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Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

A tech dillema – iPad and Kindle

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A tech dillema – iPad and Kindle

Jan 9, 2011 | Hosting and Tech | 8 comments

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader
Image by goXunuReviews via Flickr

I’ve got a bit of a dilemma. When I had my Sony e-reader, my reading increased about 10 fold, back to the levels of when I was working in a supermarket and studying in college. Which meant I was getting through about 12 or 14 ebooks of fiction a month, and about 5 non-fiction ones, minimum. We ‘side graded’ to an iPad (most would consider it an upgrade, but really, it’s just a step off into a different tech tree) and my reading picked up a bit more and now has entirely dropped off. Unless I’m reading something specific in my Kindle app (like post apocalyptic stuff (because the book in question doesn’t exist in print format) ), I find it very difficult to use my iPad as a reading device because you can do *so much more* with it.  I read on my iPhone, on the bus, but whipping out my iPad seems to cause quite a fuss, even on campus, so I don’t take it with me very often.
I’m fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to afford a Kindle too – it’s basically less than the cost of another 20 paperbacks, but the problem I now have is justifying it – even for work – how could I, when the iPad has a kindle reading app?

The reasons for it are basic – I need something that will encourage me to read more, but is as portable as my Sony eReader (which I gave to a friend). It would need to sync with my kindle app so that for the times where I am sneaking in reading on my phone or my iPad, I could do so, which effectively rules out the Sony eReader and the Nook etc.

The reasons against it – I’m spending money because my willpower sucks. And is getting worse the more iterations of tech I encounter. I’ll admit that the idea of owning an iPad *and* Kindle also comes down to the ‘I wants’. I like the idea of owning a Kindle – it’s not so much a status symbol as another element of geek credentials – it would allow me to edit and work on my ebooks more readily, as that’s one function I’ve discovered as lacking in the Kindle app.
Also, I’d be able to read magazines in electronic format, via Amazon, which is something they’ve effectively kept locked down as a proprietary Kindle feature, if you buy via Amazon. I don’t think you can even read them on your PC, which really, is what’s rankling me most at the moment. I’d love to spend a couple of pounds a month and get my sci-fi mags delivered direct to my desktop/reading device, but right now I can’t because it seems to be ‘Kindle only’.
There’s also the guilt factor – I know I work really hard for what I own – but I’m also highly aware that there are people in the world that would dearly love access to *one* reading device, or to the internet regularly, or don’t even have clean water to drink, or proper food to eat. I mean, I’m the sort of person that sits and cries if I go out and buy new clothes, I feel that guilty. My partner just brought me something I’ve been after since I saw it, a Kinectimal’s collector’s edition. I mean the game is *nice* but I wanted the tiger teddy! And sat and cried when he came in and handed me it this morning.
I’m spoiled and I’m well aware of it – which leads to the guilt of whether I should even get it, or just teach myself more self-control on my iPad. Having had it for roughly six months, I don’t think that’s going to work…..
Anyway, the dilemma. Do I get myself a Kindle, primarily for work sake (both as a writer and as a copywriting business owner) or do I need to look at the inner conflict that my iPad causes me, and learn to read on there instead, and do without e-ink versions of some of my tools (effectively cutting them out of my plans entirely?).  I mean, as it would be for work, I’d be able to write it off as a business expense (yes, I work in a career where reading is prerequisite 😉  Writing novels means books are a business expense!) but on the other hand, it’s not exactly austere, is it?  And it’s not an ‘immediate’ purchase either – it won’t be till later in the month/end of the month minimum, so it’s not as  if I’m buying it on impulse.

Thoughts other than ‘bloomin’ heck girl, grow a pair!’ 😉

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  1. -10

    Personally, I use my iPad almost exclusively as a Kindle reading app, and web reading app. Where I don’t think you can use it to read magazines, nearly all major magazines offer most of their content online for free anyway, so that shouldn’t cause any massive issues as the iPad obviously has a web browser (not sure if you went for 3G or WiFi — I’ve jailbroken my WiFi and tether it to my BlackBerry).

    I’ve also never had an issue pulling my iPad out on the trains or the London Underground, but on campus I do tend to get the million people asking me to show them every single feature of the damn thing.

    If you need the portable editing features, I don’t think purchasing a Kindle is unjustified — it’s inexpensive and easy to carry. If not, I would say stick with the iPad and learn to read on it and focus on your reading. The fact that it *can* do so much more really comes down to willpower, in the same way as your PC can play WoW/Eve, you still find time to blog; the fact that your iPad can play SimCity or browse the Internet shouldn’t distract you from reading.

    • Kai

      LOL….I have ‘writing time’ so that I write instead of playing games, so it’s kinda different to the iPad issue. Kinda, but not quite, I guess. – this is my main problem – I want to be able to collect and read *these* without needing tro remmeber to visit the sites, and get access to the exclusive content. A year of subscription to both of these, on thier own, and I’ve justified the cost of a Kindle practically, not to mention the other ones I could have as e-ink for work/play.
      I’m not sure – the portable editing would be great too – I can’t do that on the iPad without having a seperate file, which distrupts my work flow.
      As for the point of it being commonplace traveling – on the underground, you’re right, no one bats an eyelid. Standing at a bus stop in the Cotswolds though…different story entirely…. 😀

  2. Michael

    I had the original Kindle as a gift. But it lost its screen. I then found that I can read my kindle books on My PC, Droid phone, Mac, and other devices. Do I miss my kindle, yes but I am reading my books elsewhere so it is not a problem. You just down load the app on whatever device you are on, login to the Amazon store and click on the I want to download my book that I purchased a week ago, and it downloads it to that device. Easy.
    I downloaded a Book by George Washington that is free..

  3. Snerdey

    Get the Kindle.. you won’t be disappointed 😉

    • Kai

      We actually road tested a Kindle for work a while back. I wasn’t really enamoured with it either way – but typically, they launched this service – – a week before it went back – and I just about had an apoplexy 😉
      Still looking at the cost effectiveness of it all, including recycling and storage for the magazines. My biggest issue with it is if I wanted to keep stuff I’d either need to print the articles in question (difficult I think), find em online and bookmark/print/file or find a way to stop the auto delete after six months. It’s never easy…;)

  4. -10

    You could always find the articles you want to keep later on the PC (on their sites) and bookmark them or save them offline.

    • Kai

      Ok – tech dillema solved – we picked up a Kindle this morning after lots of discussion and work evaluation, we decided that it was cheaper than the yearly subscriptions to each of the magazines (Asimov’s comes in at somewhere like $40, while Analog is something like another $50 for a year – not to mention the three that are not going to be printed, plus my own one that’s going to be cheaper to run on the Kindle (new company needs to be set up entirely first, but I can take care of that). So we decided to view it as investment rather than an expense, and it was on sale, so…..


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