A Kindle in hand…

Will hopefully be equal to 1,000+ books on a shelf!

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I just received my Amazon Kindle (U.S. and International version) last night and while I’ll attempt to try taking some pictures later on, here are a few of my initial impressions.

First off, this thing is thin!  I’ve seen the pictures, but actually having it in hand allows you to realize how slender it is.  That being said though, the Kindle 2 is also heavier than I had anticipated.  With no scale handy I can’t quite compare weight, but I can tell you that it is at least twice as heavy my typical mass market paperbacks, perhaps as heavy as your average hardcover.

The weight is something I don’t have too much problem with since I’m used to lugging around hardcovers with me all the time.  (Though bringing the recent “The Lost Symbol” to/from work on the train wasn’t much fun!)  Also, though it might be as heavy as a hardcover, it is also 1/3 as thick, leaving me alot more room in my bag.

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Visually, the screen is a pleasure to read.  I was pleasantly surprised at how crisp the text is, and how easy it is to read in various lighting conditions.  The “flash” one sees when “turning” a page is a little disconcerting at first, but one gets used to it pretty quickly.  Unfortunately the screen does not support color and is not touchscreen-capable (unlike B&N’s soon to be released “Nook“).

One good yet potentially “dangerous” point for avid book readers is the extreme ease of book purchasing.  You literally look for a book, click “buy” and boom – it’s available to read in less than a minute.  I bought this thing to a) save my bookshelves from overflowing b) reduce the weight of things I carry to/from work, and c) save money (since Kindle books are typically cheaper than an actual book).  Option (c) is going to be hard since it’s going to take a lot of willpower to resist spur-of-the-moment purchases of books that catch my fancy…

I have yet to use this for extended periods of time reading though I have just bought the book “The Name of the Wind” and intend to start on it once I’ve finished the current paperback that I’m reading.  I’ll probably post more about the Kindle experience in the coming days.

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