Should I get a Kindle?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. I used to read at least a book a day back in high school. College I read less and med school less still. Now that I’m between jobs, aka applying for residency, I find myself looking at shiny new ebook readers. The thing is, how do I decide between a Kindle or the new Sony Reader touch edition? Does access matter more? Do I want a touch screen? What about expandable memory?
What to do? How to choose?
What the Kindle has that the Sony Reader doesn’t:
- Access to Amazon/Low Book Prices. Amazon has made it supremely easy to buy books. Moreover, Amazon’s books are cheaper than other bookstores. If the books were sold at 9.99, this would’ve been a no-brainer. Unfortunately, Amazon plans to sell their books at 11.99, which is twice the price of a paperback here in Manila. Wrong move, Amazon.
- 3G Wireless/Books in Under 60 Seconds. This is actually a downside. I don’t mind transferring downloaded books via USB to Kindle. Especially if it will spare me the mess that is the Amazon George Orwell fiasco. Amazon may have done the right thing in the end, but I’m not so sure if they would have been able to do so in a more restrictive political climate. Also, wireless = impulse buying = bankruptcy. Not so good, that.
- International Coverage. The fact that it’s possible to own a Kindle now triggers the desire for one.
- The irrational lure of a Kindle. This is why I want a Kindle. I, like any other techie who loves to read, will trade my library, my piano, my electronic gadgetry for a date with a Kindle. I want a Kindle! I want a Kindle now! Dammit.
The cons of a Kindle:
- Fugly. If this was high school, the Kindle would be the girl who’s pretty on the inside. The Sony Reader Touch Edition on the other hand is the girl with breeding, bucks and brains and a hot boyfriend. If this were Glee, Rachel is Kindle, Quinn is Sony. I’m sorry, Amazon. Even my programmable scientific calculator is prettier than the Kindle.
- Nonexpandable memory. I am a greedy girl. Even if the Kindle can hold 1500 books, I want the possibility of more. I want to hold my entire ebook library inside my ebook reader. Including my med books.
- Nonupgradable. Every time Amazon releases a new version, the books stored in the old version can’t be transferred to the new one. “Bezos suggests that they give away or resell their Kindles and buy new ones.” making me feel like Amazon just wants to make a lot of money off me.
- More formats. Sony can read more formats, but Calibre takes care of this problem, by allowing for conversion from Kindle’s proprietary ebook format to others.
- Battery life. Sony Reader: 2 weeks on a single charge. Kindle: four days. Seriously!
The con of a Sony Style Touch Reader:
- Cost. On the website, the Sony Style Touch Reader is approximately 300 USD, whilst the Kindle is 280 USD. Amazon says that the Kindle will sell for less than 280 USD here in Manila. (Approx 260 USD). Plus, Amazon’s ebooks are generally cheaper, even at 11.99 USD. (B&N sells ebooks at 9.99, but I will need a default credit card with a US address which I don’t have.) Unless I get my ebooks for free, a possible scenario, the Kindle might actually be the better deal.