1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Should I get a Kindle?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Jan 28, 2011.

    Assuming I already have the money, is it worth it to get a Kindle? If somebody has one, what is the common cost to download a book? Was it worth it for you? Any information is appreciated.
     
  2. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    New releases, Bestsellers included, are $9.99 and lower. Most books on the Kindle are in the $4.99-$7.99 range. If you type "Public Domain" into the search engine, there are roughly over three-thousand titles that you can download completely free. These include literary classics. Nearly all of Virginia Woolf. You can also read sample chapters of any book for free. Downloads are near instant. Battery lasts a good two weeks between charges if wi-fi is turned off.

    You can also download magazines and newspapers. Each comes with a free fourteen day trial that you can cancel at anytime. Otherwise, it's usually like a buck or two after that for a subscription.

    It includes free 3G wireless service, a built-in dictionary, annotations, auto-bookmark, text-to-speech, MP3 and audio book capability, and quite a vast storage space. Additionally, you can adjust font size and type.

    I enjoy my Kindle a great deal. It was worth every penny for me. I do still buy hardbacks, just because I'm a collector.
     
  3. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't do it! For the love of books, DON'T DO IT!!!!!

    Seriously, ebooks are evil. Although now there are titles that will NEVER appear in print, only e-book format. So maybe it is worth getting one, and the fact that you can get an e-book for $1 - $15. Some are possibly more, most are cheap, cheap, cheap!

    Bad points: you drop it hard enough, it breaks. It gets stolen, it's expensive to replace. Being a kindle, it has ALL your books on it, so when it is lost, so are ALL your books. And books aren't meant to click... seriously, what's up with that?

    There are far too many pros to list, and I really don't want to as I hate what e-books are doing to the publishing industry and I hate reading stories from a screen myself.

    Another things against kindle, if I download a book and slap it on the kindle, then just happen to bump into a author I admire and say "Hey *insert famous author name* I'm currently reading your book, it was amazing. I love how the protagonist does *insert thing here*. Could you sign it for me, I have it with me.... oh wait, it's on my kindle. Forget it." I can't get my book signed, I'm gutted.

    I love getting signatures from authors. We have Graham Masterton, Fran Friel, Shaun Jeffrey, Tom Picrilli, T.M. Wright, Jack Ketchum, quite a few in the book Macabre, S.D. Hintz, Paul Kane, Tim Lebbon, Lousie Bohmer, R. Scott McCoy... the list goes on. If they were kindle editions, we'd never of got their signatures.

    If you got to smashwords, you can get some decent titles for absolutely free.

    Nothing beats a print edition book. But e-books really are a lot cheaper.

    Ok, end rant. I've probably not helped much, but I had to give my opinion. :-D
     
  4. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Actually, Amazon saves every book you download into a vault on your account. So even if you delete the book from your device, the file stays on your account to download later. So your books are never lost. You can also sync your account with the Kindle App on Android.
     
  5. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is very true. But still... they aren't exactly the cheapest piece of technology to replace if stolen. I just like print books, I'm bias. :-D
     
  6. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I like print books too, but if you invest a few extra bucks into a sturdy case, it's pretty durable. My Kindle has been through a mess - sandwiched in my backpack among hard text books, dropped, banged, still works good as new. It's a one year warranty, and they're pretty cheap to replace now. I think the newest Kindle is about $150.

    And I don't see ebooks destroying the industry. I've downloaded ebook only books from new authors that were pretty good, and I would have never read them otherwise. It's opening the doors for a lot of new authors.

    But yes, the Kindle doesn't have the smell of a fresh paperback. It's really an aesthetic issue.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was a die-hard paper-book purist until this past summer when, for external reasons, I had to get a Kindle.

    I have to say I immediately fell in love with it. Me, a traditional paper-book purist. I fell in love with the Kindle. I now have two of them (a regular one and the larger DX) and I gave my roomie a DX. We both love them.

    My favorite feature is that classic literature is so incredibly cheap for the Kindle. You can get a lot of stuff absolutely free, and things like the complete works of Dostoevsky, fully indexed etc., for less than five bucks. That's the complete works. I got all of Conrad, Kipling, Mark Twain, etc. for less than five bucks each. Tons of the best stuff ever written is dirt cheap and wonderfully convenient on a Kindle.

