The new Kindle is great!

For a self-avowed tech geek, it took me a long time to transition to ereaders. I have an iPhone 4, an iPad, a Lumix ZS7, lots of plasma TVs, Xbox 360s, PS3s, a Traxxas remote control car, an E-flite remote control plane and tons of other gadgets. You would think I would be the perfect candidate for reading on an ereader. Yet, somehow I was addicted to the feel of the book in my hands. I could not conceive of using an ereader. Maybe this anachronism was the legacy of all the reading I had done at Princeton in a most traditional setting, but somehow I could not shed it and risked being left behind by the times.

I had tried a Kindle in the past but had never committed to it. I bought most books in both print and Kindle editions and read the print whenever possible. I found the Kindle slow and awkward to hold. It also met a premature death when I inadvertently dropped it in my bathtub. As a result until yesterday, I had not read a book cover to cover on the Kindle.

During the last few years as the amount of business travel I do has increased significantly I have tried to shed weight wherever I could. I switched from an 8 pound Dell 17” notebook, to a 6 pound 17” Macbook Pro, then to a 5 pound 15.4” Macbook Pro. This year has been even worse. I have already been on the road over 6 months so far and will be traveling all of December, so I took the weight loss up another notch. I switched to a 3 pound Sony Vaio Z and even downsized my backpack with the 2.9 pound Booq Boa Squeeze. I started using the laundry service in hotels more aggressively and now can definitely say I travel light. On a recent 3 week trip, I managed to take just a carry-on suitcase and my backpack.

On said trip, I was shocked to realize that over half the weight in my backpack was accounted for by the books I was carrying with me. The time had come to give the Kindle another try. Conveniently, Amazon had just released the new Kindle. On my current two week trip I only took 1 book in addition to the Kindle. I started reading The Garden of Betrayal by Lee Vance on the Kindle and could not put it down. I read it cover to cover as I would have a printed book. I found the new Kindle easier to read and faster than the last iteration. I did notice the page transitions and generally loved the experience. I am now hooked! From now on it’s going to be all Kindle all the time!

Slight non sequitur: I bought the 3G version despite not anticipating using it on the off chance I get caught somewhere with nothing to read and no wifi coverage. The extra $50 is well worth the price of having the world’s largest library at my fingertips anytime, anywhere.

  • I have 3 58″ Plasma TVs and 1 63″ Plasma. For fast moving images (especially video games) they are still the best.

    In fact, I am thinking of buying this 65″ plasma for the new house gaming room:

    LEDs are much more expensive, don’t really come in sizes above 55″ and are not as good for video games. Maybe in a few years 😉

  • Marie:

    I have an iPad and I use it to watch movies at the gym. I tried to read books on it, but it’s too heavy and tires my eyes so I switched to a Kindle.

    I actually don’t travel with the iPad. It’s too slow and not effective for creating Powerpoints, etc. Also the Powerpoints and Excel look a bit screwy on it.

    I travel with the notebook, the kindle and my iPhone 4.

  • I haven’t tested the kindle yet and for the past 2 years my carry-on bag has been a small diaper bag and my laptop.

    I like the Ipad as a a book reader (I do admit it’s a little too bright) and as the only entertainment toy I need for my son on a 10 hours flight. I would not consider my Ipad as my working device but it does the trick at times.

    Packing light isn’t just an art, but a necessity (time, airlines restrictions, theft and a little one in my arms).

    Your post about packing light made me think about”up in the air” 😉