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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Bought a Kindle. I'll be your guinea pig.

    I just re-read the thread called, "Anyone take a Kindle along?" Interesting, because I just ordered a Kindle 2 yesterday - the small one. It hasn't come yet. After I receive it and have a chance to familiarize myself with it I'll add my findings. Stop reading now if you've heard it all before.

    I'm buying it almost exclusively for the purpose of bike touring. I think I will continue to buy and read books for everything else. I like the feel of books. I like looking at them on my shelves after I've read them. I love lending them out to my friends who also love books. You can often find used books very cheap, and that's good. Even though Kindle versions of hardbound books often cost significantly less, used books are often even cheaper.

    I think the Kindle will be a benefit on touring for these reasons:
    1. It's very light. I haven't held the small one yet, but it seems as if it will be as light as a thin paperback, and quite a bit lighter than a big hardbound. Plus, it's less bulky and will take up less space in my handlebar bag.
    2. I won't have to try and find a bookseller when I finish a book. I don't like carrying two books any longer than I have to, so I usually try and time the purchase of a new book about the same time as I finish the previous - so I'm never without a book to read (horrors!) but I seldom have to carry two books at a time.
    3. I won't have to worry if I choose a bad book at the bookstore. I often agonize over which book to buy when I can only buy one. If I buy one and don't like it, I'm stuck until the next bookseller. With a Kindle I can have several books stored, choose which to read depending on my mood, and switch to something else if I make a bad choice.
    4. After a few days on the road I like to buy a newspaper to catch up on world events. I'm a bit of a news junkie. Often my choice is limited to some small, local paper. USA Today is a good choice, but often unavailable or hard to find. The Kindle allows you to download a copy. However, there are some limitations which reviewers have described. I'll report back on how useful this is.


    I looked at the Sony Reader and the Nook. The Sony Reader was out because you have to load books from a computer. I want to be able to load data from the road. The Nook was interesting, partly because of the ability to share books with another Nook owner. My daughter wanted us both to buy Nooks, because then I would buy books and share them with her and she wouldn't have to pay for them. However, there's a 14-day limit on sharing books, and not all books are share-able. I think she'll probably end up with some sort of E-reader and I'll just buy books for her. She knows I've always been very willing to buy her books, bikes, and musical instruments!

    Another issue was the operating system. I read lots of reviews saying that the Nook is very slow compared to the Kindle.

    Barnes and Noble touts lots of other features. They have free content. However, I checked what it consists of and it's nothing of interest to me. They say you can read their books for free if you're in a Barnes and Noble store, but it's not for all books, and there's a time limit. I figure if I'm in a Barnes and Noble store, I'd rather pull a book off the shelf and read it for free. I don't need to use an E-reader.

    A bigger issue was battery life. The Kindle's was said to be much longer. That's big on the road, although I already have to charge my mp3 player and my phone. One more device wouldn't be that bad, especially if it only has to be done every few days.

    Both the Kindle and Nook have built in dictionaries, but the Kindle has access to Wikipedia. I like to look up words I don't know (I usually bring a dictionary when I go car camping) so I like the dictionary. I also like to research things I don't know about, so Wikipedia will be nice, hopefully.

    Off-topic a little bit: My dad is 98 and in really good health, but his eyesight is impaired by age-related macular degeneration. He has been a voracious reader his entire life. During the past couple of years he's had a hard time reading - sometimes not being able to, and other times able to read if he had a REALLY bright reading light.

    My brothers and I bought him a large-size Kindle for Christmas, hoping the larger font size would help. It did! He says his Kindle has become something he can't live without! Besides new titles, he has been loading some of the classics that are free or very cheap. He got the complete works of Dumas for $0.99 and is halfway through The Three Musketeers right now, and enjoying it immensely. Of course there are a lot of titles that aren't available in Kindle versions (especially the obscure subjects he is interested in - technical stuff - he's an engineer interested in all sorts of things. He just bought an entire book about the development of the toothpick, and he has scores of volumes about code breaking, particularly during World War II.) and he still buys books, but he loves his Kindle. If you have an older parent (or if your eyes are similar to his) it might be something to consider.

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Great! Keep us posted on how it goes.

    I have handled one and was impressed with it for reading. I am especially interested in how the web browsing works out for journal entries on the road.

    My hope is that a cgoab journal will be easily managed if the appropriate preferences are set. The preferences for images and ads if pretty configurable for the site so I am optimistic that the Kindle will work well for that purpose.

    I will also have a chance to see first hand how it works out, since my daughter is bringing one on our spring tour (Sierra Cascades).

    I will be reading audio books on an iPod shuffle on our Spring/Summer tour. All the books I want for the weight penalty of less than an ounce if I share a charger with my phone. Personally I don't have a strong preference for paper and would buy a Kindle in a heart beat if most of my reading wasn't listening to audio books when driving.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 02-27-10 at 11:22 AM.

