions will act as a PDA, allowing for checking email, listening to music. How about a video phone!
    – It will double as a solar element that can be laid across your face and used for tanning (okay, this was just for fun)
    – And this will happen as some Libraries already do this via their websites. Allow for the checkout of any book for a limited time. For instance, you go to the library website, find a book you like, if it’s available (they will be required to limit the number of checkouts at a time per title) you can “Send to my Kindle”. It will auto-delete from your kindle in x days (probably 2 or 3 weeks, just like a real book!) Your notes, however, will be saved, along with quoted text (max selection of a quote will be approximately one full page.

    Therefore, I choose to save my money for now, as today’s version will not do all the cool things described above.

  32. Jarrett says:

    I have wanted one of these since I first heard about it. The two problems at present are the cost (still a bit prohibitive for me personally) and the fact that I don’t live in the US, and I haven’t heard that I can use it here yet. But it looks great and as more and more books become available in this format, I’m sure I’ll get one. The idea of being able to carry around a big library in a small device is very appealing to me.

    Plus, if you’re a Star Trek fan, it just looks so-o-oo 24th century, reading from that thing in your “ready room” … ;-)

  33. TC says:

    As for me, give me books, real books.
    But wait before you buy a Kindle, Apple is supposedly about to spring the iPad on the market.

    Just don’t blame me in ten years when publishing has gone digital only to be destroyed by low profits and piracy.

  34. Cortney says:

    No, no, no, no! Imagine a world without books! You can’t underline important passages or bend down corners or enjoy the smell of the new pages or feel the heft of the book in your hands if you read on a Kindle. You can’t pass on important books to your children and grandchildren if you read those books’ contents on a Kindle. A Kindle has no lovely covers to admire and no variety in fonts and white space, the little touches that make books interesting and artistic. A Kindle “missal” will have no ribbon markers, no leather cover, no zipper on to which you can attach your Patron Saint’s medal and no pages between which you can tuck a prayer card. Oh please, spare me from a world of Kindles and the like, a world without books!

  35. Fr. Specht says:

    Yes, I have a Kindle and have not regretted it for a second. I love books and the feeling of holding a book in my handles but the Kindle allows me freedom that books do not.
    1. Downloaded papers allows me to easily read through local and other papers wherever I am (including bed :) )
    2. I am a serial reader, meaning I am usually reading four or five books at a time. With paper books I always found that the book I happaned to have at hand was not necessarily the book I wanted to continue at any specific time. Now I have hundreds of books always at my fingertips.
    3. Most of the books I am attracted to are classics and already in the public domain and so are available for free at other websites.
    4. The massive storage capacity for texts allows me to carry reference works with me that while seldom used make life so convenient when something relating to them comes into question. Examples: GIRM, Rubrics for the 62 Mass, encyclicals, catechism, medical ethics texts, diocesan policy memos, Vatican I, II and Trent documents.I feel like a movable research library.
    5. Allows me to instantly download samples of books I read reviews on and find interesting.
    6. Gives me numerous hours of useful research and reflection when quietly sitting in the confessional waiting for penitents.

    All in all, while I love the feel of real books and am always surrounded by them, I am certain that I will also have a Kindle or an equivalent in my hands. I think that electronic ink will gain in popularity and give each person a library ta their fingertips.

  36. cathguy says:

    Absolutely LOVE my Kindle 2!!!

    Mobile Reference publishes WHOLE collections really cheap. For instance, I bought the complete GK Chesterton for under 5 bucks! Same thing for the entire Summa!

    Father, when will the blog be available with Kindle’s blog service? We can currently visit the blog with our basic web service that comes with the Kindle, but having it download direct to the reader would be very cool.


  37. cathguy says:

    In answer to fathers questions:

    The display is not a traditional computer display, it is electronic ink. The page you see is not back lit in any way, so it reads just like a book (you need a book-light to read it in the dark).

    This electronic ink technology means there is no eye strain as you get with computer monitors. It looks like a real page.

