Since Kindle introduced their eBook reader in November 2007 they’ve revolutionized the way (some) people think about books and reading. I’ve been interested in these eBook readers (or eReaders or whatever term you like) since they were introduced. After years of toying with the idea of buying one, my parents graciously gave me one as a gift – but only after I spent a lot of time comparing the various options available. In the end, I narrowed it down to the Kindle 3G and the Nook.
In the end, I liked the Kindle’s access to a 3G network (making it usable anywhere), the Wi-Fi ability and the read-anywhere ‘electronic paper’ format. The Nook’s touch-screen capability and color were neat, but I decided the eye strain would be significant. So I’ve been using a Kindle for a few months now, and I love it; if you’re a reader and want the portability to carry a huge library with you wherever you go, it’s an ideal device (and not that expensive, either – as of writing this post, the cheapest model goes for $139).
So I’ve been using my Kindle for everything from reading blogs to magazines to books. There are many, many sources for free books (public domain mainly) and I’ve even splurged on buying a couple of books directly from Amazon (many books can be purchased for as little as $.99). In the end, one of the greatest advantages of the Kindle was the ability to use it with Amazon; I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for years (a service I highly recommend if you do a lot of shopping with Amazon) and because of that I use Amazon much more than Barnes and Noble.
One of the biggest shortcomings, though, was that you couldn’t really give someone a Kindle e-book as a gift. That’s been fixed this year thanks to Kindle gifts. If you know someone with a Kindle, that’s an excellent last-minute gift. But even if you know someone without a Kindle, and you need to give them a last-minute personalized gift, you can give them a Kindle book via Kindle gifts and they can read it on their Blackberry or iPhone if they get the Kindle app (I have it on my Blackberry and it works perfectly). And if they don’t have a smart phone, Kindle books can still be read on a computer using Amazon’s free Kindle app.
So it’s a good choice for a last-minute gift for a bookworm, and a little bit more personal than a gift card. As eBooks become more popular (and hopefully Kindles specifically), Kindle gifts will become a great choice for that book lover you (accidentally, of course) forgot.
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