Kindle Field Test

A few days ago, I returned from a two-week vacation that involved a lot of traveling, both in airplanes and in cars. I brought along my Kindle (which I bought in late November), one trade paperback novel (Cold Magic by Kate Elliott), and the most recent issue of the SFWA Bulletin (the size of a slim magazine).

I still enjoy reading paper books a bit more than reading on my Kindle; it takes more effort for me to ignore the flash of a page turn on the Kindle than it does to simply turn a paper page. But for this sort of trip, where I’m gone for quite a while, the Kindle was invaluable; it weighs about what a book weighs, but takes up less room, and can hold an entire library.

One issue with the Kindle on airplanes is that you’re not allowed to use them during takeoff and landing. For my initial flight, I read the SFWA Bulletin, which I finished and discarded. On the return flight, I confess I slept most of the way, so it didn’t matter (I had the paperback, just in case).

For the most part, I read on the Kindle. I only read from the paperback in the evenings; it was too bulky to carry around in my purse. The Kindle kept me company while waiting in lines, on portions of the car journeys, and when waiting for everyone else to be ready to leave for the next destination.

My scattered activities favored the Kindle as well; I was able to switch among several different books, discarding a few free ones that I began but couldn’t get into reading, and skimming several for possible future review.

I charged the Kindle a day or so before I left. It still had battery life the day before I left, even though I’d used the wireless a number of times. To be safe, I recharged the night before I flew home.

It was a major boon not to have to find room for books in my luggage!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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2 Responses to Kindle Field Test

  1. Jenni Grubb says:

    I love my Kindle a lot but I still always pack a paperback or my RT Book Reviews mag as back up for those take offs and landings. And while I love that I can carry an entire library of my books with me electronically, I still swoon over the beautiful covers and the feel of turning the pages. I also enjoy used bookstores a lot… browsing is just NOT the same on a Kindle. That’s actually what pains me the most about books going e-only. I find so many new (to me) authors at a used bookstore and while I can do similar by browsing amazon, it just isn’t the same! Plus I have a library at home… filled with books. It’s my favorite room in the house and always will be. A Kindle can’t replace that.

    But I love my Kindle. Every pocketbook I own can fit a book (or my Kindle) and I always have one or the other with me. And yes, the battery life is awesome. Weekend travel is a breeze when you don’t even need to worry about the charger (I can charge it on my smartphone charger if I had to). Oh, and the Kindle apps? Awesomeness all around. I took my iPod Touch to an amusement park a while back because I didn’t want to carry around a pocketbook all day but I can’t ride more than one or two intense rides, so when I was on bag watch, I was reading the whole time. :)

  2. I still have an immense collection of to-be-read print books, so I don’t think I’ll ever go entirely all-electronic.

    I agree with you on browsing used books. So far, nothing has replaced that for me.

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