Yikes! I signed on to WordPress today and was shocked to realize my last post was on December 23. I have no excuse, except for the fact that Christmas break (and Christmastime in general) is like a vacuum. But never fear, I’ve returned! And with a review of my brand spankin’ new Kindle Fire.
I have to admit, I’m one of those annoying book people. “But it doesn’t feel like a book!” we bemoan, clutching our real books to our chests. “It doesn’t smell like a book, or have pages like a book, or do anything book-like at all!”
Well, I’ve been proven wrong by this handy little gadget. Although I still love having real, true copies of books, I have to admit, there are some pretty cool features to the Kindle Fire. And I’m not just talking about the tablet-like gizmos—accessing Facebook, downloading apps, stretching your face to see what you’d look like a hundred pounds larger—although, those are lots of fun, too.
Reading books on a Kindle is a lot neater, for one, and you can have dozens of books stored on a tiny little device that fits into your purse. Next time I’m on an 8-hour flight and trying to bring five books with me in my carry-on, this little baby will save me a lot of hassle.
There’s also the benefit of making the text larger or smaller based on your eyesight—and let’s just say mine’s not the best. You can search keywords as well, so using a dictionary or the Kindle Fire Guide becomes much less of a hassle.
Of course, there are some cons, too. I grew up reading computer screens, so I’m used to the constant glowy glare (perhaps why my eyesight’s so bad now!). However, it does wear on the eyes after awhile, although there’s a dimming option that could help with that. You can also choose between black, white or cream backgrounds. I’ve gone with the cream, because it’s not as harsh as black or white.
But the biggest problem I have with the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s price on Ebooks. For one, it’s implied that you should have an Amazon Prime account. Amazon gives you lots of reasons to keep up with yours or to start one if you haven’t, including free streaming movies and television shows, discounts on books, and a Lender’s Library only available to Prime users. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary, but it’s definitely something they want you to have. While the price isn’t much ( about $80 for a year) it’s still an added expense on top of paying $200 for a Kindle Fire–although they do give you a month’s free trial with a new Kindle.
Also, I have trouble believing digital copies of books are worth all that you pay for hard copies. I don’t value Ebooks as highly as I do solid books made of paper and ink, and I have a hard time paying almost full price (except for the Prime discount) when I don’t get a physical copy of the book.
That said, the Kindle Fire does have a pretty nifty option, where you can e-mail PDF’s, words documents and other file types to the Kindle itself, and it will convert them to Kindle format. I’ve done so with my Lord of the Rings Ebook collection, as well as some of my own stories. When I pull up my personal stories, they look like real, published books! It’s very exciting.
In conclusion, I recommend the Kindle Fire. It’s got all the great tablet features (as long as you have access to Wifi, mind you, although you can store movies, television shows and books and access them without it). Plus, it’s just a neater, easier way to keep track of entertainment. I’ll still buy books, I’m sure, but I have a feeling I’ll be buying a lot more digital copies than ever before.
And speaking of Lord of the Rings (which I did, earlier), I’ll be reviewing those books as soon as I finish them. I’m just finishing The Two Towers and starting on Return of the King, so it may be a little while. Surprisingly, I’ve never read the whole series, so it’s been an interesting experience to read the books after seeing the well-done movie trilogy. Stay tuned!