    Buy one. You won't regret it.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Based on what I've read, and from people I've talked to who have the Nook and Kindle both, go with the Nook. That's what I'll probably do in the next few months.
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't look twice at a Kindle, but then someone had to go and mention it has an mp3 player so hm...

    Personally, I doubt I would buy a Kindle. To me, there is just something about physically having all the books I own. Maybe cause one day I will be able to show off a library with shelves filled with books.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'll show off a library with shelves filled with books, too. Having a Kindle doesn't mean you can't do that. This is not an either-or situation. You can have a Kindle and STILL buy paper books, if you want! Freedom - a wonderful thing!
     
  11. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    10 dollars for a new release? Nice...

    Of course, I hate to assist the decline of paper books, but it'd be useful to carry multiple books around.

    Theft could be an issue, I can't count how many of my pens have ended up doing somebody else's Algebra, lol.

    Then again, I don't want to pay 50 dollars for every single book I buy. It's ridiculous, I scarcely buy books anymore because of the price. 40 to 50 dollars and I finish the 600 page book in 2 hours. Nope, I guess I'm buying a Kindle.
     
  12. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I got a Kindle for Christmas, and honestly, I love it. I used to be a paper purist, but since getting one I've changed my mind fairly dramatically. Don't get me wrong, I still love print books, but e-book readers are inherently adaptive and useful.

    As well as fiction, I use my kindle for a variety of other purposes. First thing in the morning, I download the Guardian newspaper (for free), and put it on my Kindle, to read on the way to Uni. I also put articles for Uni on there, to save having to print them out to read. It's also very useful for editing my own writing. And it has minesweeper :p

    The vast majority of books are cheaper on the Kindle, and there's an ever increasing range available. It hasn't replaced print books for me, nor do I ever think it will be, but it's an incredibly useful piece of kit.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably point out that I live in the UK, so no B&N, and no "Nook". My choices were Kindle or Sony e-reader. I went with the Kindle. I'm very glad I did.
     
  14. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate all these e-books and kindles and whatnots. I like good old books that are in print that I can physically hold and I'm never going to get a kindle or the like.

    Anyway, my opinion aside, I know of a couple of people who felt the same as me, but then when they got a kindle themselves they instantly loved it.
     
  15. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    My roommate wrote a piece on this subject that I really like, and I hope it won't be a problem if I post it here.

    The case for books.



    The written word is our greatest tool, especially in this economically trying time. Movies cost too damn much, beer and spirits are too fleeting, and even sex loses its flair when it's the only free thing to do (and some people have the gall to charge for it). Only literature can hold its own when faced with Depression-scale fiscal downfall. Sure, there are depression-era films that withstand the test of time, but to the people involved in making them they only served to drain the final life-blood out of their billfolds (they used billfolds back then, right?), a last-ditch death throw before the rattle lets loose, signaling the end of prosperity and the beginning of a bread line. In the mean time, the already poor writers were hunkering down to a world without distraction. With nothing to focus on but pain and misery, the writing writer could reach out to a world full of people just like them and, for the first time since the squalor of the Dark Ages and the introduction of the printing press, truly connect on a basic level. He could, at last, say "I am here, brother, and I, too, feel the cold, skeletal grip of squalor and poverty upon my sore shoulder. You are not alone and, together, we will overcome. Join me in misery but to not dwell. Instead use this depression as an opportunity to express yourself without fear of persecution, for who is there to persecute when we are all at the same level? Join our ranks, the poor and unwashed, and you will know true freedom. But no Irish."

    To offer up a form of escapism that lasts longer than two hours is an invaluable asset to our world when the economic vice tightens. Not only is this something you can enjoy many times over (usually without some plebian sucking all the fun out of it by doing nothing but quoting the work endlessly, forever ruining it in your eye), but it's something physical. The reason that books will never die is because there are too many people in the world who just plain enjoy the feel of a book in their hands. The experience, of curling up in whatever position suits you and losing yourself in a world smaller than a brick but larger than the Chrysler building. The smell of the pages, the feel of the smooth cover, the sound of paper against paper as you journey further into this Narnia, this Middle Earth, this report on the affects of pesticides when used in conjunction with a three-to-one ratio mixture of water and ethanol, whatever floats your boat. None of this can be achieved with a screen and a keyboard.

