Tuesday, January 10, 2012

loving our kindles

Jo from Jo's Country Junction and I have been comparing notes about our new Kindles. My older kids and I got ours for Christmas -- two Kindle Fires and a basic Kindle.

I'd been wanting a Kindle for myself for months. I'm homeschooling four kids. Lots of the books in our curriculum are public domain and wouldn't it be much easier to download them instead of trying to figure out where I put our paperback copy after an older sibling read it three years ago? I needed a Kindle. Just the basic one. For school.

And for times when my eleven-year-old asks me if he's allowed to read something like Dante's Inferno. I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that one. He is allowed to read it. I'm not sure if he's capable of reading it, or if he'll actually want to read it once he starts, but being able to hand it right over to him is much better than waiting for our next library trip.

Then I started hearing about the Kindle Fire and the things it could do and that was it. I wanted to be able to check my email while my daughter was at karate. Turns out the grocery store that I was sure had free WiFi doesn't, but that's okay. I can read books. Or play Hungry Shark -- if I can wrestle it away from the boys.

We've got lots of favorite things about our Kindles.

There's the shark game. Because I've got little boys and it's the greatest bribe I've come up with this week.

There seem to be lots of neat little educational apps, but I haven't had much time to really try them out yet.

There are tons of free books. Bonnie over at Quiltville posts links to free Kindle titles. How could you not want to read a book called Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun? A couple of months ago, I downloaded the reader for my PC and started downloading books onto the laptop. So I'd have something to read if I ever got a real Kindle. Then I got my Christmas present and started really looking for books to read. I'm not admitting how many I've ordered -- but what's free right now might not be free tomorrow, so if it looks interesting, I click. It's like queueing patterns on Ravelry. I'll read some and not feel guilty about the rest.

You can browse Pinterest with this thing. I no longer have to surrender my laptop every time my daughter wants to look for inspiration.

I adore old children's books, the older the better. There are a gazillion of those old girls series on Amazon for free. Sure, I'd love to have the old hardback copies, but these are books I'd probably never be able to read at all if I wasn't downloading them.

The lighted display. Years and years ago, I had a Rocket eBook. Of course it doesn't compare at all to these new Kindles, but I loved that thing. One of my favorite features was the lighted screen, which let me read one handed while I was nursing a baby in a dark room. These days, I'm not nursing a baby, but I've still got times when reading in a the dark will be a definite advantage. (If some drunk drives into a pole and knocks out the power, I don't have to go to bed!)

There are a very few things I don't love about my Kindle.

It's easy to make accidental purchases. I've already done it once myself by clicking in the wrong place. Amazon refunded my money quickly. I've explained to the kids that they need to be very aware of what they're clicking on and removed my credit card information from my Amazon account. Hopefully that solved the problem.

I don't love that all of the books I've ordered show up on all of our Kindles. (I've got the same complaint about Netflix and the queue and recently viewed titles.) The ultimate answer may be setting up a separate Amazon account for my son's Kindle, but I don't really want to go that route because if I buy titles for school I want everyone to be able to use them. Right now, I'm telling myself it's the same as having books sitting on a shelf.

If I was buying a regular Kindle for a kid and not worried about the price, I'd get the one without the Special Offers. My son keeps his WiFi turned off (to keep him from making accidental purchases and because the battery will go longer between charges), but there are constant prompts to turn it back on. And does he really need ads for tooth-whitening?

Oh, and my daughter is annoyed that the books don't have page numbers and she doesn't know how to enter them in her book journal.

Our few complaints are minor ones. I do wish my son's was easier to charge -- I have to plug it into the computer's USB port, then "eject" it, then hope no one bumps the cord or I have to start over... Anyone know if the wall charger for the Fire will work with the regular Kindles?

This post is linked to WFMW at We are THAT Family
And don't forget to check out my new pattern, 30s Barn Raising and enter to win a Moda Jelly Roll and the background fabric to make the quilt.


Kate said...

If it's a USB charger, you can buy a wall plug that you can stick a USB-end into. We have a couple from cell phones/Nooks/MP3 players. My husband is getting a Kindle Fire with his Christmas gift cards, and I don't know who is looking forward to it more!

Neabear said...

Kate's comment sounds like a plan. I have that kind of charger for my phone. Came over here from Jo's. I was debating between the Kindle Fire, Color Nook or and Ipad. I was helping a patient with his Ipad and I was frustrated with it. Had a hard time going between things and finding instructions on games and so forth. So no I pad for me. Next comes Color Nook or Kindle Fire and after reading your post and Jo's post and a couple of friends posts on Facebook, I am inclined to go with the Kindle Fire.

Looking forward to getting it now.


Karen said...

I have successfully charged my kindle fire with the usb plug-in cord that came with my regular kindle reader. Also, that same charger is able to charge my daughter's cell phone. HTH!
I Love my Kindle(s).......

Sarah Craig said...

A couple of tips to fix some of your "don't love" items: If you will hold down your finger on a book on your carousel (the home screen), you will get a prompt asking if you want to remove it from the carousel. Say yes and it will not appear on there any more. It takes time to do this the first time, but after that it's easy to do it daily. it's also a good way to remove a book you've already read. And when you go to the "Books" tab, you can click Cloud or Device. Cloud will show all your books, even if they aren't downloaded to your Fire, and Device will only show the ones you have downloaded. Same rule applies here - if you touch the book and hold it down, it will give you the option to remove it from the device - so you can keep your Device bookshelf cleaned up and minimalist. You will still be able to access the book from the Cloud when you want it again!

Hope that helps!

CindyB said...

I have several $79 Kindles for the kids and bought the wall plug charger from Amazon for them. I have a Kindle Fire and DH has the Kindle Keyboard. We love our Kindles. I bought the a gift credit card with exp.date for each of the kids Kindles and they have separate accounts with no worry about credit card charges. You have to have an exp. date on the card to set it up as a credit card. the Amazon Kindle forum has answers for every question.


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