The Unexpected Perks of Kindle Ownership

When you decide to pick up a Kindle for the first time, there are a lot of factors that can play into it.  The first ones that come to mind are also probably the most important.  You’ve got instant access to any book you want to buy no matter what time you want to buy it at.  You can carry around hundreds or thousands of books at a time in your pocket.  Chances are good that you’ll save money overall on your book purchases, if you’re a regular reader.  That sort of thing.  There are a few things that have come up that one might not expect, however.

Something that many people perhaps don’t expect is an actual reduction of clutter.  Many Kindle owners find themselves replacing paperbacks with Kindle Editions over the course of their ownership.  The eBook is more durable and harder to lose.  This can result in a great deal of space saving over the course of dozens of book replacements, many of which can be at least partially subsidized through resale of the used copies unless you’re a fan of library donations.  eReading can come to mean that the only books you actually have to keep track of are the ones you like enough to want to display proudly in hardcover.

Another plus I’ve encountered, though I probably wouldn’t want to put it to the test in any major way, is the durability of the eReader.  I’ve heard plenty of arguments that consolidating to a Kindle means that if you break one thing then you’re out of luck until you replace it, but they have proven difficult to damage in a number of situations.  Moisture generally isn’t a problem, kids can’t tear their pages, and short falls do no damage.  On that last point, maybe it is just me, but every time I drop or knock down a book it seems to fall in just the right way to bend half the pages.  Anybody else find that annoying?  Moving on…

The most outstanding example that I am aware of is probably restricted to the Kindle 3G.  In the aftermath of the string of tornado that made their way through the US in the past few months, many people found themselves without power, let alone internet connectivity.  Thanks to the long life of the Kindle’s battery, there were a number of people that I’ve heard of who were able to find information that they needed and reassure friends and family of their safety in situations where doing so would otherwise have been very difficult.  Cell phones simply don’t often last that long, no matter how conservative you are with their battery life.

Now obviously these aren’t selling points.  The extra functionalities, if you can even call them that, are highly situational.  I’m always interested in perks that can make what was already a great acquisition even more valuable.  There’s more use to be found things like a Kindle than you can generally find on a spec sheet, if you look for it.

6 thoughts on “The Unexpected Perks of Kindle Ownership”

  1. What about sand? I am currently at the beach and went to the library to get some paperbacks because I didn’t want to get sand in my Kindle while sitting on the beach!

  2. Good points … and I’m finding other perqs as well. Frankly, I didn’t realize beforehand that I could click on a link and open a browser to see the page referenced!

    Still, I don’t think I’m ready to give up my “real” books just yet. But then again, I still have a couple hundred CDs and even three stray VHS tapes. I’m not exactly a cutting edge person.

  3. Since one can charge their cell phone in their car, I hardly think that is much of a hardship. Just get in the habit of plugging it in when going anywhere and it is done.

    Reduction of clutter was a big one for me. I cruised in a sailboat for a few years where my shelf space for paperback books was just long enough to hold about 13 books, so I was always looking for trades. Also when traveling, one does not have the luxury of taking most of one’s library, even in an automobile, let alone an aircraft.

    For me personally my biggest benefit is the font sizes available. I have seen very few books in large print that are easily handled or even available, yet my Kindle turns every book into a large print book. I have given up on several paperback books that were, to me, just unreadable without a magnifying glass.

  4. Interesting story of the use of Kindle to communicate during the storm. Shortly after buying my Kindle 3G we took a transatlantic cruise. I was stunned and delighted to find that I could connect to the internet out in the middle of the ocean, via the ship’s satellite connection, compliments of Amazon! When we were in ports, of course, the 3G worked faster, but the whole experience was a boon I had not expected when I bought the reader.

  5. The simple fact of being able to Google while reading has totally changed the way I read and enjoy history books. It isn’t a feature I expected when I purchased a Kindle. It makes reading, say, Ulysses Grant’s memoirs a lot more fascinating when I can quickly look up wiki entries on the hundred of commanders he mentions throughout the course of the war.

    To a lesser extent, the pop-up dictionary is another feature I’ve fallen in love with. In the past, looking up a vocab word was always a matter of mind over ass, as in, “Do I really want to get up and go find the Webster for this one?” Now its so fast to look up a word that it doesn’t even pull me out of the story, much less my seat.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.