    Some have tried, with little success. The iPhone possesses an "app" that represents a three by two inch "page" that you "turn" by flipping your "finger" over the screen (that last quotation didn't really fit...), and Amazon has begun marketing a virtual reader whose name escapes me at the moment but it's something along the lines of "The Grasshopper" or "The Melonballer" or "The The," something like that. It, too, claims to "perfectly mimic the page" while at the same time "reducing the costs of owning space-consuming, massive books that are headed the way of the dinosaur anyway so it doesn't really matter what you do with them, you could probably light a huge fire in the middle of Wisconsin with them and nobody would notice or care (I paraphrase, but that's basically it)” But it's just not the same. There's no passion in a lifeless backlight reflecting off of your face late at night, your lover sleeping soundly next to you, the tender silence broken only by the sound of "Click," your bedroom all but empty of bookshelves because you've got everything you've ever wanted to read condensed to an area less than a box of ziti.

    If books become so readily available, there's no sense of adventure in trying to find them. The same thing has happened with music lately. Someone uncovers a rare recording of Ben Gibbard slamming two trashcans together while cursing the gods in Russian and puts it online. Suddenly, everyone has it and it's no longer special. That isn't to say the art itself has suffered, but the personal experience of walking around like you know something no one else does for a few short days is gone from you, sucked away by BitTorrent and iTunes. Granted, this does allow less well-known artists to achieve greater exposure at a fraction of the cost, but, like with books, when the market is flooded with easily accessible bands, who is there to talk to about it when everyone's listening to something else?

    _______________________________________________________

    A scenario:

    A man, Gregory, and his daughter, Melissa, age twelve, sitting at the dinner table. Sadly, the love of Greg's life, Melissa's mother, has just passed away from an unnamed affliction. She, Meredith, died slowly, allowing for time spent with her husband and daughter to be cherished and appreciated before she finally fell asleep for the last time. It's the first night Greg and Melissa have eaten at the table without her, the empty seat the perfect symbol for the threat looming over the father and daughter. Unless this problem is dealt with, the space between the two of them will grow and grow until nothing will bring them together again, separated by their loss and feeling that the hole Meredith’s death has created can never be filled. The silence is deafening. Sitting a chair apart, a delivered pizza between them (Greg never learned how to cook properly. Why should he? His wife adored cooking.), Melissa looks to her father.

    "Dad?" she says.

    Gregory, his train of thought derailed by the tonal sound of his little girl's voice, looks to her.

    "Yes, honey?"

    "Will we still live here? With... With mommy gone, I mean."

    "Of course we will, Melissa. And mommy's not really gone, she's always with us"

    "But how?" Asks Melissa, her experiences with death limited to the time she accidentally boiled her goldfish Barry.

    "Well, we'll always remember her. And as long as we do that, she'll never be far away," says Greg, tears welling up in his sad, green eyes.

    "What if I forget?" says Melissa. Her hazel eyes, Meredith’s eyes, Greg sees so clearly, begin seeping, tears rolling silently down her innocent face, "What if I get older and I don't think about Mommy anymore?" She remembers Barry, though she realizes that she doesn't think about him all that much since his ill-fated adventure in the tea pot.

    Gregory laughs. It's the first time he has since his wife's death and it feels good. He looks to his daughter, concerned and eager to hear her father's explanation, and he smiles warmly.

    "You won't forget, Melissa, you'll never forget." He stands and walks slowly to his desk at the corner of the dining room. Meredith never liked it there, but there simply wasn't another place for it. He opens a drawer and takes something out. Melissa leans back in her chair to see but quickly remembers how her mother would scold her to "keep six feet on the ground" when she sat. The chair thumps against the hardwood floor, echoing more now than it ever seems to have before. Greg walks to his daughter and kneels down, at eye level with her. He tells her a story.

