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Amazon Kindle

I was tremendously resistant to this thing for quite a while. When my friends raved about their Kindles, I went on and on about my love for the printed page, book design, typography, tradition, and anything else I could think of.

Finally, my niece convinced me to give the Kindle a try. I have to say that after about 15 minutes with it, the device completely disappears and you are simply reading. Better yet, you are reading with less eyestrain and a more ergonomic device than a physical book — so much so that I find myself somewhat annoyed when I have to read an actual book. It's kind of like having to repeatedly dial an old rotary phone.

I have to mention that if you buy a Kindle through the link below (or the one on this site's home page) you will be helping to support this site, but I swear that my comments here are genuine. In fact, if you are patient, you can Google "refurbished Kindle" or go to eBay and possibly find yourself a better deal.

Here's a link to Amazon where you you can see the various options and read zillions of other reviews. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see a chart comparing the features of the different Kindle Fire models.

Amazon Kindle

The kindle is much easier to read outside in the sun than a traditional book and it's also much easier to read where I do most of my reading — in bed. When reading in bed, you don't have to change your position to turn the page or to switch from a left-hand page to a right-hand page. On the Kindle, they're all in the same place. Better yet, the light is the same on every page.

As icing on the cake, I found that there were countless classic items available for free on the Kindle. I say "items" rather than books, not because they aren't really books, but because they were often collections. One Kindle "item" I downloaded was the complete works of William Shakespeare (which I can now search for quotations and favorite scenes using the Kindle's search function).

Many of the free offerings were books I had always meant to read but just hadn't gotten around to, either because they were hard to find, or because they were thick and expensive. I just finished Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. I'm still working my way through the lesser-known works of Collins, Dickens, Dumas, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Anatole France, Zola, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert and many others. I also discovered no less than 50 free books by H. Rider Haggard that I have yet to download.

Note that many of the free books are now available for download on if you scroll past the ones Amazon is selling. They apparently consider them loss leaders and would rather have you visiting their site than looking for them elsewhere on the Web.

Another tremendous rush, for me anyway, is to see a book on that I'd like to have and download it to my Kindle in seconds. I also like the thought that the Kindle versions are never out of stock or out of print. You can also have multiple Kindles attached to the same Amazon account so my spouse and I can read the same books at the same time (albeit at different speeds).

As for the question of various Kindle versions, I am more-or-less an agnostic. I currently use the Kindle Fire 7", but I'm thinking of upgrading to the current version of the same Kindle, which comes with better resolution, two cameras, and some more bells and whistles. It costs half of what I paid for mine. I prefer it to the larger versions, but if you expect to read newspapers or magazine article, you might want one of the larger ones.

By now, there are enough Kindles out there that you ought to be able to try one before you buy by borrowing one from a friend. You may, indeed, be one of the people who prefers the actual printed page. I certainly thought I was, but I was seriously mistaken.

Thank you for visiting

  —  Bob Ray