For Christmas this year, I bought Cyndi a Kindle K2 International Edition. I wanted to let her have the opportunity to read as much as she could while being in the hospital, waiting on the baby, or recovering. However, living overseas, English books are expensive and hard to find at times. Yes, we could have people send them to us, but that is expensive too. And, in either case, we would have to have something to do with the books when we left. I saw Amazon had announced the international version of the Kindle (and reduced the price) so I jumped on it.
I preloaded it with tons of free books for her to have. Well, shortly after, Amazon released the Kindle for PC application. I said to myself “self! Why not download it and give it a shot?” And, given the fact that I have a tablet PC, I thought I could put it to use reading in portrait mode instead of landscape mode.
Well, after reading several books (for reviews, go here) I have some tips and thoughts I wanted to put out there in case you are thinking about using the app.
- I want a kindle now. Using a laptop is just too cumbersome.
- The tablet PC functionality is finally being used. I wouldn’t even consider reading on a standard screen. The page is way too wide and the text doesn’t flow naturally to my eyes.
- If you are thinking about getting a kindle, jump on the kindle for PC app…NOW. Why? Well, if you check the site every few days, Amazon offers new free books. You can snag these now, then get them on your kindle later. What good is this?
- Jump on free books now! Bits and Bytes are cheap. The price may go up tomorrow. Most of the freebies I’ve downloaded since Christmas are already up in the $6-$9 range. They only take up a few hundred kb (I know Alan…bloatware)
- Reading on my tablet isn’t as easy as a book (the thing is way heavy and I have to watch out for the fan–I have an hp pavillion tx 1000 series and it gets HOT, but the battery life makes me take breaks because it is hard to ready while the thing charges (I get to ready about 2 hours)
- I’ve read much more since Christmas than I have in the past year. Have all the books been great? No. Is it because I have the books instead of being limited by my small library I bright here? probabaly somewhat. But, Cyndi and I had a rather large library in the US (7 standard bookcases in our house in Richmond. And that was only about 1/2 our books) and I didn’t read this much. I wanted to, but didn’t.
- Download the books to your PC after you buy them. This is the transfer via computer option. Why? Well, if Amazon pulls a 1984 stunt again, you still have your copy of the book (they say they won’t, but “they” say lots of things).
- Do I care about the DRM in the books? Yes I do. I wish it weren’t there. I won’t go as far as Cory Doctorow and swear off the kindle because I think the problems will eventually sort themselves out. And if they don’t, I’m only out…well…nothing right now because I haven’t actually bought a book yet. I’ve only gotten freebies. I still like books (and used bookstores!).
As I continue reading, I’ll continue to post reviews and tips I come across. Hopefully they help someone else out too. BTW, if you have any ideas or questions, just post it in the comments.