On this post I will not tell about an specific version of Kindle, though I will give my opinion about which one to buy at the end, depending on your needs. Instead I will tell you my likes and dislikes about my Kindle Touch - my user experience - and why I think it is an important and useful device for a Digital Nomad. If you are considering this lifestyle or buying one, my review should help you.
The reading on Kindle
This was my biggest doubt before buying: How is the reading on it? Is it the same thing as reading a book?
The answer is "almost" YES and I am a book lover. I was attached to the "paper feeling", the smell when you open a fresh new book, licking my finger to flip a page, but I let it go. That is old stuff. People are resistant to changes and I was too, but you will get used to it really fast.
If you have ever read something on a tablet, mobile phone or desktop monitor, it may have a to you concern that in Kindle it will be the same. Well, I can guarantee that will be not. These devices get your eyes tired, the Kindle e-paper prevents that from happening. You have no reason to worry about that, check this image.
What is different?
The "almost" part on the answer to the question about should not be a concern as well. The main differences I found were:
- Instead of flipping a page, you will be touching on a screen. To move a page forward you touch the right side and to move back a page on the left side. It is that simple.
- The "Location" instead of page number. Since there are no actual pages, the device will track you position on the book, not the page. To me it is just a meaning less number and it makes no difference at all.
- Size of the letters can change. If you prefer to read with big letters, it´s up to you. A great feature if you ask me.
- Taking notes and highlight text. This one is pretty obvious that it is different. Hopefully you will not take a pen and write on the screen of an Electronic device. If you, as I, like to do that, you will love it. You can see all of the notes and highlights and if you click on it, it takes you to that location. Different and more efficient.
And finally my favorite: How long till next chapter
I like to read at night, before I go to bed, and this feature tells me (based on the speed I am reading), how long it will take me to reach till next chapter. Love this! I can have an idea how far is the next chapter so I know if I will keep on reading or just find a place to stop and continues the next day.
Your library in your hand
Consider this: if you could have all you library, all you favorite books, in a single lightweight and easy to carry device, would you?
I have my books separated in basically 2 types. The ones that I like to read because they entertain me (novels) and those that I need to have for work related studies and information.
On the first group, I usually read them and move on to the next. I don´t care for keeping books that I have already read (with a few exceptions). Maybe you will keep your favorite ones, but I usually delete them. I think I have never read a book twice for entertainment, so don´t bother keeping them. There are too many good books out there to keep repeating them.
On the second group, the work related books, there is an argument to keeping them stored. I like to keep my notes and highlighted text for fast reference, and to me this is a good reason. Usually technical books are big and heavy. Considering carrying all of them around. Not pleasant for sure.
Also, if you are considering become a digital nomad, having an electronic copy of the book with you notes and highlights on the Kindle is actually very useful. It does not matter what is you nomad profession. We all have some kind of book reference. For a Digital Nomad it is not just a question of reading on it, it is also a question of space and weight of your bags. So having a Kindle is just a smart choice.
And for those that are not a Digital Nomads and just book lovers, think of it as an investment. Write down how much do you spend on books and how many books would you have to buy (or not to buy) to own a Kindle. Take a look on the topic below cause it may help to convince you.
Save money on buying new books
If you are a fan of the classics, there are many of them that you can find on Amazon free. You will not have to spend 1 penny on books if you desire. Don't believe me? Check this out: Cheap Reads for Kindle: Free Books and Low Priced Reading Options. I know some of this books may not even be in your desire list, but I once bought a great book called The Playbook by Mike Bellafiore (it is a trading books) for free. The author open the kindle version (only the electronic copy) for free purchase for 48 hours and I got it. So you can get lucky as I did, and find a discount or a promotion of you favorite books as well.
Also if you intend to buy a book, and that book has a Kindle version, you will find the prices for both. The Kindle version will be usually cheaper than the printed copy. Sometimes you will save more than you think.
And let´s not forget that the hardcover version will take a couple days, or even a week or so to be mailed to your home (if you are not living in the US). I am not a big fan of waiting.
Some Technical Specifications
You can find updated information about the specifications on the model you wish to acquire at Amazon. I just wanted to list some specifications that I find relevant here (about my version here).
Disk Space: My device has 4 GB internal (approximately 3 GB available for user content). I never reached the limit on that and still have plenty of space left. Books don´t take much hard drive space.
Battery - Is fully charged in approximately 4 hours. Reading every day at night the battery last for about 10-15 days. It will depend on your reading habits.
Size of screen - The size of a sheet of paper from a normal book. It´s size is good for reading, but if you need the numbers - 6.8" x 4.7" x 0.40" || 172 mm x 120 mm x 10.1 mm
What I don´t like about my kindle
Kindle is great, I am a big fan, but it is not all flowers. There are a couple things I do not like about it. It would not be fair to only tell the good things. Maybe in the newer version these flaws or problems will be solved.
There are some books you want to go back and forth for studying purposes. I do that sometimes and to do it on a normal book is better. Do you know when you have one or two pages in you hands, one page with a chart or some picture followed by the description of it, in another page. Happens sometimes. Could also be a reference to a concept that is in another page and you want a reminder. Unfortunately to do this is a bit uncomfortable since you cannot see the image and description or comment in the same page. This is more common for studying book. On novels that is unlikely to be an issue.
2-) Reading PDF Files
Reading PDFs on my kindle was not that great. At least in the version I have, they did not work well. If you have PDF books and intend to upload them to read in your device, it could be a problem.
If this is the case, you should consider converting the PDF to kindle ebook format. If it is a simple plain text PDF, you are good. PDF with images could be a pain. They are likely to be dis-configured and out of order in the converted version and it will be necessary to edit it and fix these bugs. It is time consuming. You will need to have patience to do so, but it is doable. On doing that you may lose some functionalities like the chapter time, links to other pages and stuff like that. Nothing you could not live without.
Or maybe you will not be upset to read the PDF (no conversion) in you device as I did. Things maybe be changed on newer versions.
Which one should you buy?
Pros: This is the cheaper non-used version (U$79.99). This is all you need if you don´t want to spend more than that. It is a good buy.
Cons: No built-in light, smaller resolution, only has Wi-Fi. I missed the built-in light for night reading, but for U$12 you buy a clip-on reading light.
The other ones are just more expensive. I really don´t see the need to buy them. One of these two will suffice your needs.
If you are still not convinced, consider this: Real books are usually not environment friendly. Spend some money and save some trees. Nature thanks you!
Missing something or do you have any questions, leave it on the comments below. I´ll be glad to respond.
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