It was one of those innocent questions a thoughtful wife often asks when holidays are approaching: “Honey, What do you think about your Mom’s Sony Reader?” and later, “Which do you like better: the Sony Reader, the Kindle or the Nook?”

I replied, “Amazon is evil…”

Kindel 3G + WiFi at Amazon

Kindel 3G + WiFi at Amazon

I continued, “They know what’s on your Kindle and Amazon has no problems deleting something from your Kindle without asking or telling you.” Then I really got on my soapbox  and started preaching about proprietary formats, closed platforms, patent abuse and a host of other anti-competitive practices that corporations use to stifle innovation and drive up prices.

Inexplicably, my wife broke down in tears.

My thoughtful wife had already purchased a Kindle for me as a Valentines Day present.

Today, my Kindle is rarely out of arms reach.

The Kindle supports Wi-Fi, cellular 3G, one-click purchasing of books in PDF, MOBI and Kindle formats, has a built in web browser and MP3 player, both of which are ‘experimental’.
My thoughtful wife also purchased a jacket with a built-in LED book light powered from the Kindle.

Kindle Cover (with Light) at Amazon

Kindle Cover (with Light) at Amazon

One of the things I enjoy the most is the dictionary feature. The Kindle comes with a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, which provides an instant lookup feature for any word you pace the cursor next to. and what’s more, the Kindle can be configured to use a different dictionary. I downloaded the free King James Bible from Project Gutenberg and purchased the ISCE Bible Encyclopedia and set the Kindle’s default dictionary to the Bible Encyclopedia. Now my Kindle is a fairly decent Bible study tool.

While I love my Kindle, one of the shortfalls is that the Kindle displays web pages and PDFs sized to fit the screen which results in the text being too small to read comfortably. Using the magnification options forces you to scroll side-to-side on every line.

The web browser is more than capable enough to run a quick Google search and is sufficiently capable to blog with (I am writing this post from my Kindle) but doesn’t handle multiple windows or framesets. The Kindle does let you view some web pages in a special “article mode” which can make the page more legible.

My Kindle has crashed twice so far, both during web browsing sessions. Not too bad for an ‘experimental web browser’.

The MP3 player provided with the Kindle is a little frustrating. You can only move forward through the playlist, never backwards and you can’t replay a song unless you cycle through all the others.

Overall, I really enjoy having the Kindle, and having all my favorite books close at hand.