  3. #3
    GATC
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    I wonder if you can tether a laptop to a kindle and use it as a cellular modem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Haven't played with a Kindle or a Nook in person yet. I use Barnes and Noble E-reader on my Crackberry. So far it has worked okay for what I need.

    I too prefer the feel of a real book, plus it will never become unreadable due to dead batteries and can be hell on flies that are bugging me. If I get a Kindle I hope I can remember not to swat flies with it.

    Aaron
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  5. #5
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Great! Keep us posted on how it goes.

    I have handled one and was impressed with it for reading. I am especially interested in how the web browsing works out for journal entries on the road.

    My hope is that a cgoab journal will be easily managed if the appropriate preferences are set. The preferences for images and ads if pretty configurable for the site so I am optimistic that the Kindle will work well for that purpose.

    I will also have a chance to see first hand how it works out, since my daughter is bringing one on our spring tour (Sierra Cascades).

    I will be reading audio books on an iPod shuffle on our Spring/Summer tour. All the books I want for the weight penalty of less than an ounce if I share a charger with my phone. Personally I don't have a strong preference for paper and would buy a Kindle in a heart beat if most of my reading wasn't listening to audio books when driving.
    Now that will be interesting
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  6. #6
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    We bought Kindles for our boys a few months ago and have been really happy. We mainly got them because we simply couldn't find kids' book in English down here in Latin AMerica and our boys love to read. Now, we can get books from Amazon and they are happy campers!

    I really like using their Kindles (when I can get my hands on one of them), but don't like not being able to flip ahead to see what happens! If you are one of those people who reads the book straight throughfrom the beginning to the end, the Kindle will be perfect.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    I love my kindle. Access to almost my whole library on the trail without needing the whole library. Can download new books in the middle of nowhere, and the batteries last for weeks if you turn the wireless off when you're not using it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I just re-read the thread called, "Anyone take a Kindle along?" Interesting, because I just ordered a Kindle 2 yesterday - the small one. It hasn't come yet. After I receive it and have a chance to familiarize myself with it I'll add my findings. Stop reading now if you've heard it all before.
    I really don't like buying books at retail and prefer to buy used for a fraction of the price. However, you can read txt. documents with Kindle which means you can download the books from the Guttenberg project or ManyBooks! Don't start buying new books just yet because you may not have to for years! Start with the free books before you begin buying new ones.

    http://manybooks.net/
    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    Browse through the most popular titles, recommendations, or recent reviews from our visitors. Perhaps you'll find something interesting in the special collections. There are 26,283 eBooks available here and they're all free!

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I assume you don't consider listening to audio books reading? Different strokes, but I do. The experience of reading an unabridged audiobook (as long as it isn't overly dramatized by the reader) is enough like reading a paper book that I can often not recall which way I read a particular book. They are after all the same words either way and the words are more important than the paper and ink.

  10. #10
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I assume you don't consider listening to audio books reading? Different strokes, but I do. The experience of reading an unabridged audiobook (as long as it isn't overly dramatized by the reader) is enough like reading a paper book that I can often not recall which way I read a particular book.
    I love audio books for certain times.. I was joking
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  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Another thing I do with books is hit up the local thrift store where I happen to be for reading materials. Then when I move on to a different town and I am done reading what I have I re-donate them to a thrift and buy a few more. And yet another time when I was on tour and the weather was not particularly good, I would stop in a local library read a few chapters of a certain book, then move on to the next town and do it again.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  12. #12
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    I got a Sony eBook Reader last year and love it. I primarily get my reading material from Project Gutenberg so not having wireless is not an issue.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I still haven't received the Kindle. No first hand information yet.

    My wife loves audio books (as do many friends.) I tried them a couple of times on long driving trips. They didn't work for me. I found my mind wandering, as it often does while reading. With a book I just go back a paragraph (page?) or two and refocus. With the books on tape I kept rewinding and forwarding trying to find my place. It's not nearly as easy as with a book. I'd find my place, listen contently for a few more minutes, then my mind would wander again and I'd have to go through the finding-my-place rigamarole. I got so frustrated I quit. One time I was able to listen to a book while I was lying on the bed of my van and someone else was driving, so I guess it's possible, but they generally don't seem to work for me.

    I buy a lot of used books, but I also like to buy several new every year, and I usually buy several Barnes & Noble or Borders (or Amazon) gift cards for Christmas. I want to support authors. I'm a musician who has lost some money due to people copying my music rather than paying for it - not much, but enough to be irritated. I like to support the originators of intellectual properties sometimes - other times I just want to save money. It's why I support my local bike shops along with buying on the internet or mail order. I'm not very consistent, I guess, but I'm satisfied with my approach.

