Mulling my options

Mulling my options

May 21st makes it seven weeks since I last saw my Kindle 2.

I won’t go back over the sad tale here, but I’m getting to the point where I am going to operate on the assumption it isn’t going to show up (even though I will hold out hope that it will).

For those of you wondering how I’ve made it this long 🙂 , the answer is that I’m using a Kindle 1.  However, that’s not really satisfactory to me.  I like the Kindle 1, I think it is a good device.  I do like my Kindle 2 better, for several reasons:

  • Text-to-speech (I was using it hours a week on commutes)
  • The ability to search just the current item, not the whole Kindle
  • I like the Archived Items better than the Content Manager
  • I like the button arrangement better
  • I don’t like the backplate that falls off the Kindle 1

Those are just a few. 

However, that’s not the real problem…the real problem is that my Significant Other (SO) was using the Kindle 1 (and enjoying it).  It doesn’t seem fair that I have a Kindle and my SO doesn’t, when the Kindle 2 was lost on “my watch”.

So, I’m really starting to think about my EBR (E-Book Reader) options.  I figured some of you might be interested in my thought process, because you may also be looking at that decision.

I’ve done detailed comparisons  before: of the nook (sic), the Sony, the Alex, the OpenBook, and so on.  This is not going to be that…it’s going to be much more high level, more strategic than tactical. 

Option 1: Get another K2

Pros: I really like the device.  I’m already familiar with it, and I could try out the new features (like klipnentweet and Collections).  My accessories would work with it.  All of my books would be available to it immediately and seamlessly

Cons: At $259, it is kind of expensive.  Yes, I save that much money every year with a Kindle, but I do have other options (like the K1).  I’m also sure we’ll have another fancy option from Amazon by the first quarter of 2011.  It will probably have a touchscreen and color.  I don’t usually advise people to wait for an unknown, but this is much stronger than that.  I also think that when that new device (which may or may not be called a Kindle) comes out, the price of the Kindle 2 may come down considerably

Option 2: Get a used K1

Pros: Less expensive than a K2, and my books would again be available to me on it

Cons: I just don’t like the K1 as well.  I write about the Kindle: I want a variety of models available to me to test stuff.  Also, it’s not much less expensive.  I’m not a fan of buying a used electronic in this situation: could be stolen

Option 3: Buy a Kindle DX

Con: Just too much money for me at $489.  I’m not that much of a visual person: I’ve been fine with the converted pdfs

NON-KINDLE OPTIONS (the biggest negatives are not being able to share books with my family members who have Kindles, and not being to read my previously purchased Kindle books)

Option 4: Get an iPad

Pros: I can read my previously purchased Kindle books on it.  There is also that wow factor, and I certainly would use it for things like e-mail.  Hey, I could probably blog and check the Amazon forums more easily as well. 

Cons: I’d want 3G, and I hate to pay extra for stuff like that.  It’s backlit: I really like the feel of reading on the Kindle, but I might tolerate that.  Ten hours of battery life isn’t that much.  If I got this, it wouldn’t be just an EBR

Option 5: Get a netbook

Pros: They are relatively inexpensive, and I could get the Kindle app and read my books

Cons: Relatively big and clunky (compared to a dedicated EBR).  Still have that somewhat limited battery life.  They can’t do some of the internet things I’d want

Option 6: Get an Alex

Pros: The Alex has the coolness of web surfing on the little screen.  It’s a nice looking device as well

Cons: Can’t read my books  on it…unless the upcoming Kindle Android app works on it.  If it does, this moves way up in the list.  However, at $399, it’s expensive.  Much more limited book options, but I read a lot of free classics, which would work with this

Option 7: Get a nook

Pros: I know someone who is happy with a nook, and it does offer web surfing now.  I like the customizable sleep picture option

Cons: I’ve had a bad customer service experience with Barnes & Noble, and those stick in my craw.  Book prices are okay, and the openness of the reader software is good, but I couldn’t read my previously purchased Kindle books on it

Option 8: Get a Kobo

Pros: It’s inexpensive and E Ink.  It has a good bookstore behind it.  Gee, I answered a Customer Service survey with a chance to win $150 at Borders.  If I get it, that would cover this

Cons: Not being able to read my Kindle books.  I don’t like the tethering to a SmartPhone way to get books wirelessly

Option 9: Get a Sony

Cons: Relatively expensive (both for the reader and for the books), and I don’t really like the look of it

Option 10: Get an iPhone

Pros: I’m going to need a new cellphone soon (mine’s wearing out), and there is a new iPhone coming.  I could read my Kindle books on it

Cons: The screen is too small for me, and I hear bad things about the battery life

There are other options, of course.  The OpenBook and the eBookwise just aren’t for me.  I could go back to paper, but…I like reading on an EBR so much better, and I don’t like the ecological impact.

If I hold out, it’s possible somebody will get me one as a gift.  🙂  That’s one strategy.

I can hold on for awhile…I do really wish my old K2 would come back: that’s the best solution for me. 

