I can easily sum up my experience: I love it.
What do I like about Kindle?
- I can carry around a bunch of books in one light package. There are 21 books that are actively on my Kindle right now. Several are large volumes that I'd rather not take up space on my already crowded bookshelves. When I've finished reading them, I can send them back to be stored at Amazon, freeing up space on my Kindle, and knowing they can be retrieved within seconds.
- Ordering a book is too neat for words. It's late. I'm in bed, reading a history book on the Kindle when I think of a management book that would be helpful in the development of a workshop. I click on the Kindle store button, find the book, and order it. Within 30 to 40 seconds, it has been wirelessly sent to my Kindle. I read a chapter before going to sleep.
- It feels right. Kindle doesn't have the sensual feel of a regular book - you won't be sniffing the pages - but it's darned close. The page-turning feature is especially neat and there's a certain humorous touch in its ability to dog-ear pages.
What are the downsides?
- You don't have easy access to the entire book as you do with a paper volume. This prevents informal browsing and peeking ahead.
- It allows highlighting and notes, but that's not quite the same as the joy of scrawling comments in the margin.
- Its high-tech lines are attractive and yet they do not have the visual appeal of a well-designed book cover.
- Unlike a traditional book, the Kindle volumes cannot be passed around among family and friends.
Summary: If you are a book-lover, you'll probably enjoy the Kindle. I wasn't sure if I'd like it and my book-buying habits haven't enormously changed since getting one, but it is a handy tool. The Kindle is one of the most useful and impressive items I've ever owned.