Review: Kindle 4

25 Jul

I was totally shocked when I opened up my three year anniversary gift to find a Kindle 4 from my wonderful boyfriend. Shocked, and slightly concerned. As much as I used to hate to admit it, I’ve never been much of a reader. I have this awful habit of starting a new book, then abandoning it halfway in for a new craft or to watch the entirety of “30 Rock” again on Netflix. Right now I can name four books sitting in various places across mine and Alex’s homes that need to be finished.

So I was concerned, mostly because I didn’t want Alex- who has this amazing way of finding the most creative and surprising gifts- to see this new toy go unused like I feared it might.  I’ve also been a fan of the actual book (as a print reporter I kind of encourage paper-based reading as much as possible). Tucked away on book shelves, rows and rows creating pretty new color schemes. I just wasn’t sure if I’d be on board for the e-reader movement.

I couldn’t have been more off base.

So far I have read six books in a little bit less than a month. That’s about as many as I’ve read in two years. It’s just so easy! I have this little library about the size of a piece of mail, and at any time I can grab it for a quick and easy read. No tabbing pages, or finding where you are if you’re lost, or carrying a bulky and sometimes heavy book with you. People aren’t grabbing you while you’re reading to ask what your book is about, because it’s pretty discreet. No strangers scanning the back cover while you’re in public. It really gives me no excuse not to read.

The Kindle 4 is currently my favorite piece of technology that I own. It’s small and incredibly lightweight, which means I can hold it in one hand and throw it in my bag without ever knowing it’s there. It’s got a great screen for reading that doesn’t tire my eyes out like a computer screen. And you know how they’re always flaunting that it isn’t hard to read in intense sunlight? Yeah, that’s a lot more exciting when you see it in person. The brighter the light, the easier it actually is to read.

Most importantly to me is that it’s really affordable, and Alex saved money buying the version with ads, which only pop up when I put it on sleep or at the bottom of my home page. They go entirely unnoticed and I don’t know why anyone would waste fifty dollars on the ad-free Kindle 4. Most library have e-reader rentals for free that last up to two weeks, and Amazon runs deals on all of their Kindle e-readers. I got my first book, The Hunger Games, for $3. So far I’ve payed maybe about $5 for books.

I really dig the lack of a touch screen. There are two buttons on each side of the e-reader, with a larger one to turn the page forward on both sides and a smaller one to go back just above. Engineered perfectly, so they don’t turn a page if you move your hand the wrong way. Then there’s a few small keys at the bottom as other guides. This isn’t designed for typing, so why make it annoying with a touch screen? Plus, in the month that I’ve had the Kindle 4 I have charged it once. I use it at least 3-4 times a day, about 3 hours a day, and I have only had to charge it for about 3 hours once a few weeks ago. It’s beyond convenient.

And the best part about the Kindle 4? It is nothing more than an e-reader. A fabulous, tiny little e-reader. Sure you can buy books on the Amazon site when around wi-fi, and when you’re done reading a book you can post a tweet that says you finished it, but there isn’t a Facebook notification popping up every time someone posts a new picture of them at a bar. It doesn’t vibrate every time I get a spam e-mail from some Nigerian prince. I am disconnected, and still able to access my own collection of reading. And let’s face it, who my age really needs a tablet? I mean how many tweets are you reading that are so urgent that you need to constantly be connected all day, every day. My Kindle pulls me away from the constant noise of social media for a few hours a day. I really can’t explain what it does for my mind. It feels like one big, long, giganticly refreshing sigh.

I absolutely love my Kindle. I would be so bored and boring without it. I tell everyone I know to go out and buy this instead of a bulky iPod. Just read!

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