Have any words of sage advice on this?  Feel free to let me know!

Tip of the Day: Pretty much all EBRs can read text files.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

10 Responses to “Mulling my options”

  1. Tom Madsen Says:

    I got my lightly used Kindle DX for $250 with cover on Craigslist. He was getting rid of it to help his new ipad funding. I still expect them to lower prices at some point. Til then if I were you, I would get the K1. I’ve seen many lightly used ones for $149. I use my K1 quite from a portability standpoint. One thing I do like about the K1 or the old OS is how it handled publications. I liked that it kept all the Wall Street Journals together for instance. I haven’t been lucky enough to get picked for the 2.5 upgrade but am looking forward to it.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I still have access to a K1. I don’t think I’d buy another one at the price I’d probably pay for it…it would be worth it to me to spend another $100 to get a K2. I like them that much better, and I do worry about used Kindles being stolen.

  2. alan church Says:

    Just buy a freakin’ K2 already! :0)) For cripes sakes, is $259 really that much these days? And every day you are without your K, you are without your K. how can you stand it? Oh, the K1. Have a heart for your SO. I left mine on a plane in Oct. and a few days later bought another one at 379(they then lowered the price by 40 and refunded it) and never regretted it. Don’t wait- every day without your K2 is a loss for you and your SO. I read an article by a guy who waited a year to buy an iphone and loved it so much than he kicked himself for having gone without it needlessly for 365 days, so he didn’t hesitate to buy the ipad on day 1. Buy the damn thing already. You can always sell it for a good price when the new kindle with color etc comes. After buying my K2 in Feb 09 I sold my K1 in for $300 on ebay (with a $40 m-edge cover) so the K2 costs were greatly defrayed. Life is short. Don’t deprive yourself. Unless of course you want or need to. Is there a little OCD in here? Not that I’m knocking the careful consideration of all options. Good luck. Let us know what yo do.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      alan: 🙂

      Well, I always say I’m obsessive…but not compulsive. 🙂 For example, I was telling this group of psych providers (I train medical folks for a living) that I prefer shopping at Trader Joe’s to Safeway. Why? It’s because their express lane actually says, “Fifteen items or fewer”, which is correct. It bother me that Safeway’s line says, “Fifteen items or less”.

      So, one of the students says, “Every time?”

      Me: “Every time.”

      He stroked his chin and said, “Hmmmm…”


      Now, that may be obsessive, but I still shop at Safeway…which is what makes it not compulsive. 😉

      You advice is sound…I’ll certainly consider it.

  3. Al Says:

    Has Amazon stopped offering a refurbished K2? I didn’t see that in your options and it overcomes your objections to a used device.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Al, nope, no refurbs right now.

      Yes, that would wipe out the con of possible theft…but it’s not an option currently.

  4. lp Says:

    Is Bufo without a Kindle really Bufo??

    A few other thoughts – First, if it’s possible to “search” on the apps, I have not yet discovered the means. And I do miss it when reading on my iPod. Second, would the iPad read to you? I seem to remember reading somewhere that it would. If so, that would meet one of your needs. (And I am curious about whether it will read books if Kindle TTS is blocked). Third, an iPod Touch is another possibility. I find the combination of the iPod (which travels very well and is surprisingly readable) and the Kindle (which I read at home) meets my needs very well. Might not meet yours, of course.

    I have been expecting to see a K3 by Christmas, but I’m beginning to wonder; it seems increasingly unlikely that color e-Ink would be ready by then, and I’m not sure what other improvements would be offered, other than maybe a low-cost base level, no Whispernet unit as an option.

  5. eReader1 (Danielle) Says:

    I’ve been through this list, in my own mind, also. I haven’t lost my K2 (thankfully!) but debating what to do for my daughter who wants one for her 11th birthday later this year.

    If the prices come down, I’ll buy her one right away. Or if a new K3 is coming out, I’d buy that for me, and give her my K2….. or I could get one of us something else with a Kindle app.

    I’m avoiding the iPad. It looks gorgeous, but because of the LCD, inability to read it in the sun (which I love to do all summer!) and because touch screens just get icky dirty, I doubt I’d get that. Oh and I want 3G too. And that just gets way to pricey on the iPad.

    I think I’ll just be holding out for K3 or a lower k2 price. Just wish we had an idea of when that would be!

  6. Theresa Says:

    I’ve been worried about your Kindlelessness. You know it can’t go on. Get the K2 now with the idea of passing it on to SO when K3 comes out. K1 can then be passed on or sold. Stick with K2 and only go to another brand as a second EBR when one gets too cheap to pass up. Also get the new iPhone when it comes out. That way you’ll have a new toy and can try the apps while you wait for the K3. It’s better to wait on an iPad for awhile, maybe you’ll get one for Christmas.

  7. Miguel Says:

    I have an iPad and frankly, I just haven’t been able to get through a novel with it. Sure, it’s great for surfing the web, or playing Words with Friends, but it really does get too heavy to read with for very long.

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