    "When I first met your mother, I was sitting on the steps of our high school reading. She came up to me and asked if we had Advanced Literature together. We didn't, but for some reason I wanted nothing more than to talk to her, no matter what. So I lied. I said 'Oh, yeah, I sit a few seats behind you. That Mr. DeCarlo sure is a trip, isn't he?' She smiled at me. That was the first time I saw her smile, and I'll never forget it. Her head turned to the side and she raised her eyebrow like she always does when she's considering something. I knew I was caught. Her smile turned into a smirk and she asked 'What are you reading?' I told her. It was 'Long Walk to Forever,' a short story by my favorite writer. 'Really?' she asked, incredulously, 'Because that's the required reading for Ms. Ramella's Honors Lit.' Just as I suspected, she found me out. We didn't have a single class together, but right then I wished we had. We spent the afternoon talking about that story. You'd like it, Melissa. Every afternoon since then, we were inseparable. After school, on the weekends, we'd do nothing but spend time together. Your mother and I, we knew we would get married some day. And I knew, little one, that we'd have you in our lives, even then. And none of it would have ever happened if she hadn't caught me reading this."

    He extends his hand to his daughter. She, wide eyed and tearful, opens her palms to receive the gift to remember her mother by. A small, black rectangle, no bigger than a stick of gum, falls into her hand. She looks down at it. Quizzically, she looks up at her father to see him smiling.

    "It's a thumb drive, honey. It's got a copy of that short story on it. Whenever you want, you can put it in your laptop and read it."

    _______________________________________________________


    See? There's no charm in that.


    Edit: Kindle! The Amazon thing is called the Kindle!

    Source
     
  16. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    What makes you say this? I would much rather get a Kindle than a Nook. Granted, I don't know much about the Nook, but I know I am not a fan of B&N (which puts out the Nook) as they don't have as wide a selection of books (but my comparison is mostly based on Borders).

    Not trying to create a dramatic argument, but am I curious as to what these articles and people said to want a Nook over a Kindle.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    This predates the new Kindle 3.

    From what I understand, people like the way the Nook functions better. They also like epub format support on the Nook, which Kindle doesn't have (unless they added it in Kindle 3), meaning a lot more titles available for Nook.

    I've played with both of them and I like the look and feel of the Nook better as well. Each side keeps one-upping the other when a new one comes out, and I haven't played with the Kindle 3 yet, so maybe they added a bit to it. But I still like the look and feel of the Nook and I don't care for the Kindle's smaller screen size or keyboard (I like the Nook's touchscreen).

    If you like color for things like browsing the web, then the Nook has that available as well, but for about $100 more than Kindle 3, which is still greyscale.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I just checked - Kindle 3 still doesn't support epub. It supports 7 file formats as opposed to more than 20 offered by Nook Color.
     
  19. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I've avoided the Nook because I don't anything to distract me from reading, namely the color function with web browsing. I just know I'll spend all my time on the internet and not reading.
     
  20. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, Degenerate. I have a tablet PC for internet browsing. My e-Reader should be that, an e-Reader. If I had wanted a portable computer that can read books, I would have gotten an Ipad instead of that Tablet PC.

    When I start thinking more seriously about getting an e-Reader, I'll do more research but I am definitely still leaning towards Amazon's Kindle.
     
  21. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    This is true, but Amazon offer a conversion service. You email a file to the specific email address of your Kindle, with "convert" in the subject, and they'll convert it for you and send it straight to the Kindle. I'm fairly sure this includes epub files, as well as a whole load more.

    EDIT: Ah, no, my mistake. They won't convert epub files. But you can get software to convert it.
     
  22. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay my mom has a Kindle and she would like to point out that one thing that is particularly difficult is navigating to different pages of certain books. Her example was the bible, which the kindle version is hard to navigate. I imagine it would be similar for certain textbooks as well.

    She loves reading on it, though.
     
  23. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    It's hard to read the Bible on a Kindle? Count me in! I want one! lol
    (I never really read textbooks in my free time, by the way. I get enough of that in school. Pre-calc, shudder...)

    Seriously though, I kind of like the Kindle screen size over the Nook, it reminds me more of actual books in size. Then, of course, there's the price difference, aren't Nooks roughly $400?

    The lack of a color screen is regrettable, but I don't think it'd matter much given what the Kindle is used for. I hope.
     
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The Nook is about $149 for the cheapest version, which is in line with Kindle, I think. The color version is around $250.

    Overall, I think I'll still go with Nook :)
     
  25. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    As there are different versions of the Kindle and the Nook, it's not easy to compare the two directly. However, the cheapest Kindle is 139 and the cheapest Nook is 149.

    The grey scale doesn't bother me so much as all the books I read are in black and white :p
     

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