Holidays and Kindles redux

I got back from holiday yesterday. I was away more than two weeks and the only reading matter I had on me was my new Kindle (a Kindle 2).

So, how did that work out for me? I posted my initial thoughts on the Kindle here, and those still hold pretty good. But having now used it solidly I have some additional comments to make on it.

Generally, it worked very well. I’ve now read on it two novels, two short story collections, most of a third novel and a fair chunk of a non-fiction work. I didn’t have any problems with any of them. Typos were rare (certainly no more common than in printed books) and I wasn’t aware of reading on a device as opposed to a page.

That said, my Kindle crashed on three occasions. Rebooting isn’t hard, but I’ve yet to have a paperback crash on me. Another wrinkle was that air crews view it as an electronic device and as such as prohibited from use during take off and landing. That’s a fair chunk of time on a flight, and means that in future I’ll be packing the Kindle and a book of poems or short stories for reading during those parts of the journey.

Battery life is good. It didn’t last the full period, which is far short of the month of reading advertised. It did last nearly two weeks though and given I was on holiday I was reading more than I would have been normally. When it gets to around the 20% power level it becomes less reliable and more prone to crashing, and at that level the power remaining display loses accuracy which led to it shutting down unexpectedly on me at a very inconvenient moment.

I didn’t use wifi originally so as to conserve power. After it ran out and was recharged I did and downloaded a software update which has made the Kindle’s performance visibly quicker.

Overall, I remain very happy with it. My only caveat is that I would now pack one backup book for use during take off and landing or at times when the Kindle is low on power and needs recharging. Other than that, when I travel in future this will be what I’ll be travelling with.


Filed under Administrative posts, Publishing

21 responses to “Holidays and Kindles redux

  1. Hi welcome back. I hope you enjoyed your holidays.
    Thanks for the feed back on the Kindle.

  2. If you have the graphite Kindle, that’s Kindle 3. I have Kindle 2. I’ve yet to try the Kindle on a plane, so no comments there, but I can see your point.

    Mine has crashed a couple of times, and recently after spending a long time of creating files (a new feature), the files were wiped out. I discovered the hard way that the wireless should be on (and the items should be synched) while creating files and moving books into them. Back to the drawing board. It’s traumatic the first time you turn on the Kindle and discover that everything is ‘gone’, but after a couple of times of getting the material back, you get used to it.

    I’ve learned that when I turn it on and the figure of the person under the tree pops up while the Kindle loads, I may have a problem to deal with.

    Some bugs have to be worked out, but I still like reading on the Kindle.

  3. Thanks for this Max … I was going to ask you whether you’d had crashes. I’ve had mine freeze twice, doing very basic things – once using the dictionary and pressing that litte arrow for more definition, and once turning the page. I did a bit of a search and then contacted Amazon and got a more or less standard reply saying it’s usually to do with battery or charging! Hmmm…since my bettery is new and between the two occasions I did a recharge and had only used it for an hour at most it doesn’t seem reasonable to me. I am on holidays now but haven’t got to my kindle yet as I have three paper books that I have to read for deadlines. Silly me! Still, I like the kindle overall but this freezing is not really good enough.

    PS Didn’t realise that about the plane. This is a driving holiday but I will be taking it on a plane in October when I wasn’t expecting to bring a paper book. I might just read the plane mag during the off times! Then again…

  4. It is the Kindle 3. A shame I ordered a cover and screenguard for the Kindle 2 before realising you were correct Guy. Oh well.

    WG, this is for the Kindle 2 but worked on my Kindle 3:

  5. leroyhunter

    Interesting stuff about your Kindle experience. The take-off/landing thing is a real pain though…air travel is one of the biggest pluses for the Kindle and that undermines it.

    As a matter of interest, in an e-book do you get all the publication, copyright, dedication etc material that makes up the first couple of pages of a paperback?

  6. Yup, all that stuff is at the front, though the books automatically open to the first page so you have to scroll back if you want to read it (which I sometimes do, to check the translator’s name).

