Alexandria Online

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do Not Buy an E-Reader: Buy Content

Want to get a free e-reader?

I borrowed a Kindle from school for a while to play with it. On short notice, we needed it back to give it to a librarian who was going away for the summer and desperately wanted to get comfortable with it before the school year began. Fair enough, I said, Trade ya for an iPad.

So I got one of the school's iPads to experiment with, loaded the Kindle App, and started reading all the stuff I bought on Amazon on the screen of my iPad. Then I had to give the iPad back -- but guess what? I've got Kindle-for-PC on my little laptop.

So now I'm reading my e-subscription to the Wall Street Journal, my free New York Times, and my books all on my laptop. Kindle-for-PC has lots of features to make the reading experience much more pleasant that the usual screen reading: easy access to brightness, easy font sizing, easy line width adjustment and three different tones: sepia, black font on white and white font on black.

Do you buy a phone or do you get one free every two years with your contract? If you must have an iPhone4 because you have extra money that will go stale if you don't spend it, then, by all means get the iPhone4. But if you, like me, go with $0.00 as your budget for new phone hardware, why, then would you pay money for an e-reader when you already have one in your PC?

And then there's this: if phone companies are giving away phones, how long will it be before Amazon starts giving away Kindles? The price has already dropped precipitously. You do the math!

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