08 November 2011

BzzAgent Campaign - Aliyah has a Kindle!

I recently joined the most amazing Bzz Campaign yet- for the Amazon Kindle 3!  (I've written about BzzAgent here in the past, so check out that post first if you don't know what BzzAgent is.)  That's right- BzzAgent sent me a Kindle 3, for free, to sample & spread the word about!  Now that I've had it for a few weeks, I thought I'd share my opinions.

The Kindle was pretty easy to set up, though I did use the guide that came with the Kindle to help myself out.  You can charge the Kindle either through the USB drive on your computer, or by plugging it in to a regular outlet (mine came with an adapter that allows me to switch between the two; these are also available for purchase if your Kindle does not come with one).  I left mine to charge for most of the day while I was in classes, and then in the evening I went about putting things to read on my Kindle.

I wasn't ready right away to pay for books to load onto my Kindle, but I did have some PDF files that I needed to take to class.  I decided to put those on the Kindle and see how things worked out.  After skimming through the guide, I realized how easy it is to add PDFs to the Kindle.  All you have to do is drag the file to the "Kindle" drive, and it's loaded!  I was so glad it was easy to save the PDFs onto the Kindle.  Now, instead of printing 20+ pages of articles each week, I can bring the articles I need on my Kindle and save my printing balance for other things.  The one thing I did not like about reading PDFs on the Kindle was that you can't adjust the text size.  Instead, you have to use the zoom function, which took some getting used to.  But once I did get used to using the zoom, it was super convenient to read my PDFs on the Kindle.

I also realized that my local library allows me to check out Kindle editions of library books.  How cool is that?!  I'm away at school, but I can still read books from my home library on my Kindle!  It's a great way to read books that I wouldn't buy, and that my school library doesn't carry.  Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about reading a book on the Kindle as opposed to a print edition.  I've only read two books in non-print format before, and only because I was so desperate to read them that I found them on the Internet instead of waiting to get them from the library.  I found it difficult to read for too long on the computer screen, and I was afraid that the Kindle would be a similar reading experience to that.  I was mistaken!  It is very easy to read from the Kindle screen since it is not lit like a computer screen.  It really does look like you're reading from paper even though it is a digital screen!  I can also read outside in the sun without there being any glare on the screen like there is when using a computer outside.

Another thing that initially took some getting used to was the fact that the Kindle screen is only wide enough to display one page of text at a time compared to the two page spread of a print book.  But the Kindle can turn pages so quickly that it does not affect my reading experience at all. 

I also love that the Kindle as such a long battery life.  In over 2 weeks of having my Kindle, I've only charged it once, and that was only because I needed to plug my Kindle in to my computer to upload a book, not because it needed charging.

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with the Kindle.  The reading experience, though not identical to reading from a print book, was not as drastically different as I had expected.  The screen itself was easy to read from, and even when I spend a lot of time reading a book on the Kindle, I don't get a headache, and my eyes don't hurt.  I can even read outside with no problem!  While I still think I prefer reading books in print when I can, the Kindle definitely fits into my school life much more easily.  It fits into my purse and is much slimmer and lighter than a typical book.  Plus, since my school library and the public library in town don't have a wide selection of the books I like to read, the Kindle allows me to read the things I want to even when the libraries don't carry the item.

I would recommend the Kindle to anyone with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle that loves reading but can't figure out how to fit it into their life.  The Kindle is just the thing that will allow you to fit reading back into your life!

Update 1/26/12:  I posted an updated review of the Kindle Keyboard after using it for a few months!

BzzAgent provided me a Kindle Keyboard as part of a Campaign in exchange for providing my honest opinion on the product.  I was provided no additional compensation in exchange for writing a positive review.
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