Kindle experience so far

Executive summary: I love, love, love this device.

It has been exceptionally useful to be able to read multiple things from the same device. When I bought an iPod, I was able to stop carrying multiple CDs around with me, and I was enchanted with the variety of musical choice that gave me, no matter where I was. I have the same feeling about the Kindle; now I can do exactly the same with books. I have probably 25 books and magazines loaded on it right now, and so everywhere I went– the plane, the train, the taxi, the hotel restaurant, the bus stop– I had something interesting to read, all in a single small package.

The screen quality is fantastic. It is extremely readable, and the ability to adjust font sizes is a nice bonus. The page-flicker effect is barely noticeable to me now.

As for content, I couldn’t buy anything from Amazon because there’s no Whispernet service in the UK. I was able to hit up manybooks.net, the Baen Free Library, and fictionwise.com to add a number of free and purchased items through the USB disk mode, though. While waiting for lunch, for example, I was reading the first part of Joe Haldeman’s new novel “Marsbound” in either Asimov’s or Analog (they run together in my mind).

Bad points: yes, there are a few. The device itself feels a little plasticy, and the “next page” button on the right edge of the Kindle feels downright flimsy. The included case is pretty much worthless, as the Kindle won’t really stay in it when it’s opened. I found to my dismay that trying to charge the Kindle via USB actually drains the battery. I also noticed that two titles I’d bought, Snow Crash and Count Zero, aren’t actually on the device– apparently they didn’t get downloaded yet, so I couldn’t read them.

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