Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why I returned my Kindle...twice

I went back and forth about getting a Kindle.  I thought it would be too similar to my iPhone, but I've been spending a lot of time reading while I feed the baby (and have minimal ability to go to the library and browse thanks to the baby).  S's wanting to get me one for Mother's Day pushed me over the edge.  So I ordered the the Kindle Touch and started to get really excited about it.

When it came, I busted it out and downloaded way too many books.  I started reading excitedly, but then as the sun began to set, S pointed out that it just didn't make sense to have something without a backlight - or to spend that much money on something only to clamp on a booklight.  There were lighted cases, sure, but the well-rated ones were $50.  For that amount of money, I could upgrade to the Kindle Fire.  So I returned the Touch and ordered a Fire.

I hadn't originally ordered the Fire because I was concerned about the battery life and the potential glare.  I don't know why I was more concerned about the glare than no backlight, considering much of my reading is done in the 3-5am range.  The Fire seemed pretty slick, but the romance started to fade when I realized it had no 3G access.  I don't know why I hadn't realized it before, but it was a disappointment.  The other major issue is that that sucker is heavy.  It was hard to hold the baby in one hand and hold it in the other.  This difficult maneuvering was not just to to weight, but also to its size.  I have long fingers/man hands, and I couldn't hold the thing comfortably.  The same applied to the Touch.  I had a case with a hand strap, and it didn't help much.  Certainly, the text was bigger in books, but I also spend a good amount of time reading Google Reader, and Google Reader is no bigger on the Kindle screen than it is on my iPhone.  And my iPhone is way easier to grab when I'm awoken by a crying little man.

So I think my initial assessment of the Kindle stands - that it's great for someone who rides a train to work or flies frequently.  I was really looking forward to using it while traveling.  But for now, I'm going to stick with the Kindle iPhone app and download books from my library.  And I'll spend the money that would have gone to the Kindle on the new coke-bottle glasses that I'll need from having my eyes glued to my iPhone at odd hours of the morning.

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