I have written recently about e-books and on earlier occasions, but this topic is advancing fast enough that I felt moved to visit it yet again. As I have mentioned before, my first serious foray into e-reading has been using my much-loved iPad. This has served me very well and convinced me that e-books are now the way forward. I often meet people in social situations, who claim that their love for “real” books will never allow them to “defect”. However, I have observed that the smarter book lovers – of all ages, I might point out – are open minded enough to give the technology a chance and tend to become converts quite quickly.
My e-reading has moved on: I just bought a Kindle …
A valid question might be: why would I want a Kindle, as I already have an iPad, which can read Kindle e-books and do a whole lot more besides? And I was asking myself this for some time and arrived that the conclusion that a Kindle might add just enough to my life to make it a worthwhile investment. Let’s look at the pros and cons of an iPad [as an e-book reader] and a Kindle:
Advantages of an iPad:
- Reads Kindle books very well.
- Can also read other e-book formats.
- Does lots of other things.
- Illuminated screen means reading in low light is easy [like in bed without disturbing anyone else].
Drawbacks of an iPad:
- A little heavy to hold for long periods [though iPad 2 is improved].
- Illuminated screen disturbs some people’s sleep patterns.
- No good for reading in bright light or sunshine.
- Battery life is limited for long trips.
Advantages of a Kindle:
- Very light and easy to hold.
- Fantastic battery life.
- Good visibility in bright light and sunshine.
- Does not affect people’s sleep patterns.
- Very reasonably priced.
Drawbacks of a Kindle:
- Cannot read unaided in low light. [Needs more light, I feel, than a paper book – my bedside light is barely adequate.]
- Has very limited additional functionality.
- Cannot read other e-book formats [except PDF].
I think that this analysis shows that the two devices are quite complementary. Only time will tell whether my usage pattern bears this out.
My life is slightly more complex, as I also use a very small notebook PC [netbook]. I am beginning to think that I really could get away with just having the iPad when traveling, but I have not yet been brave enough to try that. For someone with no iPad, I think that a netbook and a Kindle would play together very well.
Ask me again in 6 months …