Before anyone shoots us, we haven't bought it so we can buy books from Amazon. It's mainly to read manuscripts and various PDF books that I already own. It also works very nicely for the Breaking Waves anthology.
So, after a few hours of stroking the machine and saying 'Shiny!', here's what I think about the Kindle:
- Much better screen than the Sony Reader I'd looked at before
- The 'page turn' flicker is also much reduced
- Works really well with Word Documents (although there are a few flaws, just not enough to interfere with reading)
- Very light and comfortable
- So much easier to read outside than a computer
- Still not as easy as reading a proper book
- PDFs work badly, as does the conversion of PDFs to ebook format. The zoom is poor on PDFs, and without, the text is generally too small. Won't be using this for PDFs.
- I could do with a bit brighter screen, particularly at night when it needs some direct light
- I would like a slightly larger screen, too. Maybe another inch.
- And a bigger keyboard
- For some reason, I really expect handheld devices to be touch-sensitive, but the Kindle isn't. Feels a little old-fashioned in that respect.
- The next/previous page buttons feel counter-intuitive. I realise they are designed for using the Kindle in one hand, but I use it in two and keep pressing the wrong button.
All in all, this is a pretty nifty device (and shiny!), and it's pretty cheap (compared to earlier readers and the iPad). It'll save an awful lot of printing of manuscripts and an awful lot of paper all over the place. But it's not going to replace books for me, unless they are books I really can't get on paper (Breaking Waves again, hooray!.)