    There is only gray scale. Art displays on the Kindle beautifully, but it looks like the old wood-cuts in the old books (only with more complex shades of grey). You will not find color.

    The reason for this is the electronic ink technology. This is really the key to the whole device. It reads just like a book.

    The device connects with the internet at 3G speeds. You get this wi-fi connection for FREE. NO SUBSCRIPTION FEE. When you load up the Kindle store front you can download new books for 9 bucks. Most public domain books that have been published by companies like Mobil-Reference sell for 99 cents! You can buy the complete GK Chesterton for like 5 bucks. Same thing for the Summa. The reason this is a FREE wi-fi device is, unlike the Sony devices which are also neat, you don’t need to hook it up to your computer to get content. Rather, using Amazon’s whisper net technology all the data is sent directly to your Kindle using the same technology your cell-phone uses.

    Go to the Amazon website and click on the Kindle 2. There are videos there that explain how everything works.

    I hate to sound like a salesman, but I think this is A MAJOR device. No e-book reader yet has broken into the market. Now that the Kindle is selling well, Sony seems to be making some more inroads to.

    I honestly thought I would NEVER give up the printed page. With the electronic ink I haven’t. It is just that the printed page adapts to any content downloaded to it. This is definitely NOT a toy in my opinion.

  38. cathguy says:


    Great post! I love it!

    Just as an addenda, you can highlight the text with the cursor, and add your own notes to the text via the keyboard. Your notes in the margins disappear but superscript number appears, much like a professional citation. Click that and your comments appear. You can literally mark up a book to kingdom come. Your marks are there, and unless you highlight, are invisible in the text until you want them.

    I don’t use the highlight function. I do take copious notes.

  39. Andy Brandt says:

    No, I don’t have a Kindle nor will I have one in the foreseeable future. I don’t live in the US and outside of continental US it is rather useless. Also, to publish Kindle books you have to be a US citizen or a US based company, which I think limits the publications available.

    Finally, I don’t like the fact that Kindle books are just rented, not owned. You can’t do much with them except see them on your Kindle. With a real book you, well, own it, can sell it or give it to a friend or to a library. With Kindle you just pay for the right to read a book. I don’t like this. I think this right is also not for unlimited time, but I may be wrong on that one.

    More on this:

    That’s why I’m looking at other devices, like BeBook which supports many formats and accepts files from a PC. That way I could actually own my e-books as files and do whatever I want with them besides just viewing them on my device.

  40. John P. says:

    While I do not own a Kindle, I have heard from people who own them, and I have seen them in stores. They are impressive devices, and, as I am virtually addicted to ebooks, (I have a Pocket PC, which is basically a Palm Pilot, that I use to read them) I would be interested in purchasing one. The only complaint I have is the lack of a backlight. With my Pocket PC, I can read in the dark just fine, but with the Kindle, I still have to use a reading light. That, and my budget, being still in high school, is very limited. In a way, I wish they made a smaller, more portable Kindle, much like my Pocket PC, which I can take anywhere I go. Then put the 1962 Breviary English/Latin on it, and I’ll be the first in line to buy one. They’re very nice devices, but not for everyone.

  41. Anne M says:

    I have wanted a Kindle since the first time I saw it advertised. It is still a bit too
    expensive for me and I plan to wait until the price comes down. I also would like to see
    a model with a color screen and backlight feature. I tend to read and collect antique
    books, so Kindle wouldn’t be helpful for that, but I also enjoy reading novels, and many
    of the novels I like are available for Kindle.

  42. TNCath says:

    As a teacher, I could see where this device could be handy in the downloading of student textbooks, although a lot of academics would say that nothing takes the place of the feel of a book. Also, one of the dangers of the use of all this technology is that while students have a lot of information at the fingertips, they do not seem to retain a lot of knowledge. I don’t know that this latest device will necessarily enlighten people, enhance knowledge, or promote scholarship, but it sounds like it will be a popular toy amongst technically oriented folks. Finally, the one thing I have noticed is that for years people have touted technology as a time saver and a convenience. After ten years of having it, I can honestly say I am just as busy as I ever was (if not more so) and life has been made more complicated by it. If we go to Kindles in our school, I’m sure I’ll get with it like everybody else, but, for now, I’ll stick to books, my MacBook, and my LG cell phone.

