Hello Kindle!

This week I took the plunge and entered the Kindle universe by purchasing my first Kindle. To be honest I’ve avoided Kindle for a long time and been more than reluctant because I didn’t think I’d use it much. I am a old-school read books on paper kind of a guy. I love to read with a pencil in my hand and mark things up–this is true of even non-academic genres like biography. Even if I can get an article in a PDF, which is easier than ever these days, I always print it off anyway so I can read it with a pencil in hand. The paper margins of a book or copied article are where I take notes, think and engage the author. How does one do that effectively, organically on a Kindle, I often thought to myself. But over the course of the summer I’ve experimented with the free Kindle app on my smart phone and I began to have a vision for it. Without replacing my “old-school” approach reading paper books (at least not yet!), I now see a place for Kindle. There’s how I think I’ll use my Kindle:

1. Reading books that are fun and narrative driven such as biography. I’m currently reading another Bonhoeffer Bio on Kindle, the Schlingenspiesen book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance.

2. Supplement to the printed book. In my desire to test Kindle I have used a Kindle version alongside a printed one. For example I’m reading Hunter’s To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World and I have that in both Kindle version and printed. While this may be considered excessive, I can see the benefit of having multiple platforms for reading. If I find a passage I really like reading the Kindle, I go to the printed book and pencil it up.

3. Traveling. Probably the biggest benefit of a Kindle is for travel. I’m headed to the Czech Republic next week for a couple of weeks of mission work and I’ll pack my Kindle instead of four or five books. This is nice! Now you could just not bring books . . . that’s not an option!

How do you use your Kindle? Any advice? Any interesting things you’ve found you do with Kindle?

  • Michael Bird

    Oh Joel, mate, you’re 5 years behind. You should have got an iPad which has a Kindle App.

  • Michael Bird

    Oh Joel, mate, you’re 5 years behind. You should have got an iPad which has a Kindle App.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t afford an iPad!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t afford an iPad!

  • Andy COok

    Joel, I love my Kindle. A major difference in having the actual device is the note taking and highlighting features. I can now access my highlights from anywhere and also share them with friends. I don’t write long paragraphs of notes, but brief comments. Try it out a little before you hunt down the printed book to highlight. You may like it.

  • Andy COok

    Joel, I love my Kindle. A major difference in having the actual device is the note taking and highlighting features. I can now access my highlights from anywhere and also share them with friends. I don’t write long paragraphs of notes, but brief comments. Try it out a little before you hunt down the printed book to highlight. You may like it.

  • http://twitter.com/rjasonsmith rjasonsmith

    I had the same misgivings, but have found the actual Kindle much more useful for underlining (highlighting) and note taking than I ever imagined. Going back to a book to find that page or note I made could often be frustrating. Now, I can go to my Kindle page at Amazon and just look through the notes and highlights I made and find it in a second. If I want to cut and paste it into a sermon or something I’m writing, its quick and easy. I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised with how the Kindle satisfies all that. And, I prefer the Kindle’s INK technology over the IPAD. Also, I agree with Michael Hyatt that the Kindle reduces the distraction of an IPAD. The Kindle is strictly a reading device. There is little temptation to check email, look at twitter, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/rjasonsmith rjasonsmith

    I had the same misgivings, but have found the actual Kindle much more useful for underlining (highlighting) and note taking than I ever imagined. Going back to a book to find that page or note I made could often be frustrating. Now, I can go to my Kindle page at Amazon and just look through the notes and highlights I made and find it in a second. If I want to cut and paste it into a sermon or something I’m writing, its quick and easy. I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised with how the Kindle satisfies all that. And, I prefer the Kindle’s INK technology over the IPAD. Also, I agree with Michael Hyatt that the Kindle reduces the distraction of an IPAD. The Kindle is strictly a reading device. There is little temptation to check email, look at twitter, etc.

  • Ryan Boyer

    Question I’ve asked myself: how much would I be willing to pay for the paper and digital copies in some package form? I kind of feel that if you buy the paper version, the digital copy should be included… or at most a minimal charge added.

  • Ryan Boyer

    Question I’ve asked myself: how much would I be willing to pay for the paper and digital copies in some package form? I kind of feel that if you buy the paper version, the digital copy should be included… or at most a minimal charge added.

  • Ryan Mahoney

    You have been seduced by the dark side…I must now stop reading your blog.

  • Ryan Mahoney

    You have been seduced by the dark side…I must now stop reading your blog.

  • James Ernest

    See http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2011/07/biblical-texts-for-kindles.html.
    Also there’s a Hebrew Bible: http://www.miklalsoftware.com/EReaders/HebrewBibleKindleAndNook.html. I haven’t purchased it yet but it looks great. Apparently it takes some trickery to make the Kindle display Hebrew properly.

  • James Ernest

    See http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2011/07/biblical-texts-for-kindles.html.
    Also there’s a Hebrew Bible: http://www.miklalsoftware.com/EReaders/HebrewBibleKindleAndNook.html. I haven’t purchased it yet but it looks great. Apparently it takes some trickery to make the Kindle display Hebrew properly.

  • James Ernest

    Mike, iPad knows how to do many things. Kindle does one thing well. It’s for reading. (It can do some other things, but not quickly enough to keep tempting you away from your reading.) Battery life is unbelievable–goes for days and days and days–eye-strain is zero, legibility is excellent in any lighting.

