Friday, February 10, 2012

Kindle Fire

Last summer I bought an original Kindle ebook with the hopes it would entice me to do more reading.  I wrote a post about it here.  The Kindle device won me over quickly with it's ease of use however the black and white screen often left me wanting when a book contained photographs that could only be viewed in gray scale on that basic device.

When Christmas time rolled around last year I put the Kindle Fire on my wish list.  Lucky for me I found one under the tree on Christmas morning.  Once I logged onto my account at Amazon all the titles I had originally purchased appeared on the screen ready for download from the "cloud"  whatever that is.

The Kindle Fire is basically a tablet based on the Android operating system but customized to do it's Amazon/Kindle thing and it does it well.  The device acts just like the Android phone that I had some experience with last year so there was not really any learning curve I just turned the reader on and away I went.  Because the Kindle is 7 inches tall the touch screen is not hard to use at all.  A single on-off-standby button on the lower end is the only control not interfaced though the touchscreen.  It takes about two seconds to log onto my home network and the Fire becomes a capable web browser.  A function great for sitting on the couch or downstairs while on the elliptical trainer.  As more and more periodical publications shift to web based formats I think the Kindle will be well suited to accessing these materials.  I have several of my favorite blogs bookmarked and viewing them is a breeze.  Blogs with mobile view enabled look especially good. 

I'm happy to note that yes the Kindle has caused me to read more.  I've read more in the past half year than probably the last five combined.  Here's the rundown:

Books I've Read
Bike Snob
Be Brave Be Strong -- Jill Homer
    Triumph Motorcycles -- Nash Corvette
Shooting Star The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle Industry -- Abe Aamidor
Coming and Going on Bikes - Essaying the Motorcycle -- Jack Lewis
Far and Away -- Neil Peart
Drumbeats -- Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart
Kon-Tiki  Across the Pacific by Raft -- Thor Heyerdahl
Endurance Shackleton's Incredible voyage -- Alfred Lansing
In Search of Pipe Dreams  -- Rick Newcombe
Brave New World  -- Aldous Huxley
Brave New World Revisited -- Aldous Huxley
Anthem -- Ayn Rand

Currently Reading

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Gigantic Book of Pirate Stories -- Steve Brennan
Adventures of a Motorcycle Despatch Rider During the First World War -- Capt. W.H. L. Watson
The Fountainhead -- Ayn Rand

Waiting in the Wings

The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Dr No -- Ian Fleming

Overall I think my favorite feature of the Kindle is the fact that I can take all my books with me in one small package.  I also like to read several books at the same time revisiting the various titles whenever the mood hits.  Simply touching the title page thumbnail of the book I want to read instantly opens up to the page where I last left off.  Slick!  Technology has brought us some amazing stuff in recent years like computers, GPS and digital cameras.  In my opinion the ebook reader ranks right up there with the greats.    


  1. Hello Mike,

    I too, have done more reading on my Kindle in the last year than ever before! And for all the same reasons....

    I like the titles of the books you've read recently, especially the Kon Tiki. Didn't one of the guys have a small QRP rig on that trip?

    I just finished reading a book about Harry Truman driving an old '53 Chrysler New York'er from Missouri to New York and back. It reminds me of my father, who at the age of 91, drove to California and back "twice" last year. They're both "roads scholars"....

    The 'ol Chrysler is in a barn in Kansas now....

  2. Hi John, Kon-Tiki is a great adventure story and amateur radio plays a part numerous times. For that reason alone hams should check out the book. Its amazing these guys kept their station operational on board a raft in the middle of the Pacific. 7 watts of power if I remember correctly. The ops were ex-radiomen from WW2.

  3. I'm happy to say I knew you before you were a scholar! I bought myself a used iPad, but I think the Kindle Fire is probably a better reader. The iBooks, the iPad book program doesn't allow for reading on a home computer, where I do half my reading. I also wasn't anticipating how often the kids would be using it either. I think if I had a book only device, it would solve that problem. Noticed the Motorcycle Dispatch book and I've already downloaded it. I'll have to check that one out soon.

  4. Funny. I'm reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on my Kindle too. (Just got my Kindle recently. I've downloaded several obscure, out of print books.)