Seven reasons why a Kindle is a bookworm traveller’s best friend

We keep hearing and reading about how electronic books (or e-books, as the tech pundits like to call them) will ultimately replace paper books. Well, that might not happen for a while yet, especially given the price difference between e-books and real books and the availability of titles, but what we are certainly sure of is that the e-book reader is inch perfect for the traveller who likes to read. In particular, we would vote for the Kindle, which is by far the best e-book reader we have seen and has actually made us (well, me, at least) stop visiting book stores to a large extent. Here are seven reasons why we think that if you like books and travelling, you should be picking up (and packing) a Kindle.

1. Portability: if you are the type that likes to read several books at the same time and spend hours figuring which books to take for a particular trip, the Kindle is perfect. You can literally carry hundreds of books in a device that weighs about as much as a regular paperback.

2. Availability: You can buy a book, anywhere and at any time, as long as your network works. So you do not really have to bid a tearful farewell to buying books when you are on your travels, especially if you are going to one of those places where bookstores are a bit of a rarity.

3. Read across devices: You can read books that you purchase on the Kindle, not just on the Kindle but on devices that support the Kindle software. So if you really do not feel up to carrying your Kindle along, you can read all your books that are on it on your iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry or Android device just as well. You can even pick up reading from where you left off on the Kindle and when you return, just start from where you left on your device on the Kindle. It is all synchronised.

4. Newspapers and magazines: One of the biggest problems many people face while travelling is getting their newspapers and magazines in the morning. Well, if you subscribe to them on the Kindle, they will be delivered to your device wirelessly, as long as you have a network connection. Of course, you will not be able to get local editions of newspapers on your Kindle, but still…

5. Long lasting: Well, e-books might not smell of fresh paper but they are sure more rugged than their paper counterparts, as long as you keep the e-reader well-wrapped up (the Kindle has an excellent jacket). The binding won’t break, there are no dog-ears, no yellowing of pages…an e-book is always new.

6. Great battery life and connectivity: Yes, we know that you need no batteries to read books, but the Kindle’s battery life often lasts easily more than a week – enough for most trips. As far as connectivity goes, it actually has a browser in it that lets you access the Internet, which can be sometimes very useful, even though the browser is on the slow side. You can even tweet what you are reading!

7. More than an e-book reader: Not too many people know it, but you can read a number of kinds of documents on the Kindle, including PDFs and MS Word documents. So you can actually carry your office documents and files and even other books in PDF format on the Kindle and read them without any problems. You can even play music on the Kindle, have books read out to you, play a few games and view pictures. Now, how is that for versatility.

Yes, we know the paper book brigade will loyally defend traditional books, but we cannot help but feel that the Kindle does have its benefits, especially for those who travel.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I think Kindle has not made much difference as there are many Mobiles these days who have ebook readers! But if u want a big screen then Kindle is good!

    • I think it is also much lesser strain on the eyes, as the screen is not backlit (as in cellphones and PCs). On the flip side, BECAUSE the screen is not backlit you cannot use it to read in the dark, but I think the overall reading experience is pretty close to that on paper.

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us. Real useful stuff. Though I must confess that as a person who loves books not just for their great content but for their smell (rather aroma), texture, ability to make markings, etc. it will take time accepting it.

    • Well, the iPad is better for multimedia consumption, but for just reading books, the Kindle rules, mainly because of its superior battery life and more eye-friendly display (no backlighting, so no headaches or eye strain). And ahh, it does cost about two and a half times lesser than the iPad, so buying it does not seem THAT tough a decision…

  3. kindle may just turn out to be my saviour….and the new version is supposed to be even better, i think its time to order!

    • Just intrigued to see people comparing the Kindle with the iPad and the Samsung Tab. You are comparing a Rs 12,000 product with those that cost more than twice as much. Anyway, the Kindle is mainly meant for reading. Am not a great fan of the Galaxy Tab – Google itself has said that its version of Android is not meant for tablets – and the iPad in reading terms as both screens are backlit and therefore are unreadable in sunlight and of course, are literally a pain in the eyes. But yes, to each, his or her own. I would rather invest far lesser and stay with a device that lets me carry thousands of books and give almost a fortnight of battery life. As for it being yet another device to carry…umm…whatever is wrong with that as long as it delivers value? We never carried ANY gadgets too long ago but carry them today because we feel they deliver some value. If you think they do not, do leave them at home!

  4. I agree with amit and an addition to it for users who love iPad but want more features – go for Samsung Galaxy Tab, it has more features and even video conferencing at 3G!

  5. I would still say that Kindle is basically an all american device, none of the Indian writers are available as well as, besides what about Hindi and other languages? why carry an additional device if you anything like iPhone, iPod touch, a …blackberry touch or even an HTC android!!rnI don’t second the views expressed above.

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