Amazon Kindle has got much attention ever since its launch way back in late 2007. Though there have been many improvements in it over the years and several versions of Amazon Kindle have been released so far, the basic purpose it serves still remains the same. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, let’s take an in-depth look at it:
What is Kindle
Though essentially Kindle is a thin, lightweight & portable electronic reading device, it is much more than that. It is the easiest and most convenient way to stay connected with a wide range of reading material. You can choose from a collection of over 950,000 books, newspapers, magazines, journals and blogs at the click of a button and conveniently read it anywhere you want.
Kindle uses a high-contrast E Ink (virtual ink) display that delivers clear, crisp text and images that you can read without eye strain. For extended periods of reading, E Ink displays deliver the best reading experience. Reading on Kindle is as good as reading a printed book since there is no glare, reflection or back-light whatsoever.
Why Should We Use Kindle
If the above reason wasn’t enough, there are plenty more to come! Here are a number of reasons why you should grab your Kindle right away:
1. Extremely Light – Weighing a tad less than 6 ounces, Kindle is lighter than a paperback and extremely convenient to carry around wherever you go.
2. High Storage – You can store a lot of books on Kindle depending on the storage capacity of your particular version of the device. While the original Kindle has 2GB internal memory that allows you to store more than 1400 books, the latest Kindle DX comes with 4GB internal memory which means you can store over 3500 books!
3. Free Books – Out-of-copyright books & countless classics are available for free in the Kindle library. You can choose from over 1.8 million free pre-1923 books, including Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island.
4. Long Battery Life – Kindle has a long battery life of one months, so you conveniently keep reading books without the need to charge it often. The latest Kindle DX has an even longer battery life of 2 months!
5. No Glare – Because Kindle uses E-ink, there is no glare and reflection at all. It reflects light like ordinary paper and doesn’t use backlighting which means you can sit in bright sunlight and read your favorite books easily.
6. Built-In Wi-Fi – Kindle automatically detects nearby Wi-Fi networks wherever you are and allows you to Wi-Fi hotspots at home or anywhere else. Free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the U.S. is also provided.
7. Adjustable Text Sizes – Kindle comes with eight different sizes and three font styles to suit your reading preference. The font size can also be increased or decreased with the push of a button.
8. Full Image Zoom – Photos and images can be zoomed to the full size of the screen so you’ll have no trouble in deciphering even the tiniest detail.
9. Built-In Dictionary with Instant Lookup – If you come across an word whose meaning you’d like to know, you can instantly look it up on The New Oxford American Dictionary which has over 250,000 entries. Simply select the word with the cursor and the definition will automatically display at the bottom of the screen.
10. Free Book Samples – Kindle allows you to download and read the first chapter of a book for free before making the decision to buy it.
11. Buy Once, Read Everywhere – Once you purchase a book from the Kindle store, you can read it on any device, be it Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, Mac, PC, or web browser with the free Kindle Reading Apps.
12. Bookmarks and Annotations – You can add annotations to text, just like you’d add to any book while reading it, using the virtual keyboard. You can also highlight text and bookmark pages for reading them in the future. The Whispersync technology synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks and annotations so you pick up from where you left.
Another reason which makes Kindle a must buy if you are an avid reader is that it can help save a lot of trees. Every year more than two BILLION books are published in the US alone, which consume about 4 million trees. So you can very well imagine how much you can contribute towards the environment by using Kindle to read books instead of buying physical books.
Common Myths About Kindle
Ever since Kindle has been launched, many persistent myths have been surrounding it. Now that we’ve discussed the reasons why we should use Kindle, let’s move on to the common myths about it and get them cleared.
Myth #1: Kindle can read only one type of file
Truth: While there’s no doubt that Amazon has a specified file format for the Kindle, it can also read many other type of files, including text, HTML and Mobipocket format. You can also get PDF files and other documents converted to Kindle format by emailing the file to Amazon and getting the converted document back from Amazon a few minutes later.
Myth #2: You can only buy books from Amazon
Truth: This one is purely a myth since Kindle can read many non-DRM file formats. Users can download books (free & paid) in other formats from many websites on the net such as Mobileread, Feedbooks and so on.
Myth #3: You can only read Kindle books on Amazon Kindle
Truth: The reality couldn’t have been further from the myth. After purchasing a book from Kindle, not only can you read it on your Amazon Kindle, you can read it on many other devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, Mac and PC using the free Kindle reading apps.
Myth #4: Amazon charges to convert a document
Truth: The reality is that Amazon does not charge to convert a document, but the charge is for sending the converted document to your Kindle via Whispernet. If you want the process to be completely free, you can transfer the converted document to your Kindle using your USB connection.
Myth#5: Reading physical books is better than reading them on Kindle
Truth: While I can’t vouch for the fact that you will find reading books on Kindle better than reading them physically, there’s no doubt that Kindle will make reading books much more easier & convenient since it allows you to store hundreds of books & weighs even lighter than a paperback! You’ll no longer have to carry heavy, bulky books. And if your argument is that you won’t be able to read books on Kindle sunlight, let me assure you that you won’t have any such trouble since Kindle uses E ink and has no backlighting, so it doesn’t have any glare or reflection whatsoever and reads much like a physical book.
Different types of kindles
There are seven types of kindles
- Kindle Touch
- Kindle Touch 3G
- Kindle Keyboard
- Kindle Keyboard 3G
- Kindle DX
- Kindle fire ( This one is very different from the above six )
How to Buy Kindle in India
The number one question in the mind of all Indian customers interested in Amazon Kindle is that whether it can be shipped to India or not. Recently Amazon has started shipping Kindle to India and many other countries so you can easily order it from their order page. While Amazon will make sure that the shipping is efficiently managed and you receive the Kindle in India securely, the only downside is the huge import duty (around $100) and shipping charges ($20 odd). Also it seems that currently only Kindle DX (the costliest version – $379 odd) can be shipped to India, so that is another downside.
Alternatively you can also buy Kindle from Indian shopping websites like Indiaplaza , Indiatimes, Ebay India and a few others. The best part is that almost all versions of Kindle are available on these sites, so you choose any version depending on your preference. Though the quoted price seems to be quite inflated, it’s probably because of the import duty levied on them. Another benefit of buying Kindle from these websites instead of Amazon is that they offer many payment modes, including debit cards, online banking, cheque and demand-draft.
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