What Do You Know About Kindle?

Updated on December 23, 2009
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH
11 answers

I see things about Kindle every time I get on amazon but never anywhere else. I realize it is a book reader type thing but any and all information (what exactly it is, how it works, ease, opinions, pros/cons etc.)
I love to read and love books but get tired of carrying them around. I used to buy all the books I wanted to read but soon realized how much money I was spending and how much better it was to just go to the library for free. My mother is a reader too and thought maybe this would be something that would be a great gift for her. Too late for christmas but B-day is in April. Not even sure of price on these things either so may be not at all a gift idea (atleast from me alone).
What about kids? My 10 year old son reads like 4 books at a time... no idea how he does that but he does so we are always trying to keep track of library books and school library books, etc. Not to mention that he goes through books so fast we would be going to the library every other day if up to him. I usually let him get 6 to 10 books at a time. So is this something good for him or not? Can you switch between books? Say I get one but have some of his books on it too (do they even have downloads for kids/tween/teen books? if he wants to read while in the car can he? Then when we get to soccer practice (which is where I get most my reading done) could I switch back to my book?
Thanks moms for all your help

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P.D.

answers from Cleveland on

My sister has one and I'm always wishing I had one too. I wrote back so I could see what everyone has to say about this. I was just looking at an ad for one on Amazon. They're a little pricey but might be worth it if you read that much.

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C.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

My husband just got one and loves it. However, not for kids, they're $250+. It's very simple to start up, download books, newspapers, etc. It's light, which my husband travels with his job so this is much easier than carrying a thick book. Just have to remember to charge it every once in awhile.

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S.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

MORE QUESTIONS: Can one get e-books from the library on there ? My library has e-books you can download straight onto your computer and they expire in the same time frame as any other regular library book, and disappear or can't be opened after that. Does the Kindle or Sony ebook only connect to Amazon and no other lending institutions ?

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D.T.

answers from Indianapolis on

I'm avid reader and somewhat of a tech junkie and while part of me >really< wants the Kindle for the coolness factor, I've decided it's just not worth it for me. I read ALOT. I go through 3-4 novels a week... don't ask me how I find time with 3 young kids! LOL! I read alot in the evenings instead of watching TV. I can get pretty much any book I want to read FREE from our local library (if they don't have it, they order it, but they are great about having new releases as soon as they come out).

My kids also love books - especially my 7 year old. Again, the library has all the books he needs. We go once a week and get 7-10 books just for him. I gave him a tote bag that's just for library books. They stay in the bag in the family room except for the book or two he's currently reading. I stay on top of it and he has yet to have an overdue book. It helps that the library is online so I easily check for due dates and do renewals online. Half the time he doesn't even go to the library with me - once he discovers a new series (right now it's the Yoga Star Wars books), I'll just go during school hours when I take the girls and grab the next 4-5 in the series for him.

The downside of Kindle is that you need to buy everything from Amazon. There are no free books available. I just can't see the point of buying books when I can get them totally free. I used to own a huge book collection from all the books I bought and a couple years ago I realized how much wasted space they took up and how many thousands of dollars I'd spent on those books over the years.

You can have hundreds (or thousands!) of books on the Kindle (remember you need to pay for each one!). It switches easily between books and you can bookmark your spot so it picks up where you left off. And yes, you can use it in the car... being portable is one of the key features of the Kindle - it was developed specifically for business travels who fly alot.

If you really like the idea of a handheld reader, look into the other options. Several of them let you read other formats and books (kindle only reads the special kindle format). Some libraries have digital versions of their books readily available for download through their website. If your library does that, then maybe one of the other electronic readers might be for you.

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M.V.

answers from Columbus on

Kindle is probably the best known e-reader. There are others, Sony (as other responders mentioned) has a version, there is also the Nook from Barnes and Noble.

E-readers range in price from $150 to $400, depending on the manufacturer and the additional features you want. Books cost extra - new and popular titles will run you around $10. You can find free books but don't expect the latest new fiction novel to be among them...think more along the lines of out of copyright books...

E-readers are all easy to use - purchase one, log onto the website, purchase you new virtual book, and it downloads to your e-reader. Take into account the fine print, please...some sites only allow one download of a book, others allow 'book sharing,' where another person with the same type of e-reader can download the same book (two for one, in other words).

You can read reviews of the different e-readers at CNET (www.cnet.com).

