Amazon Kindle–Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I mentioned recently about how much I like to read. Surely for a techie, getting an Amazon Kindle is a no-brainer?

Things is I’m really torn.

With my technical head on it makes perfect sense. An entire library in my pocket. Books available on demand, no waiting for deliveries, shelf space at home reclaimed!

The technical side of the device is also really cool. Wi-Fi, optional 3g with coverage in over 100 countries, automatic backup, sync across multiple devices so you can pick up where you left off, massive battery life, text to speech, Facebook and Twitter integration, easy to read e-ink which works in sunlight!

Really, what isn’t there to like?! Honestly I’m completely sold. So why haven’t I got one yet?

The thing is I love books, as in real, actual, physical, books.

I have tons of them and while I understand I’d save a ton of space by switching to digital books I like having them around and I still get a massive kick out of receiving a book as a gift. 

Also, while the instant buying experience of the Kindle is really appealing I love going into a book shop and just browsing. I’ve picked up lots of books purely by accident that I don’t think I would get just by browsing the Amazon site.

Take this book for example.

star trek book

I spotted this while when I popped into a book shop whilst in town today.

I wasn’t looking for anything specific. I was just looking at the shelves to see what jumped out at me and I grabbed this straightaway.

This sort of thinking must have also happened to lots of people when the MP3 became popular and I’ll be honest I don’t miss music CDs and the switch to obtaining music digitally was really easy for me.


Everyone I’ve spoken to who owns a Kindle has nothing but great things to say about them and as I’ve already mentioned I’m totally sold so why am I having such a hard time getting over the fact I’d never need to physically own a book again. All those books I’ve read once and not picked up for years would instead just sit in memory on the device.

Am I subconsciously trying to keep score of the amount of books I’ve read by the the amount of shelves I’ve managed fill? 

I’d be really interested to hear other opinions on this.

I’m so indecisive if I do decide to get one then I’ll torn over whether the 3g version is worth the extra money. Smile

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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14 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle–Should I? Shouldn’t I?

  • I know exactly what you mean! I love my books sooo much and having them in one easy, convenient place would be amazing, yet it feels so wrong!? Mind you, I still ‘have’ to buy CD’s , the ‘security’ of a ‘original’ back up for my digital uploads to my IPod just seems some how necessary and important to me! I may well get a kindle or other ebook reader, but I think I will still always buy ‘proper’ books aswell…

  • No you shouldn’t, I quite often buy a book and after reading it pass it on to someone else I think will enjoy it.

    I don’t have the space to store the books I read, so on the surface it would seem to make sense to get one. But, I’d be depriving others of enjoying the books after I’ve read them.

    I currently have three books stacked up next to my bed and another pile in my cupboard. If I get a load of books I don’t want to pass on, I just give them to my local charity shop.

    None of this is possible with a Kindle. Like you I also enjoy selecting books by browsing in a shop, I’ll sometimes buy them from Amazon if I know exactly what I want. Most of the time however, I’ll just browse and read the blurbs in a store until I settle on something.

  • You’re assuming you won’t ever buy a physical book again. I don’t think that will happen — but you’ll find you read more with a Kindle, and you will love having it with you.

    But you’ll still buy books.

    Plus, at the low price of the Kindle 3G — with free internet — trust me, it’s worth it.

    Having just used it to read for an entire flight across the country, it’s so much better than carrying books with me.

  • Using e-books doesn’t mean you leave physical books behind forever but it does mean that, wherever you go you have dozens of books to choose from. For me, the question is whether the Kindle itself is worth it as I like to keep the number of gadgets I carry to a minimum. I’ve got the WP7 Samsung Omnia 7 with the Kindle app and that does everything I need…buy eBooks, WiFi, 3G, Twitter etc…plus all the other 100s of things it can do :-)I find the 4″+ screen perfectly easy to read and it’s all in one device.

  • Luff, just out of interest? Do you give your games away after you’ve finished playing them?

    I see the books I have as a collection in the same way I’ve got a DVD collection and a game collection.

    I get your point though

  • Dave, I didn’t think it was physically possible to read more than I do at the moment 🙂

    You make a good point though, maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way in that it would supplement my physical books instead of replacing them altogether.

  • Rich, the phone I’ve got at the moment has no chance of running a Kindle app!

    I get what you’re saying about multiple devices though. I’d also really like a tablet device (why I don’t have an iPad is for another time though!) and I was also worried about having two devices that could potentially do similar things but I figured that since I usually carry at least one book with me everywhere I go a kindle would just substitute that

  • You make an interesting point regarding giving away books. I’ve always been bought up with that ethic since I was young, it’s not something I’ve ever questioned.

    Some books I’ll keep, I’ve read my Hitchikers guide far too many times for instance. There are other books I wouldn’t part with. But the vast majority are gone when I’ve read them.

    I don’t do that with videogames as a rule though, I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s a cost thing? I will lend people my games and I have given a few away over the years.

    Strange how I have this thing for giving away books really isn’t it!

    Also, back on the subject of the Kindle. I personally wouldn’t consider one until they are DRM free, or at least on an open standard.

  • Andy,

    Bottom line, do it. If you do please do so through my associate store ( plug, plug 😉

    Now the commercial is over I can’t speak highly enough of the device. You can still buy paper books but it allows me to carry so many more with me. When I am waiting in reception somewhere I pop open my Kindle and catch up on my reading. You can flick between multiple books, sync to the Kindle app on other devices etc etc.

    It is fantastic for fiction and works well for technical books. It allows me to have all my tech books with me if I ever need to refer to the which is better than them clogging up my shelf in my office.

    Amazon’s service is fantastic, there are sways of free eBooks there as well, their ordering process is a snap and instanteous, you can store MP3s and PDF’s on the Kindle and it supports audio books.

    If you love books you’ll love the Kindle as it doesn’t replace them it simple extends them into the digital age.

    Robert Crane

  • Luff,

    I don’t think it’s strange giving books away – I guess it just depends on your relationship with them. As you said you’d not adverse to giving your games away but just don’t as a rule.

    I think that’s a safe assessment of how I think about my books.

    I understand what you’re saying about DRM. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never owned an iPod.

    Kindles does support other formats though so you don’t have to buy their stuff, but obviously it does limit what you can buy

  • Robert,

    Cheers for the comment

    I *may* have purchased one on the way into work this morning 😉 which meant I couldn’t use your link, sorry!

    Thanks everyone for your comments – was very much appreciated!

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