  43. Ohio Annie says:

    I seriously considered this but then decided to read the negative reviews and discovered the quality control problems (screen problems, extreme fragility despite their claim of robustness), people’s libraries disappearing from the repository at amazon, software problems, the lack of searchable chapters in the software (it has to be built into each book, so for example, what good is the Summa in one big slug if it isn’t searchable, you want to read it like a novel?). Also the fine print made me wary, they have the right to shut off your wireless connectivity at any time, leaving you with only the books you have already downloaded. Problems with downloading the free books from the Gutenberg project, etc.

    I decided to wait for Kindle 4 or 5 when they will have the bugs worked out.

  44. JML says:

    Fr Z

    There is a free app on the IPod store for Kindle. Register the device and then you download the Kindle books to your iPod until you run out of memory! (I have the 32GB monster).

    As to moving it from iPod to Kindle DX, dunno. Guess I have to read the FAQ’s deeper. I do believe that if my iPod gets lost or stolen, I can reload all that I have purchased to my new device.

  45. EDG says:

    I love my Kindle! I splurged on the Kindle 1 last fall and don’t regret it. I can carry literally hundreds of books and documents when I am traveling (I usually just have 5 or 10, in practice), new books cost less than half the price of the print editions on the Amazon website and are delivered instantly (for example, when I’m sitting in the airport), and you can sample books from Amazon in advance before buying them. More and more older books are available in a format usable by the Kindle and are generally cheap or even free. The device is light, compact and the screen is extremely visible and easy to read.

    You can also convert and add your own personal documents and even browse the Internet from it (in black and white, still – works best for text based sites). One of my favorite features is the clipping file, where you can highlight and save passages in a book.
    Highly recommended!

  46. Anthony says:

    Our youth minister has one. She\’s been on bedrest from pregnancy complications since March (what a witness to the teens about the sanctity of life!) and uses the Kindle instead of books since she has trouble holding the books for that long of a time. To her it feels just like a book!

  47. Bill in Texas says:

    I bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday last month. Although she had said (before receiving it) that she really didn’t think she would use one, she totally loves it! She finishes books faster when reading them on the Kindle, and she always has it with her. It is possibly the best birthday gift I have ever given her. Much easier to read in bed. She takes it to work (she’s a level 2 neonatal nurse), reads on her breaks; at least one other nurse has said she’s getting one, based on seeing how well it works, and others have expressed interest.

    The downside is that she reads a LOT more than she used to. In the first six weeks of having it, she has spent about $250 on Kindle books. At $5 to $15 a book, that’s a lot of books! She finishes the average book in a couple of days. Just be aware that, if you are a voracious reader, even though the books are cheaper, you are going to be spending as much as you ever did on your reading.

    As for the Kindle DX, in my opinion, it is badly overpriced. If it weren’t for that, I might get one for myself.

  48. TA1275 says:

    Father, I would recommend reading this article on all of the cultural transformation of our culture becoming a “people of the screen.” It is worth a good read.

  49. Krista says:

    The Kindle-type technology will prove very useful for students, libraries, and research purposes especially with the enhanced features mentioned above. As someone who works in the publishing industry, I can attest that printing and binding costs are extremely high which makes this technology a great option for schools, libraries, etc. Currently the academic publisher I work for creates e-book files for libraries to purchase and upload. This will allow institutions to house more titles than what they can physically store. It also has the added benefit of ensuring that all students have access to materials without the restrictions imposed by 2-hour reserve and the like. Some schools currently have all of their journals in E-format and articles are sent to students via pdf.

