2.5 Update Brings Facebook And Twitter to Kindle and Kindle DX

In a fairly timely manner, given the recent impressive nook functionality update, Amazon gives the Kindle a few new features that are actually something to get excited about for once. And a couple that aren’t of course.

One of the more exciting new additions is simply a long overdue organizational concern.В  Users will now be able to define collections of books.В  I don’t know when this became something people didn’t expect an eReader user to need, but it’s about the only thing I missed when I made the move from the PRS-500 to my Kindle.

Password protection, going down Amazon’s list, is simply a useful new feature.В  Not exciting, per se, but anything that adds a sense of security to this otherwise almost scarily portable device I like to take out in public with me is a good thing.

In terms of functionality, we get the ability to Pan & Zoom on PDFs, and some font enhancements.В  I’m on the fence about the PDF thing.В  It seems like a great idea, but until we see the actual implementation, it might end up being about as useful as the note-taking feature for all I know.В  Sharper fonts, as well as larger font options for those in need of them, can’t help but be a plus.В  Anything that makes reading even more pleasant gets my vote.

The most hyped part of the update, however, is about Facebook and Twitter integration. В At very least it gives you (and Amazon) the ability to advertise to people that you’re reading on a Kindle right this minute and show off what your book of the day is. В Depending on how functional this social highlighting would be it can turn out to be quite useful. I read several periodicals and blogs on my Kindle when I’m on the go. I highlight and clip interesting articles and paragraphs so that I can later get back to them or share with other people only to forget about them five minutes later. The problem is that although Amazon let’s you view your notes and highlights online so theoretically you could conjure up a web-service that would email them to you, this functionality doesn’t apply to periodicals and blogs. Hopefully with this update you could tweet your interesting highlights and then read your own tweets so they are actually not forgotten.

Anyway, this one’s going to be a fun one, especially for those of us with huge collections.В  Bringing some order to the chaos that is my ebook shelf is going to be a huge relief.

Reading the Kindle Can Help You Sleep

For those who enjoy reading in bed, there is a major reason why you should reach for a Kindle instead of an iPad.  Studies show that reading the iPad in bed affects sleeping habits according to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times.  The Kindle and other e-book readers such as Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s e-reader use e-ink.  E-ink technology is supposed to simulate the process of reading a page from a “real” book.

However, the iPad uses an LCD screen that emits light like on a computer screen or a television does.  On one hand, you can save buying a light and read the iPad under the covers while your significant other, if you have one, sleeps.  As you might know, it is recommended that you take a break from the computer or TV before bed so the brain can prepare itself for rest.  Since we hold an iPad in such close proximity to our faces, the effect of the artificial light is much greater than from watching a TV across the room.  The same idea goes for using the iPad.  The Los Angeles Times article says that exposure to such bright and artificial light can slow the production of melatonin, which helps us sleep.

So, curl up with your Kindle, and the reading light if you need it and enjoy some nightly reading pleasure.