  14. #14
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    I've found that with almost all audio books I need to listen through twice. I get distracted enough at times while listening to miss some of the story.

    I also tend to read books more than once so I suppose it's no different. The deeper the subject(non fiction) the more I need to listen again.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have poor hearing so quite often miss out on some things in the audio books. I also have a very short attention span unless I am visually involved. I guess that is the main reason I prefer to read.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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    When I was on tour last summer I kept running into a guy with a Kindle 2. When he rode through an area of cell coverage his New York Times subscription would download and he would read it at camp at the end of the day. Very cool. I just sat in camp trying to pick up cell coverage mostly without success so I could read it on my netbook.

    Now, I have a Kindle 2, too.

  17. #17
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    I have a Kindle 2 and I think it's brilliant. Love the convenience of it - also love being able to sync my account and being able to pick right up and read on my iphone if I'm stuck in traffic or killing time.

    As mentioned above, turning off the wireless feature extends battery life quite a bit.

  18. #18
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
    I've found that with almost all audio books I need to listen through twice. I get distracted enough at times while listening to miss some of the story.

    I also tend to read books more than once so I suppose it's no different. The deeper the subject(non fiction) the more I need to listen again.

    kyakdiver
    That is one drawback to using my iPod Shuffle, but with my fuller featured iPod backing up to listen to a section again after you drift is easy enough. I am willing to put up with the lack of navigation of the Shuffle when on tour to save a few ounces though.

    As far as reading more than once with paper, Kindle, or audio... For me it varies. Some books even though I liked them I might only read once others I have read over and over.

    BTW, I talked to my daughter last night and so far here review of her new Kindle is all positive.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I really don't like buying books at retail and prefer to buy used for a fraction of the price. However, you can read txt. documents with Kindle which means you can download the books from the Guttenberg project or ManyBooks! Don't start buying new books just yet because you may not have to for years! Start with the free books before you begin buying new ones.

    http://manybooks.net/
    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    Browse through the most popular titles, recommendations, or recent reviews from our visitors. Perhaps you'll find something interesting in the special collections. There are 26,283 eBooks available here and they're all free!
    Dayum! Now I had to download MobiPocketReader to the crackberry and download a bunch of of books! I am going to pick up a spare chip for the crackberry and fill it up with books!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  20. #20
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    When I was on tour last summer I kept running into a guy with a Kindle 2. When he rode through an area of cell coverage his New York Times subscription would download and he would read it at camp at the end of the day.
    Pretty cool that it is possible, but reading the news paper is not something I want to do on tour. Being out of touch and away from the daily grind is one of the things I like about being on tour.

    I am curious... Do most of you follow news when on tour or avoid it like I do? Not knocking either way, just curious what others do.

  21. #21
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Pretty cool that it is possible, but reading the news paper is not something I want to do on tour. Being out of touch and away from the daily grind is one of the things I like about being on tour.

    I am curious... Do most of you follow news when on tour or avoid it like I do? Not knocking either way, just curious what others do.
    I carry a small transistor radio along when touring... Kinda nice sitting around listening to the news at night while eating or around a fire if I'm living so large.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Pretty cool that it is possible, but reading the news paper is not something I want to do on tour. Being out of touch and away from the daily grind is one of the things I like about being on tour.

    I am curious... Do most of you follow news when on tour or avoid it like I do? Not knocking either way, just curious what others do.
    Quote Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
    I carry a small transistor radio along when touring... Kinda nice sitting around listening to the news at night while eating or around a fire if I'm living so large.
    Depends...I don't mind keeping current on events but most of what passes for news these days I can do without.

    I do have an elderly Grundig shortwave that I occasionally carry with me. I can also get headline news by reading the faces of the news papers in the boxes as I wander by.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Pretty cool that it is possible, but reading the news paper is not something I want to do on tour. Being out of touch and away from the daily grind is one of the things I like about being on tour.

    I am curious... Do most of you follow news when on tour or avoid it like I do? Not knocking either way, just curious what others do.
    I can take it or leave it...But I do like a good book to read.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    I've not researched this yet, but, are there any (good) guidebooks available for the Kindle?
    like Footprint, LP etc.
    and: still interested in how many pageturns to the batterycharge (or technical: pt / bc lol) when just reading.
    I would like (ideally, please don't think I'm pressuring you or anything) two sets of data:
    one with everything on (like cell etc.) and one in economode: only reading, nothing more (as far as possible).
    preferably not just once, but a few times, just to get the kinks out of the data...

    but: enjoy your Kindle.
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

  25. #25
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    oh, and regarding news: we don't carry a radio, and don't buy newspapers etc.
    we do not try to actively avoid the news, we try to convers with people, that means we sometimes get news that way, or sometimes, particularly after we have had nothing new to read for a week or so we scan headlines (and then return to reading labels on food etc.).
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

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