Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paper is so last year

For my husband's birthday this year, I decided to get him a not-so-frugal, but what I would consider a very "green" gift - an Amazon Kindle. They have recently dropped in price, but are still at a quite outrageous $299.

My big thing with gifts is that I want them to be practical. While this gift costs a lot of money, I think it will pay itself off in the long run. I spend a lot of time researching more expensive purchases and finding customer reviews, which is something I would advise to anyone. At first, I didnt think buying a Kindle would be worth it, but after learning more about it, I saw how practical and useful it could be for him. My husband really loves to read classic novels, ones written quite a long time ago. For a while, he was collecting the anthology books by famous classic authors from Barnes & Noble, which tend to take up a lot of space in our apartment (soon-to-be house this weekend). The great part about these books is that the copyright has expired on them for quite some time, and now you can get all of these books for free on an electronic book, like the Kindle. This is also the reason why they are so cheap in stores, you are merely paying for the paper and ink the book was printed with. There are also websites like freekindlebooks.org that have lists and lists of free books to read. So far, he has only really purchased one book (Eragon, for $6.99), which costs half price than buying a hard copy since you aren't paying for the components of the hard copy version of the book.

Additionally, this device provides a form of "free internet". By that, I mean you can search the Amazon.com Kindle store at anytime, anywhere. It utilizes Verizon wireless's "whispernet", but there is no data plan to pay. My husband was out with his parents this weekend driving in a large city and looking for a local store. He pulled out the Kindle to find what they were looking for. Be warned, this is a version of the internet that would look like what you would get on your mobile phone. Basically, it can do the job you are looking for, but is not a computer. You can search google or wikipedia, but don't look for YouTube videos on there.

Plus, and my favorite part, you are saving paper and saving space in your home! The Kindle can hold roughly 1,500 books, which I would think is very hard to fill (But I wouldn't put it past my husband). It also can give you your subscriptions to newspapers or magazines too. Another thing we loved is one of the newest features of the lastest version of the Amazon Kindle, it's text-to-speech function, which will read your newspaper, magazine, or book to you. While it is a somewhat creepy electronic voice, it does its job quite nicely. Publishers are also given the choice to not offer the text-to-speech feature, since this would likely hurt the audiobook sales.

There are other versions of "electronic books" available at other book stores, like Borders sells a version from Sony, however, I don't know if the features would even come close to the Kindle. Amazon.com also carries such great deals on books, that I don't know where you would get a better price.

If you have a special someone in your life who loves to read, a Kindle or similar product might be a more practical purchase than you think, and convenient! Books download to your Kindle in 60 seconds!

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