    While all of this is great, there are some drawbacks to the Kindle. The backlighting problem has not been fully resolved yet. Currently, the most eye-friendly papers are in shades of off-white. This allows the print to be easily read with a minimum amount of glare. The Kindle isn’t quite there yet.

    Kindles are not as portable as books and can certainly not be taken to the same places books can (while people float in water or relax in tubs, etc). There is also something very comforting about the tactile quality of a book. As such, people will be more hesitant to adopt this technology than they would for portable music players which have had various iterations over the past 30+ years.

    Amazon is also bullying the publishing industry and is promising potential authors all kinds of things if they publish with Kindle(ie, use Kindle as their publisher and not a major publishing house). However, their self-created products have virtually no editorial oversight which is an important feature of the publishing industry.

    The bottom line is that these devices will be very useful for educational and research purposes, but will probably be less successful for standard book buyers for some time.

    Amazon and their ilk should also content themselves with producing the technology and not try to control the editorial side of the publishing industry. Technologically gifted individuals are not the ultimate arbiter of all other professions. Some skill sets are best left to those who are proficient in them…

  50. Arlington Catholic says:

    Fr. Specht! Commenting on Fr. Z’s blog. Sweet.

  51. The thing has great potential, but for me it is still too much in its infancy for me to consider one. As much as I am not an apple fan, I have to admit I was pretty darn impressed with their iphone. Maybe if they got to work on some type of ibook, it would actually be useful and intuitive and sturdy (the kindle looks easily breakable to me).
    Of course, it’s easy to rip your CD’s to your ipod or iphone, but to get your current library of books onto some sort of Kindle or ibook would be a whole other can of worms. Until that day comes, I’m not sure if this will be as popular. I certainly wouldn’t want to buy my personal library again, no matter how cheap the cost.

  52. JaneC says:

    A few university presses are doing deals with Kindle now. When there are more, and the Kindle has a color screen, and the publications are searchable, then I will buy one. A friend of mine has one and loves it, but the books I need are not available for that format yet.

    I love printed books, but I hate lugging 5-10 books to and from campus regularly, or taking heavy books in my suitcase when I go on a trip (as I do several times a year, for conferences and to see family). A device like this could save my back.

    Another dream feature: voice-activated page turn. I could buy music books for Kindle, prop it up on my music stand, and just tell it “turn” instead of interrupting the flow of my practicing.

  53. irishgirl says:

    I echo Cortney’s ‘cry’-no no no!

    Why does everything have to be technical and electronic?

    Give me ‘real’ books anytime!

  54. Ann says:

    I prefer books. I like the feel of them, I like it that they are still there without the need for batteries. I like it that one will fit in my bag. I like it that a computer glitch doesn’t make them vanish.

    I just cannot see the charm in this device.

    But I also dislike reading on the computer screen as well. It bothers my eyes, as do some kinds of artificial lights so that I must keep my reading chair near a window to add sunlight to the incandescent bulb in my reading lamp.

    I think it is cute though and could certainly see it catching on for reading magazines or other things I don’t keep anyway. But still not for me.

  55. Cel says:

    I very much doubt that e-readers will replace good books for exactly some of the reasons mentioned. The problem is that not all readings are worth the permanence of a book and that is where something like a Kindle will shine. Want to read a novel just to pass the time? Great. It wasn’t that good? Well. I guess it will just go into the closet until I decide to have a yard sale and get rid of it for a quarter. But, what if it turns out to be a great book, one worth buying. Well, people will probably still buy it. I will probably prefer to use a real book for something like missal at Church or praying the breviary. I wont give up my 5 volume Summa even though I will probably also get an e-version on the Kindle when I finally pick one up. Being able to load up encyclicals to my hearts content, golden. Textbooks, newspapers, journals and any book that you want to read but are not sure you want to buy, that is anything that you would go to the library for but would like to keep longer for reference. All that makes sense on an e-reader.

    Fr. Specht, where do you go for to download the reference material you mentioned?

    Cathguy, thanks for pointing out mobile reference, that is cool.

    The Gutenberg Project also looks like it is going to be a winner.