  7. Just as aside, Max. The first cover I had was an inflexible cover that opened just like a book. The kindle sustained a bit of damage so I moved to a softer, zipper cover. I don’t like it quite as much, but it protects the kindle. A trade-off

  8. Although mine is Internet writing I wish it were paper, so I had to smile when you said you’ve never had a paperback crash on you!

  9. “Although mine is Internet writing I wish it were paper, so I had to smile when you said you’ve never had a paperback crash on you!”

    i think he right

  10. BTW Thanks for that link Max — though it failed for me. However, no crashes lately and resetting it seems to do the job. I’m taking it to Hong Kong in a few weeks so will see how it goes then.

  11. Here’s the relevant part of that post I linked to WG:

    “Before doing this it’s a good idea to make sure your Kindle 2 is completely charged. Even if it is “frozen” it should still charge – that is the charging indicator should light when the charger is connected. If the charging indicator does not light-up check your plug and if that’s OK contact Amazon Kindle support.

    Once you are satisfied that your Kindle 2 is charged it’s time to reset. To do this –

    1. Remove your Kindle 2 from the charger.

    2. Slide the power switch to the right and hold it there.

    3. SLOWLY count to 15 (the switch has to be held in-place for at least 15 seconds).

    4. Release the switch.

    5. What will happen? At first NOTHING so don’t panic.

    6. After about 5 to 10 seconds the Kindle 2 will flash on and off several times.

    7. The Amazon logo will appear along with a progress bar showing the Kindle is restarting.

    8. Next the Home page will load with the ebooks, audio books, and other media you’ve loaded onto your Kindle.

    That’s it! You should be back in business ready to read another book.

    A few things to remember:

    If you only hold the Power button to the right for five to 10 seconds you’ll just turn the unit OFF. You have to hold the power button to the right for at least 15 seconds.”

  12. Why thanks, Max … I’ll remember that. Main thing is to hold it 15secs and the rest should just follow? I think I can remember that!

  13. And then wait a few seconds. In my experience nothing happens for a bit, you have to patient with it as it just carries on looking dead for a little while.

  14. This is all very useful. A few years back I tried a first generation Sony eReader and ditched it after a month of “experimenting”. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the battery dying, without warning, 10-minutes in on a 3-hour train journey. And yes, I didn’t have any traditional books with me! (Why would I, I had an eReader loaded with about 100 classics!) Aaaargh.

    Anyway, with upcoming travels (after China I will be in Oz for 5 weeks) I figured a Kindle would be a good idea, if only to help keep my luggage weight down. I am yet to purchase one, but hope to do so in next week or so, so that I’ve got time to play with it before I head off.

    Thanks for tip about plane travel – I’ll make sure to have a paperback on hand now!

  15. My battery also died without warning as noted above, once you get to the lower quartile as with many gadgets the battery meter gets less reliable. It lasted a good ten days before that happened though.

    Next time I’ll pack a book of short stories and the Kindle, the combo should work pretty well.

  16. Book of short stories and kindle sounds like the perfect way to go. I think that’s what I’ll do for my trip to Hong Kong this weekend.

  17. Max, can I ask if you bought a cover with your Kindle? I’ve heard the leather ones (as supplied by Amazon) can crack the screen… so I’m inclining towards a neoprene one but would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

  18. Hi,

    Sorry for the slow reply. I didn’t, the Amazon ones looked too pricy, so I’m waiting a bit.

    While travelling, I put it in a small sealable plastic bag of the sort used to put liquids in when travelling through security at airports. It protected the screen in the bag and meant if the bag got wet the Kindle wasn’t ruined.

    Low tech, but it did the trick for that trip.

  19. Cheers. I’ve bought an el-cheapo £5 neoprene one: it arrived today – I’m still waiting for the kindle.

  20. I bought the cover … I hadn’t heard anything about it cracking the screen. How can it do that? Anyhow, I must say I love the cover – because it protects the whole thing beautifully and I can hold it like a book. It just feels good. It was about $30 though. I didn’t buy the one with the light attached though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s