E-readers aren't for you if you are trying to save money on purchasing books - you still have to buy the books in addition to the e-reader itself. If you decide to go with an e-reader, do your research. Some only allow a set number of downloads (1,500 for instance) and offer no way to save books you already purchased once you hit that number...others have SD slots for memory cards so you can save your books to the card...still others may offer an option to save your books online...

E-readers also have limitations because they run on a battery (must charge it often). They can be damaged - you can crack the screen throwing it carelessly into a bag, for example, so maybe not the best for a child. Research can be difficult on an e-reader (not every book is available in this format yet).

Yes, they do offer kid/teen/tween books for e-readers. Yes, you can switch between books - every book you buy is saved to your e-reader...and yes you can read in the car (or almost anywhere else).

Do your research if you do decide to go this route - like computers, there are always upgrades coming to these devices.

Good luck and happy reading!

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C.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

I know that there are a lot of different e-readers out there. Look at Consumer Reports and see how they rate them. I do know that Sony has several readers starting at $200 for a basic and up. The one I really want is about $300. Sony's can download from almost any e-book site including the library and you can research and sometimes find books for free. Do your research before you choose a model. Most e-readers can hold about 300 books and some can hold more if they take a SD card. Have fun. If I get one for Christmas, I'll let you know what I think.

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A.R.

answers from Indianapolis on

Our school just bought Kindles for the fifth grade classes and they love them. If your son is careful with technology, he would love it. I do know there are a lot of books available for 4th-5th grade readers - not sure if they go lower than that or not. I wish it had a backlight so you could read it in dark situations, but still a lot of fun.

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L.C.

answers from Dayton on

I bought my husband a sony reader which is the equivalent of a kindle. I can tell you general things that might help make the decision.

An electronic reader downloads the book onto your device. You pay for the books like you would a book at a store. They cost anywhere from $200 to $300. They are easy to use, and my husband (who isn't a big reader) reads more from the kindle because sometimes the size of an actual book is overwhelming.

I wouldn't get it for a child unless I could find one that is used but in good shape. It's just alot of money.

They are more portable and you can take them anywhere. They are slim like a pda, but a little bit taller and wider. It isn't something I would buy for myself, because I like having a book with pages to turn.

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S.L.

answers from Indianapolis on

I really want a Kindle! You only see them on Amazon because it's actually called the "Amazon Kindle", they own the rights to it. Yes you can switch back and forth on books, they typically hold around 300 titles, and you can put all sorts of things on them; magazine articles, books, blogs, music even. The media you put on it ranges in price, anywhere from $3 to $10, but for a book you would otherwise pay $25 for at Barnes & Nobles, its a pretty good deal.

I've heard a couple of downsides about them is that you have to wait like a half a second for it to change pages and it flashes real quick when it changes, but I think they fixed that when they released Kindle 2. One big downturn is that if the battery fizzes out, it's not removeable on the Kindle 2, so you have to send it to Amazon and they have to fix it. They also have limited organizational abilities, you can't have folders for like "Mystery Novels" or "Love Stories", that sort of thing. It's all just kind of on there.

He could read in the car but I have heard the contrast quality is fairly poor in sunlight. Much like a handheld gaming system for example, he would have a hard time reading if there were a lot of sunlight. Amazon has more than 400,000 titles you can download though, so you would have plenty of things to choose from for him, amongst other websites devoted to e-books that you could download into your Kindle. Many are even free :)

Hope that helps!

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S.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

I don't think a Kinds is the right think for you. You have to buy the books, they're not free. You can't get your sons school books on there either. My mom is an avid reader. She has books upon books upon books, but I'd never get her a Kindle. She loves the tactile sensations of reading an actual book. I don't think I'd waste the money on one.

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C.G.

answers from Indianapolis on

I have had a kindle for a year now and absolutely love it! You can read multiple books at once, and it keeps your page for you. There are some books that have an audio option in case you are to a really good part and have to stop reading to run errands. It has it's own built in wireless connection (Whispernet) so you can download books from anywhere without a computer. And everything you download is backed up on the Amazon site for you. Books are $10 or less, but there are a ton of free books as well, you just have to search a little more for those. I guess there are a lot of people who don't realize there are a bunch of books you can get for free, just use keyword Kindle freebies on the Amazon site. You can always get on Amazon.com to browse what books they have available. I took it to the beach this summer and had no problems reading the text while in the bright sunlight. They can be rather expensive, I think it is $249 for the 1st generation, not sure how much the newer one is. I hope this helps some.

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