I have always been reading a lot of stuff at the same time. Both magazines and books, technical and fiction. So instead of always dragging around with all these sources I considered buying an e-reader. It quickly turned out to be a choice between an iPad or an Amazon Kindle. The obvious family choice would be to choose the iPad, which would be an excellent toy for the kids and a device that the wife would use. I guess the arguments for buying an iPad is obvious. But for me, I needed a device for reading books, magazines and blogs. Sometime stuff comes in PDFs, so these were the requirements for me.
So I started researching how the Kindle versus the iPad performed in a read-only setting. Factors like size, weight, e-ink, and no reflecting LCD, so reading outside is possible, is decisive for making the Kindle a more superior choice than the iPad. On the other hand, the iPad has a great browser for reading blogs, e-mail support, and better at formatting PDFs. I read Hanselmans blog post on the Kindle, and it seemed that formatting technical books is rather lousy on the Kindle.
Quickly it turned out that the Kindle is the iPad superior when it comes to being an e-reader. But would I miss out on technical books and blog posts? So to complete my research I downloaded a Kindle version of one of the technical books I’m reading (the eBook came free when you have bought the pBook, thank you Manning). I loaded it into the Kindle desktop reader, so I could get an idea how it would be formatted. It was actually formatted quite well. I know that I shouldn’t take the desktop version as a definitive conclusion on the formatting, since different devices renders the books differently. To be able to read blog posts on the Kindle could be some sort of a challenge. Then I read this blog post, about how to use Instapaper for storing web page for reading later and synchronizing them with your Kindle. It uses the unique e-mail address, that every Kindle has for sending personal documents to your Kindle. These documents are also stored in the Amazon cloud storage. So when there is a new article your Instapaper Read Later folder is send to your Kindle at a certain time of the day. Cool. The Instapaper article is a stripped down version of the blog post, where only the text is saved.
Finally, when Amazon lowered their pricing on the Kindle on 6th of September from $109 to $89, I ordered the basic Kindle, the 6” version. Together with a leather casing and a power adapter. I would have ordered the Paperwhite edition, but this is not available outside the US.
In a later blog post I’ll provide my initial experiences.