I had installed Amazon’s Kindle app on my iPod Touch. The Kindle app turns your iPhone into a mini-Kindle, Amazon’s much-hyped eBook reader.
The iPhone app — particularly with an update out this week — is fairly great. You can read any Kindle-edition book from Amazon’s store, turning pages by tapping or swiping. You can adjust the font size, and you can read with the iPhone in portrait or landscape mode.
I read more books on my iPod in the past few months than I had in all of the previous year. The magic is that the iPod was always in my pocket. Whenever I had downtime — long lines, waiting for lunch to finish cooking, waiting for Anya in the bathroom, or (let’s face it) spending time there myself — I could read another few screenfuls.
That’s a massive advantage over regular books.
It’s tiring, though. Reading books on a backlit screen causes strain to your eyes, and I found it made me feel just generally tired, as well. Where the actual Kindle shines is precisely in that it doesn’t shine. The E-ink screen you’ve heard about really is that cool. People are often surprised that you need a book light to read the Kindle in the dark. The screen is just like a book. You need a light to read a book; you need a light to read the Kindle.
I was so pleased with the increase in my reading that I made the investment and bought Kindle 2. Reading that many more books, to me, is a killer app. If it takes a pricy gadget to get me there, I’m happy to pay the price.
(For a while, the big debate for me at night has been TiVo vs. Netflix vs. Wii. Now I have to throw “reading Kindle” into the mix, and frankly I don’t mind.)
Not unrelatedly, I canceled my longstanding Entertainment Subscription today. I freed up $150, since I was renewed through 2012. I enjoy the magazine, but I’m always way behind. Unlike the Kindle, it’s not always nearby, and I don’t ever take time to sit and read it. Plus, all the entertainment news I need is online these days. If EW came to the Kindle (it’s not there yet), I might be interested… But there are all these books to read.
(And Wii games to play. And shows on TiVo to watch. And Netflix movies.)