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The Kindle Update - A Month on the iPhone/iTouch

Ever since my Kindle broke, I've been reading on my iTouch for the most part. I've been using both the Kindle iPhone app and the Barnes and Noble app and while they are different (Kindle notes, BN notes) , they both have a few quirks and I can't say one is amazingly better than the other. I do like the fact that Barnes and Noble allows me to read on the PC as well as the iTouch, and I have used my PC a couple times when I've had the laptop and not my iTouch.

I've been debating what to do about my reading habits. I have made a few trips to the library in the last month to get books for the kids (and encourage them to read), and gotten myself a few books as well. I like reading paper, but it's inconvenient for me. I find myself without that paper book as I move through a busy life. So I definitely like the idea of ebooks myself. But am I ready for a dedicated reader?

I do think that the Kindle works amazingly better than an LCD screen. It is easier on the eyes, and it lasts much longer. Right now I need to be sure I have power handy for the iTouch or I'll drain it within a day. That can be a problem on long flights, and if I go back to the UK, I'll need a power solution. The Sony reader (saw one in Wal-Mart), works on the same principle, but they have less selection than either B&N or Amazon. I'm sure that might change at some point, but what I'd like to do is see these items decoupled. I think Amazon is making a mistake by not supporting other devices, and the same with Barnes and Noble, though B&N did say they'll support the ePub format.

I've purchased books from both amazon and B&N, and right now the platform is more important to me. Being able to buy anytime, anyplace, is a killer feature. So much so that I'm considering actually moving to an iPhone from my Google G1 just so I can converge onto one device. If I can get books from multiple sources on the iPhone, listen to music, and have a phone, that's winning me over. Sure my Google phone can play music, but it's nowhere near as convenient as iTunes. It has AmazonMP3, but I love having all my music easily found on iTunes.

Overall, however, the big thing I've noticed is that the content is what matters. When I read a story I like, I get lost in the story, ignoring the medium. Whether it's an iPhone, Kindle, or paper book, the story draws me in and I enjoy it.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by wnylibrarian on 21 August 2009

It's great to hear you encourage your kids to read. The more we read the better we write and vice versa. I know I'm a librarian and have a slanted view on this, but I do believe in it. My neighbor's boy has a learning disability, but I still try to encourage him to read -- even the sports page. Read what you like! I try to explain to him that it is like anything: the more you do it the better you'll be.

Posted by Steve Jones on 21 August 2009

The boys read almost as fast as me, maybe faster for the older one. They can easily read a 500 page book in a week, and both of them like different series.

We're working on my daughter (8) and hopefully it will catch on.

Posted by Jason Prothero on 21 August 2009

Have you tried Stanza on the iPhone?  I like it because it works with other more open formats.  And it works with O'Reilly nicely.

Posted by Steve Jones on 23 August 2009

Haven't tried Stanza, but I'll check it out.

The power, for me, is the network of being able to get books without a computer. That's key. It enhances how I use the device. Right now the iPhone is winning because I can get Amazon and BN books on it.

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