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Customer Review

on 18 September 2012
I have been using the Kindle app on a tablet pc and a Smartphone for some time now and I really like the convenience and the FREE BOOKS!! I read a lot so have saved quite a bit of money. But the drawbacks with these devices are the battery life and the fact that they are impossible to read outdoors due to lack of contrast and glare on the screen.

So I took the plunge and decided to get a Kindle, but which to choose? The new Kindle Fire looks great but it is just another tablet so I assume the same issues of screen contrast and glare will still be a problem. I was initially very tempted by the Kindle Touch but is it really worth the extra £40? All I want is to be able to read books on the Kindle, everything else I can do on my Smartphone or tablet. So I went for the basic Kindle. Then more confusion as there seem to be two models on sale at Amazon for £69, a grey one and a black one. After a bit of research I found that the black one is the 2012 model (version 5), pretty much the same as the grey model but apparently has better contrast and faster page turn, so that is what I bought.

It is nicely made and well built, easy to set up (as long as you know your wifi password!) and easy to read in reasonable lighting. In sunlight the background appears almost as white as paper, indoors it is a bit grey but no problem for me. The only trouble I had at first was getting used to the 5 way controller button, after a year of using a Kindle app on a tablet I kept wanting to touch the screen! Maybe the Kindle Touch would have been more intuitive for me, but I got used to it and you don't use the controller an awful lot anyway.

I still have a lot of friends and relatives who say there is nothing like holding a 'real' book in your hands, and nothing I say seems to convince them otherwise. Personally I find an e-book superior to a paper book in almost every way and I am reading a LOT more since getting Kindle, which has to be a good thing.
1. It has saved me money (I have over 40 free classics on my Kindle which in paperback version would have cost over £200). As an example, Les Miserables unabridged is a free Kindle download, to buy from Amazon in paperback costs £11.20.
2. It has given me access to the books of my childhood which I would not otherwise have bothered to buy in a shop. I had forgotten what a nice story 'Heidi' is!!
3. I no longer have to bother with grubby library books and all the bits of crumbs, dandruff etc which fall out from between the pages when reading in bed! :-(
4. It doesn't make my arms ache! I'm also currently reading 'the Wainwright letters', a hardback book, 400-odd pages (not available on Kindle) and its flippin' heavy!

The only thing I miss about 'real' books is the ability to jump around previously read bits if you need to refresh your memory about something, but you can always bookmark them anyway. And I suppose it is no big deal if you forget your £5 paperback and leave it on the sunlounger or the train etc.
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