I’ve had my Amazon Kindle for a little over a month now, have taken it with me on three trips (1 business, 2 personal) and have read one entire book (The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – highly recommended) on the device. Here are my thoughts and recommendations:
- The Kindle is small, light, comfortable to use, and has very good battery life.
- As promised, the device really does “disappear” – after a few minutes, you forget that you’re not reading a typical book.
- The screen resolution is very sharp, and extended reading does not result in eye strain.
- The device is a godsend for reference texts: full-text search capability of the books in my Kindle library is very useful, particularly when you have books like Marketing Metrics on the device.
- The wireless EVDO connection isn’t blazingly fast, but it’s capable of rendering full web pages and browsing sites like mobile Gmail. If you’re not willing to pony up $30/month for mobile web access on your cell phone, the Kindle is a decent substitute.
- It’s easy to load your own text files, so you can download free books from Project Gutenberg without too much hassle, as well as your own text files. I uploaded several checklists and reference documents to my Kindle, which has been unexpectedly useful.
- Only ~30% of the books on the Personal MBA Recommended Reading List are available for the Kindle (although this will likely improve over time).
- If you already own paper copies of your books, you have to purchase them again for the Kindle, which is cost-prohibitive. (If Amazon ever offers a free (or very inexpensive) Kindle edition with the purchase of a paper book, I’ll be in heaven.)
- At the moment, the Kindle doesn’t natively support PDF files due to fixed-positioning issues, somewhat limiting its utility as a reference text device.
Overall: I’m very impressed with this device, and I’m glad I purchased it – it’s a great addition to my mobile office. At this stage of development, it won’t completely replace my physical library, but it allows me to carry a large, searchable inventory of books wherever I go, which makes it well worth the price. The “free” mobile web access is icing on the cake.
Recommendation: If you typically carry a large stack of books with you or travel semi-regularly, the Amazon Kindle is a no-brainer. Otherwise, hold out for version 2.0.
Did you know both of my books are available as audiobooks? Think of them as very inexpensive course versions of the book. They're perennial bestsellers on Audible.com, and The Personal MBA was recently honored at the Audie Awards, the "Grammys" of the audiobook industry.
Even better: you can get one of my audiobooks for free if you don't yet subscribe to Audible. Click here for details.
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