Meet my latest obsession. I asked for a Kindle for Christmas, initially because I wasn't sure what I wanted but now I'm so glad my parents bought it for me. I've always enjoyed reading since an early age. My nose was always in the latest Jacqueline Wilson novel and I was even lucky enough to meet her with a friend when I was about nine or ten. Since growing up I've gone through the various phases of Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter as well as a few dry spells when I wouldn't read anything. I first thought about getting a Kindle when I was reading - or trying to read - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. If you've read the book you'll know it's big and bulky and I found that it was difficult to read just because of how heavy it was. Getting my Kindle has completely revolutionised the way I read. I read a lot faster and a lot more now than I ever did as a child. If you hadn't already guessed, this is going to be a rave review post.
For starters, I have just the Kindle without keyboard. It's extremely light and easy to use. It has four buttons and a trackpad to navigate around the device as well as two buttons either side to go back and fourth pages of the book you're reading. The home screen (above) lists all the books currently on your Kindle and your progress, marked by dots. I'm currently reading Fifty Shades Darker.
One of my favourite Kindle features is samples. It's the most annoying thing in the world when you buy a book and you just can't get in to it. All Kindle books allow you to try a sample which is usually 2-3 chapters worth and then you can choose whether you want to continue reading by purchasing the book or you can simply delete it. The only thing that annoys me about samples, is that when you buy the book it doesn't continue from where you left off, instead it starts from the beginning.
Font size is easily adjustable, although I've never had a problem with the font that automatically comes with the books. You can track your reading progress using the percentage bar along the bottom and you can see how many pages you've read by pressing the menu button. Another feature I like is the integrated dictionary. Using the trackpad you can scroll to the word you're not sure of and it will give you a definition. There is also a full Oxford Dictionary installed onto the Kindle.
The Kindle store allows you to browse the whole library in sections - books, newspapers, magazines and blogs or alternatively if you have a specific book or author in mind, you can search it by clicking the keyboard button. You can also view the book charts and Amazon will also fix recommendations for you, based on what you've bought and read already. You can sync your Kindle up to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that you can share when you've finished a book.
There are plenty of accessories for the Kindle. I purchased this skin to both prevent it from getting scratched and also to make it look a bit prettier. There's a wide selection all priced at £17.99. I have a plain hot pink case which I put my Kindle in. When it comes to cases, I find there is a limited choice so the way forward is caseable, a website that lets you create the case you want. I don't really need a case with the skin but I find that I still like to hold on to the Kindle with both hands, like you would a book. Holding it in one hand just feels weird.
I understand theres a debate on the book vs. the e-book. I, too, enjoy the feel of the book, but I find my Kindle so much easier in so many ways. It's thin and takes up less room in my handbag (and my bookshelf for that matter), the books are usually a lot cheaper on the Kindle (I got Fifty Shades of Grey for £2.69 compared with the RRP of £7.99 - that's a big difference!) and you don't have to deal with weighty novels. I love my Kindle and I'd certainly be lost without it.
Do you have a Kindle, or do you prefer the feel of a book?