I feel a little dumb for being so late to the game on this one. Like everyone else, I’ve known about the Amazon Kindle for several years. I just never really gave it a second thought.
It seemed like a product of little value and I didn’t know many people who owned one. I threw it in same mental category that I currently have the Apple Watch in. Worthless consumerist crap. (Although my opinion on Smartwatches is beginning to change but that’s a post for another day.)
As part of my goals for 2016, I decided I really wanted to get serious about reading books.
For much of my young life, I’ve only “read” 2-3 books a year. And by “read” I mean I’d get halfway through and never finish it.
Half of my bookshelf contains books that have never even been cracked open. The other half are books that have a dog ear folded page somewhere around the halfway point.
I was sick of not finishing what I started. So I set what I thought was an ambitious goal of reading 10 books this year.
To aid me in this endeavor, I took a gamble and ordered an Amazon Kindle.
It’s now a little halfway through the year now and I just finished my 15th book.
If I can continue that trend, I’ll have read 30 books by year’s end. That’s 10x more than my historical 3 books a year.
I’ve always been one of those people who loves the physical aspect of a book. It’s a little weird, but ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the smell of fresh paper as I flip through the pages of a book.
Even to this day, I still occasionally stop what I’m reading, flip the pages, and take a whiff like some kind of a deranged addict.
I also enjoy keeping a physical bookcase.
After using the Kindle for a few hours, I completely forgot about all of that.
My bookcase has been busting at the seams anyway so it’s actually more convenient to house new books electronically.
Reading on a Kindle is like binge watching shows on Netflix (except the content from books typically benefits you as opposed to mindless TV entertainment.)
I’m sure you already know how easy Netflix makes it to start the next episode once the current episode finishes. You don’t even have to do anything. This set-up keeps you watching shows longer than you otherwise would if it took more of an effort to start the next episode.
It’s kind of the same thing with the Kindle. Something about that comfortable little device keeps you reading much, much longer than a traditional book. It seems like its compact size, the backlit screen, and the percent-complete tracker all contribute towards more productive reading.
Additionally, one page of a Kindle book is shorter and easier to digest than one page of a physical book. You look at one page on a Kindle, and your brain doesn’t put up that “damn that’s a really long section” defense mechanism. Sometimes that happens when you’re about to read something that looks especially long and taxing.
There is also a good highlight feature but I would like it more if it were possible to organize highlights by individual book. As far as I know, everything you highlight is all kept in one master notes section which can get a little tough to navigate if you’re a frequent highlighter.
Also, it would be nice if I could keep my Kindle store purchases, and my non-Kindle store purchases in the same cloud database but that’s not possible from what I can tell.
For example, if you buy an eBook from someone’s website, you’ll have to save it on your hard drive and use a USB cord to upload it to your Kindle. But if you buy an eBook from the Kindle store, it goes to an Amazon cloud server and you can download it directly to your Kindle device via wifi.
Tools and Organizational Features
Other than that, organizational features through creating “collections” are satisfactory. And one of my favorite features is the built-in dictionary. You can hold your thumb on any word and the Webster’s definition will immediately pop up. If you want to improve your vocabulary and writing skills then this tool is invaluable.
While it has a few drawbacks, the Amazon Kindle is one of my best purchases so far this year and a game changer for reading more efficiently.
You can learn more here: Kindle on Amazon