    What other great sites do people know about that have a great supply of e-books?

  56. Edward C. says:

    The moment kindle offers WDTPRS via their blog section I will pan out the dough… until then I’m waiting till I win the lotto. This is a luxury I simply cannot afford.

  57. Greg says:

    I have the SONY PRS-505 and it is great! I have used mine at mass with the 1962 missal on it (though in Latin only without the translations, which is not yet available in eBook format). It has a nice leather cover and looks a lot like a real book until you look closer. The advantage of the SONY is it plays many more formats than the Kindle (and it came with 100 free classics to choose out of many available titles). The Kindle has the advantage of whispernet whereas the SONY you have to load the books from your computer, but I have about 65 books loaded and have not missed the uplink. All in all the technology is becoming better and better and it is here to stay I think.

  58. Paul H says:

    I don’t have any interest in getting a Kindle (or any other e-reader) for several reasons:

    (1) The Kindle is expensive. I assume that other e-book readers are similarly expensive, though I admit that I haven’t checked prices.

    (2) I don’t want to have to rely on a power source to be able to read. What if there is an extended power outage, and I want to pass the time by reading books, but I don’t have electricity to recharge my Kindle? Or what if I take it with me on a trip and I forget to charge it, and I also forget to bring the charger with me? I would rather have a physical book which I know that I can read any time, anywhere (provided that I have enough light of course).

    (3) Another commenter above mentioned that with the Kindle, you do not actually buy the e-books, but instead you acquire a limited license that theoretically could be revoked. No thanks!!! If I pay for something, I want to *own* that copy of it. That’s why I would never buy music downloads which are in a proprietary, copy-protected format — if I want to create a completely *legal* copy of the music that I purchased, for my own private use, that is my business.

    (4) For music, it would be awesome to have my entire music library in a portable format that I can carry with me (as I could do if I had a high-capacity mp3 player), because I’m constantly wanting to listen to different songs from my collection. But with books, it is different. I am never reading more than two or three books at one time, and it takes me at least a couple of weeks to get through a typical book. So even if I’m going on a week-long vacation, I can bring two or three books and have all the reading material that I need. I just don’t see much advantage to bringing my entire library with me in electronic format.

    (5) According to some of the comments above, many new books are around $9 per book for the Kindle. This is not that great. For an electronic copy, and considering how much I’m paying for the Kindle itself, I would hope for a bit more of a price break. The average price I pay for new books probably isn’t more than $11 or $12 now, for physical books.

    (6) I have had some bad experiences with in the past, and I would not want to be reliant on them for an e-book reader. Yet if I bought any other e-reader, I would be concerned about the availability of books in the correct format, since the Kindle seems to be the market leader, and since their e-book format seems to be proprietary, unless I am mistaken.

  59. Paul H says:

    I have one more brief comment. I just saw the following on as one of the selling points of the new version of the Kindle:

    “Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns”

    I thought that this was pretty funny. I’m imagining the time when books shifted from scrolls to their current codex form, and wondering if “faster page scrolling” was one of the advertised selling points. :-)

  60. Cel says:

    Hey, Cathguy,

    So when you use, do you download the version for the PC, which I assume is a mobi file and then just mail it to you Kindle? How does all that work?

  61. Andrew A says:

    It is these devises that put the publishing companies out of business. I do not plan on buying one because my dad works for a publisher, and it has been damaging to publishing sales. Plus, I like the hardcover book in my hand, and I like to flip pages. I do not want to go to bed looking at a screen. It is this kind of device that is putting bookstores out of business. I will really miss them when they go because I really like to browse. I love the look of many of my favorite books on shelves, and if they are no longer published, then it will be a great loss to me. I can only see some circumstances in which I would find this acceptable. For instance, if I traveled a lot, then this device would be nice. But, as Paul H said, I am a slow reader, and so there is no reason why I would buy so many books at once, when I take about a week or two to read a book.