  • James Ernest

    Mike, iPad knows how to do many things. Kindle does one thing well. It’s for reading. (It can do some other things, but not quickly enough to keep tempting you away from your reading.) Battery life is unbelievable–goes for days and days and days–eye-strain is zero, legibility is excellent in any lighting.

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  • http://twitter.com/bvictor33 Bill Victor

    You nailed the reasons I got one. One is for travel, so much easier especially if you are travelling abroad. Two is for fun books like biographies or books on sports. There are definitely some books that I prefer having the hard copy, those I may mark up for future reference.

  • http://twitter.com/bvictor33 Bill Victor

    You nailed the reasons I got one. One is for travel, so much easier especially if you are travelling abroad. Two is for fun books like biographies or books on sports. There are definitely some books that I prefer having the hard copy, those I may mark up for future reference.

  • Riprock_2000

    II wish there was a way to down load my many unread books on to kindle for free . I don’t want to have to pay agqin for them. If I get a kindle I may never read those books. What a waste .

  • Riprock_2000

    II wish there was a way to down load my many unread books on to kindle for free . I don’t want to have to pay agqin for them. If I get a kindle I may never read those books. What a waste .

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  • http://twitter.com/KatherineRoush Katherine Roush

    LOVE my kindle. And don’t listen to the iPadders. Not that I don’t love my apple devices, but I can’t stand the backlit screen for reading. The kindle is perfect because my eyes aren’t strained by the eink. And if you’ve already bought books for your ipad/ipod/iphone, you can convert them to a kindle-friendly format (like PDF or Mobi) with the free software Calibre, which I use and love.

  • http://twitter.com/KatherineRoush Katherine Roush

    LOVE my kindle. And don’t listen to the iPadders. Not that I don’t love my apple devices, but I can’t stand the backlit screen for reading. The kindle is perfect because my eyes aren’t strained by the eink. And if you’ve already bought books for your ipad/ipod/iphone, you can convert them to a kindle-friendly format (like PDF or Mobi) with the free software Calibre, which I use and love.

  • spanielbooks

    Thank you rjasonsmith for pointing out the usefulness of the highlighting and notetaking feature in Kindle. Before finally buying a DX, when my tax refund arrives, I need to know I can annotate texts confidently. That’s important to me as a researcher. You’ve convinced me Kindle is the way to go. I’ve resisted buying a tablet, as I know it will be too distracting. I need a dedicated e-reader.

  • spanielbooks

    Thank you rjasonsmith for pointing out the usefulness of the highlighting and notetaking feature in Kindle. Before finally buying a DX, when my tax refund arrives, I need to know I can annotate texts confidently. That’s important to me as a researcher. You’ve convinced me Kindle is the way to go. I’ve resisted buying a tablet, as I know it will be too distracting. I need a dedicated e-reader.

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  • Tzvee Zahavy

    I do understand where you are. I only gave in and bought one because I planned to publish my new book in print first and then right away on Kindle. And I felt I needed one so I could see for myself what it looked like and validate the whole project. And wouldn’t you know. I am hooked. I can’t stop reading on it. It grows on you. My wife has it read aloud to her. And I like how my book looks on it. Yes, Hello Kindle. God’s Favorite Prayers have found a new platform in the 21st century: http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Favorite-Prayers-ebook/dp/B005D5CD02

  • Tzvee Zahavy

    I do understand where you are. I only gave in and bought one because I planned to publish my new book in print first and then right away on Kindle. And I felt I needed one so I could see for myself what it looked like and validate the whole project. And wouldn’t you know. I am hooked. I can’t stop reading on it. It grows on you. My wife has it read aloud to her. And I like how my book looks on it. Yes, Hello Kindle. God’s Favorite Prayers have found a new platform in the 21st century: http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Favorite-Prayers-ebook/dp/B005D5CD02

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  • Elizabeth

    The size, weight, battery life and versatility of the Kindle is what makes it a great device. Many iPad users also have a Kindle for book reading on the go while leaving the iPad for home and office use.
    A couple tips: send web articles to your Kindle to read later using a variety of browser apps like SendtoReader.

    Also the http://kindlemap.net/ site is formatted specifically for viewing on the Kindle. From the Home screen just type kindlemap.net and choose the Go To option on the bottom of the screen (which is the quick way to use the web on a Kindle).

  • Elizabeth

    The size, weight, battery life and versatility of the Kindle is what makes it a great device. Many iPad users also have a Kindle for book reading on the go while leaving the iPad for home and office use.
    A couple tips: send web articles to your Kindle to read later using a variety of browser apps like SendtoReader.

    Also the http://kindlemap.net/ site is formatted specifically for viewing on the Kindle. From the Home screen just type kindlemap.net and choose the Go To option on the bottom of the screen (which is the quick way to use the web on a Kindle).

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  • lilbro

    Love my Kindle AND my books. Readers love to read, PERIOD. I have almost 400 docs on my Kindle. I use Calibre as my e-book manager. My summer reading has been mostly books. LPs and tapes didn’t go away when CDs and mp3s came out.

  • lilbro

    Love my Kindle AND my books. Readers love to read, PERIOD. I have almost 400 docs on my Kindle. I use Calibre as my e-book manager. My summer reading has been mostly books. LPs and tapes didn’t go away when CDs and mp3s came out.


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