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I’m back.  It’s been one year to the day since my last Kindleville post and I’ve decided to resurrect this blog.  After using my iPad exclusively for ebook reading for a year I went out last week and bought a new, $139, wifi-only Kindle.  I’m not abandoning my iPad.  Far from it.  But after playing around a bit with a friend’s graphite Kindle I decided I needed one too.  I’m glad I bought it as we just wrapped up a family vacation and I was able to give my wife my first-gen Kindle while I tried out the new one.

I recently read a statement about the relationship between iPad and Kindle and I think it’s very true: The Kindle is a terrific iPad accessory.  I’ll still read a ton of short-form content on my iPad but it’s nice to have the Kindle option when I want a device that’s even lighter.  For the record, I’ve never had any eyestrain or other problems reading on my iPad, even when outside.  The Kindle offers a better direct sunlight option but I’ve always been able to read my iPad on my back deck, for example.

When you can get a Kindle for as little as $139 they’re almost disposable.  It reminds me of the VCR evolution.  My first one cost $500 back in 1983 and before DVDs became more popular you could get one for every TV in your house for well under $100.  I like having two in the family since it enables my wife and I to read the same books and only pay for them once.  Sharing across accounts is still clunky but sharing within an account is wonderful, as long as you’re both bookmarking to avoid a collision when sync-ing to the furthest point read.

I also don’t see the need for 3G service, which is why I went with wifi-only.  I’m almost always in a hotspot and I don’t anticipate using the Kindle for magazines or newspapers since the user experience is still awful.  It’s long-form content only for me on the Kindle and I’m quite content with buying and/or syncing up on my home wifi connection before heading out.

Finally, since I skipped the second-gen and went directly from first- to third-gen I have to say the new Kindle form factor is terrific.  The control buttons are still clumsy but this new Kindle is so small it fits comfortably in the sleeve of my favorite iPad case.  So I can take both my iPad and my Kindle with me on the road in a case that’s about the size as the one I used for my first-gen Kindle.  Very nice.

Kindleville is alive and well again.  I plan to post at least once a week and more frequently when possible.  If you’re interested in writing a Kindleville post or two let me know.  It’s nice to be back!

Via Joe Wikert’s Kindleville Blog


  1. Good comment, Joe.

    I may have to get my Kindle out of a drawer. Reading Kindle books on my iPad and iPhone has been excellent, but maybe the newest cut-down Kindle makes more sense for reading than the iPhone.

    For the record, I have bought only one iBook, a Lonely Planet title on Italy, but find the Amazon book-buying experience and pricing far more attractive for normal reading.

  2. I have an iPad which I love, but I picked up one of those bargain-basement Kobos at a Borders that was going out of business (for $49.95!) I’ve only used it to read ebooks from the library so far.

    So far, I love it too. It does even less than the Kindle does – no bookmarking, even, other than keeping track of where you are in the book, as far as I can tell – but for plain old reading a book from cover to cover, it does the job. And $139 is a nice price, but less than $50 is even better!

  3. Welcome back to your old blog, Joe. I used to enjoy it and felt betrayed when you went all iPad. So, I’ve bookmarked it and will check it periodically.

    I’m a kindle only guy (love my graphite DX), and have NO interest in an iPad, since I do not want any part of the Apple eco-system. I will wait until a good large Android tablet comes out, which will be an accessory to my Kindle, and not the reverse. I will use it for comics and newspapers/mags, but not videos or game (why watch on a small screen when i have a 55 inch hi-def TV?)

  4. Perhaps the best analogy between the iPad and a Kindle is that between a car and a bicycle. A car’s a wonderful device. It can take you lots of places you’d never go on a bike. Those that can afford an iPad and don’t find a laptop (like the MacBook Air) more useful should certainly consider owning one.But a car’s also an expensive hassle. Traveling with one means finding and often paying for a parking place. It means fretting about the valuable thing getting damaged or stolen. The iPad is the same. An iPad around the house is nice. An iPad on the go can be a nuisance.

    A bike’s not like a car. much as a Kindle is not like an iPad. When conditions are right, traveling by bike is is fun and hassle free. You can park anywhere and, if you’re bike’s like mine, there’s little danger of theft. In short, you can enjoy bike riding in ways you can never enjoy a car. The same is true of a Kindle 3. It is light, compact, slips in a coat pocket or purse.

    Most important of all, owning a car has nothing to do with a decision to own a bike. If you own a car, you can still find plenty of uses for a bike. The same is true of a Kindle as an ‘iPad accessory.’

    The opposite isn’t always true. Someone may find that a bike means they don’t need to own a car, much as for some serious readers a Kindle means no need for an iPad. For long trips, friends, taxis, buses and rental cars can replace owning a car. For Kindle owners, a laptop can do everything an iPad can do and more.

    The latter is true for me. Until the latest MacBook Air came out, I considered getting an iPad. Afterward, I not only decided I like the MBA better, I decided to save myself money by regarding my white MacBook as a heavy MacBook Air until the latter came out with an assortment of killer new features. (I hate buying the model before the really good one.) That’s like deciding that a big and aging pickup truck can serve as well as a new fuel-efficient car, gas being much cheaper than car payments and added insurance costs.

    I’ve avoided the iPad or not dilemma. I use an iPhone 3GS for what others would be using an iPad. It can run virtually the same apps ,and for me, the pocketable size trumps the larger iPad screen. That then opens up a wide iPhone-to-MacBook gap that my used Kindle 1 adequately fills. When Amazon finally brings a decent keyboard to the Kindle for book note-taking, which given the size constraints probably means shipping one with Bluetooth keyboard support, then I’ll buy a new Kindle, probably cellular since $50 for life-of-the-device global cellular service is a good deal.

    –Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II

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