Living with a Kindle

In a previous post I described the process and my considerations when buying a Kindle. In this post I’ll provide some you with some of my experiences with my Kindle.

I’ve had my Kindle since mid-October 2012, and I cant imagine living without. It has indeed increased my everyday professional productivity. I carry my Kindle everywhere. Every time I find a second, a minute or two, I read in my Kindle. Whenever I’m waiting for the remaining participants of a meeting to arrive, waiting in waiting´-room at the dentist, or on the bus or train. I’ve always felt that I needed some hours every day, to be able to catch up on all the new stuff evolving in the software industry. Having multiple sources right at my hand, basically everywhere I go, suits perfectly into my professional productivity.

So, what do I read on my Kindle? I like to read on different sources in parallel. So I have both fiction books, tech books, blog posts, and magazines. I can therefore pick whatever suits the situation. Easy read sources such as magazines and blog posts are read when time and noise is an issue. Books are used when there is time to focus and really get in-depth.

The books I read are bought from Amazon, Manning, and Riidr (a site with mainly Danish ebooks). Some of these sites support sending the books directly to your Kindle through Amazon’s Personal Document Service. This is a service provided by Amazon to prevent spam from reaching your Kindle. On your Amazon account, there is a Personal Document Settings page, where you supply Amazon with approved email addresses of the sites you want to receive books from. After providing Amazon with approved email address, you provide the book store with your unique Kindle email address. Then the books you’ve bought is seamlessly sent to your Kindle. All you have to do is turn on WiFi on your Kindle, and it downloads your purchased content. This is a great feature. I use it for almost everything. Let me provide some examples. Books bought from Amazon is sent to you this way, so after completing the your purchase on the website, you can turn on WiFi, and there is your book, just a few seconds after you bought it. You don’t have to consider shipping, customs, etc. The first time you use this feature, you’re just amazed of the simplicity. Amazon keeps a record of all your purchases, so you’ll be able to download them again. Also, other personal documents sent to your Kindle is stored at Amazon. So, this includes books from Manning and Riidr.

I have also approved my Gmail address, so I can send larger emails that I don’t have time to read during the day.

And Instapaper. I’m a huge fan of Instapaper. Instapaper provides a great service for collecting and sending content to Kindles. All you have to do is create an Instapaper account and use a bookmarklet for your favorite browser. Whenever you see a blog post, or larger article, that you don’t have time to read, you click the bookmarklet, and the content is stripped for images, videos, so that only written content is stored at your Instapaper account. When I come across some interesting stuff on Twitter, I click the Read Later bookmarklet. On your Instapaper account settings page you supply your Kindle email address, and as described above, you provide your unique Instapaper email address to the Amazon site. Then you setup when Instapaper should sent you the latest content. I’ve setup mine to send the latest content to my Kindle everyday at 4 PM. Scott Hanselman also wrote a blog post on this setup. Instapaper is also a great tool if you’re Google Reader fan.

So when I get home and have the time, I turn on WiFi, and bang there is my content, from all my sources. The Instapaper content is formatted into newspaper like format, and easy to navigate.

The reading experience on the Kindle is phenomenal. This e-ink technology is brilliant. It’s a pleasure looking at a screen that is not backlit, if you, as I do, sit in front of an LCD all day long. I bought the regular Kindle, so the 6" screen is perfect in weight and size for reading everywhere. The navigation is great, although I would have appreciated a better browser experience, but on the other hand its not an iPad, its a Kindle, made for reading ebooks. Battery lifetime is great. A full recharge keeps battery for approximately a month, with daily usage and with WiFi disabled. It then takes a couple of hours of recharge, and its fully recharged.

Sometimes you might have PDFs from other sources, that don’t support the wireless ecosystem. I then use a nice application called Calibre. Calibre is an ebook management tool. Its able to connect to several ebook readers, and is able to convert from PDF to .mobi, which is the format for ebooks on the Kindle. The Kindle is able to read PDFs, but it lacks several great features, such as a navigational TOC and chapters bookmarks.

I’m a happy Kindle user. It fits into my personal productivity setup. So far I don’t regret that I bought the Kindle, and I can only recommend others to do the same.Throw my a comment on your experiences with the Kindle.

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