Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kindle 2 Arrived!

Yay! My kindle arrived last week and its super cool!

I spent the week leading up to its arrival getting ready for it by putting my new elibrary together.
First I needed a good software package to manage my ebooks. I ended up going with calibre. Its basically iTunes for your ebooks. It manages the actual content as well as the metadata. You can tag, rate, set the cover art, etc. It also organizes the content on your ereader.

One of the problems with ebooks is that there are just FAR too many formats, and calibre handles all of them. I can take books in any format and convert them to mobipocket format for the kindle. Now it was time to actually start populating my library. If you follow my new bookmarks over in the left column, you probably noticed that the past two weeks has seen several new book related sites. I started with the project gutenberg website, its not a bad site, but its not that great either. Project Gutenberg does a lot for free book and should be commended, but there are other sites that have taken the Gutenberg texts and made them much better. One of those sites is Feedbooks, they provide free books for downloading in multiple formats, this means that you can download the format that you require and not have to worry about the conversion, very nice. Of course they don’t have the latest (or any) Dean Koontz book, but that’s ok. I have downloaded over 200 books from Feedbooks and am very happy with the quality.

When my kindle finally arrived, I purchased a book from Amazon "Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) ", its a good book and I wanted to purchase a book to be sure that I could remove the digital rights management. I will be dammed if I am going to pay for a book, only to be told that I can’t read it on another reader. Its called “fair use” and as long as I don’t distribute the book, its legal. So I found a tutorial online for removing DRM from kindle books and it worked great. The tutorial advocates getting a kindle owner to buy a book so that you can remove the DRM. Don’t even ask me, I won’t do it. :) I don’t mind removing DRM from my books for MY use, but allowing others to use the book is no longer “fair use”, its piracy. So now I can buy books from Amazon and not worry that I won’t be able to read them in the future. YAY! Ok, the fact is that I wont be buying many (if any) books from Amazon. :( There are plenty of free books that I have on the top of my list first.

Now I had to find a case for it. I can’t just let it flop around in the truck or the tank bag on my motorcycle! So I went to the paper store and grabbed one of these:

Its a great bag and the kindle fits in it perfectly. Yes, its a bit effeminate, but whatever. Look, I don’t want to put my nice new kindle in one of those heavy binders. I want to take my kindle to bed naked (I mean the kindle) not wearing a big bulky case. Captain Picard takes his flat ereader device to bed without a cover, and so does PaulC. :)

So how is the kindle in daily use? AWE-SOME! The display is crisp and has 5 different font sizes, I have it set for the smallest and looks like a paperback. Its easy to hold as you don’t have to support the binding. I can bookmark pages and takes notes (I generally don’t). I charged the battery one week ago and reading 2-4 hours a day it still has about 60% charge left.

So all in all, I think that its a great little device.