Reading is FUNdamental!

I recently became the owner of a 2nd generation Kindle. I purchased it from eBay for $165 about 2 months ago. I don’t know what prompted me to want one, but ever since the iPad came out, I’d been watching and waiting for the prices of the Kindles to drop. It was to be expected. Who would want to buy an e-ink device that really only allowed you to read books for $259 when for just a “little” more money” (try double the price), you could get a snazzy, color, touch-screen device that could play games, music, videos, surf the net, AND read books?

I had the Kindle app installed on my  iPod Touch last a few years ago and I really enjoyed the ability to pull up whatever book I was reading and devour a few pages or a few chapters as time allowed. Believe it or not, I read all 440 pages of Neil Stephenson’s excellent sci-fi, cyber thriller “Snow Crash” on my iPod Touch’s tiny screen! Then, a few months ago, as I was sitting in my doctor’s office waiting room, I pulled out my iPhone and opened the Kindle app. It seemed that perhaps six months ago I had downloaded a sample of a JavaScript programming manual and never really finished reading it. As luck and fortune would have it, I was once again trying to learn JavaScript for work. I was watching training videos online at and trying to figure out one of those “coding for dummies” books. That sample JavaScript manual on my iPhone was exactly what I needed. It’s hard to explain, but it read like fiction to me. Maybe it was the way the author clearly described all the terms or cleverly illustrated his examples, but I was hooked. I wanted the rest of the book.

After my doctor visit, I decided that I wasn’t going to read my next e-book on my iPhone. I wanted to be able to take notes and highlight important areas. I think that’s when I decided I wanted, nay, NEEDED a real Kindle!

At that time, the prices for used Kindles hadn’t dropped that much. New ones were $259 and with my Amazon Prime account, I could get one shipped to me in 2 days for free. On eBay, prices on completed auctions were hovering around $215, and that didn’t include shipping. It was still a better deal to get one new. So just for fun, I started bidding on the Kindles when they were at $135 and $150. I would only bid on one at a time, and I’d never bid higher than $185. I was constantly getting outbid, but for a simple e-reader, that was my limit and I was sticking to it.

Then one day I get an email from eBay and instead of the usual “Auction over: you’ve lost…” I got a “Congratulations! You won…” on a Kindle I had bid on. “Uh oh”, I thought. Did I really just buy a Kindle??? I hadn’t even told my wife (who already owns and loves a B&N Nook) that I was interested in a Kindle. The funny thing is, that even with shipping, I was only out $185. Not too bad I thought, especially when you factor in that you get free 3G connectivity for life with your Kindle.

So, I took my lumps, paid the $185 via PayPal and patiently waited for a brick or broken Kindle to arrive in 7-10 days (after winning, I realized the seller one less than 5 feedback!). My Kindle did arrive and there wasn’t a single thing wrong with it. Once it was charged and I entered in my Amazon account info, all of the books I had ever bought on my iPhone Kindle app were instantly downloaded and ready to be read!

Since then, I’ve continued to read my JavaScript manual (I went and purchased the full edition) and I recently downloaded and finished “Sink Reflections”. I must say that I’m really enjoying my Kindle! It’s super light and I love the fact that it’s a single-function device. I can lose myself in a book (instructional or fiction) and not be bothered by a pop-up saying it’s my move in “Words with Friends” or that I’ve got new email like I do on my iPhone. The screen looks absolutely gorgeous in direct sunlight (take THAT iPad) and as long as I keep the Wifi off, the Kindle has excellent battery life, sometimes 2-3 weeks!

What’s really funny about all this… about a week or two after buying my used Kindle, Barnes & Noble dropped the price on their Nook from $259 to $199. Amazon immediately countered and dropped the price of the Kindle to $189. That’s nearly half off it’s original price! The move must’ve paid off, because as I right this, Amazon is currently out of stock on the 6″ Kindle. Amazon may  have found the sweet spot on pricing or perhaps a new color screen version is just around the corner and they’re letting inventory sell out. Either way, I’m perfectly happy with my gently used Kindle, and I’m learning to enjoy reading all over again.

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