  62. I’m with Andrew: I simply prefer the book in my hand, plus looking at anything electronic too long destroys my eyes. It may be bad news for (my heart bleeds!) but it’s surely a positive development for the Amazon rainforest.

  63. Chris Joliat says:

    I love my Kindle (V1). Most everything has already been said, but I want to add a couple important comments:

    1. I used to own a Sony Reader. The Kindle has a much better download process: you can shop, locate a book, purchase and download it (in about 5 seconds) all from your Kindle. With the Sony, you need to fire up your computer, go to their website, download to your computer, plug in the usb cord (dang! where did I leave that cord!) before you can read. With the Kindle, If you think of a book while you are out and away from your computer — at the airport or on a train — no problemo.

    2. Major plus over the Sony is the search function. Someone mentioned that paging back to find something is much faster with a real book, which it is, and which used to drive me crazy with the Sony. The Kindle, however, has a search function that beats both the Sony and a real book: I read a lot of long novels. If a character comes up who appeared much earlier in a long book (think Dickens or Moby Dick) and I forget who they are, a quick search shows me every occurrence of that name with a small snippet of surrounding text. That snippet may be enough to jog my memory but if it is not, I can simply click on it and go right to that section in the book and later jump right back to the point at which I left off. This is, hands down, the most important feature for me. I’d rather read Moby Dick on my Kindle than in paperback (I have done both and the Kindle is also much lighter than the unabridged paperback).

    3. ePaper is unique. I can also read any of my Kindle books on my iPhone when I don’t have my Kindle with me (by the book once and you can read it on several Kindles and your iPhone for no extra charge; so family members can share). The advantage, to the Kindle, though, is it can be read in any lighting where you can read a book, even direct sunlight (where a computer or iPhone, palm pilot, etc. would be washed out) with all other screen technology, there is an imperceptible flicker as the screen is refreshed constantly. That flicker causes eyestrain. Books and eText both can cause eyestrain if you are reading long enough or in bad lighting, but there is absolutely no eyestrain caused by screen flicker. Books and eText are the same in this regard.

    4. There are hundreds of free ebooks available to read on your Kindle. Anything that is out of copyright (almost all classics are) can be downloaded for free from a variety of sites like

  64. michigancatholic says:

    It’s been too expensive for me so far…and I’m not sure I’d get all the kinds of books I’d like to read, but maybe I’d get enough to make it worthwhile….

    I love books and own several thousand of them. Some books I obtain because I want to own them in hard copy because they’re old or important to me or I want them for writing or reference or they’re just plain beautiful; some I obtain because I want to read them and pass them on. Occasionally, I just want a fast entertaining read or an informational news-type book and these would be the kindle type.

    I’ll probably always buy the touchy-feely books in paper format :) and also the ones for reference–as long as I don’t starve first! ;)

  65. Latekate says:

    I’d just as soon have real books that I can sell, give away, find cheap at yardsales and library discard sales. A paperback doesn’t take up much room. Those Kindles are way too expensive and the downloads too costly for the amount I read. Besides, how is God going to call your attention to certain books on a Kindle the way He does at a book sale?

  66. Mary says:

    “And instead of having to pay to reprint a whole textbook for just a few changes, publishers could just “update” the electronic file.” Gary

    Publishers want to reprint textbooks. Things like basic economics textbooks, foreign language, that sort of thing, really only need editions every several years, but in many cases, publishers issue new editions every year, just adding a few pages and shuffling around graphs, so that schools will switch to the new edition and students will pay $80 for a new one rather than paying a few dollars to a friend for a five-year-old copy.

  67. TerryC says:

    I read on my netbook all the time and while the form factor fo the Kindle is very nice I refuse to put myself in the position of allowing a single source to determine what I can read.
    When they add WIFI I might think about it. As long as Amazon controls the only conduit I’ll pass.
    Another point is that Sprint is hemorrhaging customers. What happens if they go belly up? Does Amazon buy them and support he system just to keep Kindles working? Or do Kindle owners now find they have a device which is basically a $500 brick?

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