I tried increasing the font size on my PDA. Have you ever tried to read a book on a screen that displayed only ten words a a time? Go, go give it a try. If only to laugh at me.
So I began my search for a big-screen replacement. The Amazon Kindle kept coming up in the course of my quest. I didn't want an LCD screen with a backlight because they tire my eyes out pretty fast. 'Pretty fast' means four or five hours of reading. Sometimes I like to go on ebook reading marathons. People kept telling me that Amazon doesn't ship Kindles to Malaysia. Amazon doesn't sell Kindle ebooks to Malaysians. But from my previous experience with Malaysians and IT equipment, there is never a 'doesn't', 'cannot', 'doesn't have' and other similar auxiliary verbs. And when I went to one of my favourite forums LowYat.net, lo and behold! Kindles were doing brisk trade! As for the ebooks I wanted, most of them tended to be classics which were freely available on Project Gutenberg and other similar sites. All I needed was Mobipocket Creator or Calibre to convert the ebooks to the .mobi format and I'd be in ebook heaven!
After lurking for a while and following the tradeslists, I chose a trader and purchased a Kindle from him. Incidentally, I found out that Shirogawa was a teacher in training :D Got the Kindle within a week and I began downloading books into it.
It was the best purchase I ever made! I am not going to talk about why it's so good... just google and find out for yourself.
And I found out that Kindle ebooks are doing brisk trade on the net. Anyone interested in publishing and selling a book could just upload his ebook to Amazon in the html format and begin selling within minutes! But obviously it's not that simple. You'd have to pick a title and cover that would catch people's interest... and you'd have to begin selling at a low price. But that would be a topic for another blog post. And I'd like to experience the process for myself before I say anything about it. Unbelievably, many people are buying many many books priced under two US dollars. Well, maybe not so unbelievably. But if you don't have the budget to get a book out there in bookstores, this would be a very good option for you.
So what have I done with my Kindle so far?
I've loaded 33 books into it.
I've installed Kindle for PC into my notebook.
I'm now looking into loading Scrabble into my Kindle.
And according to Amazon, these are the things I can do with it.
I can loan a friend an ebook bought from Amazon. That friend wouldn't need a Kindle, just Kindle for PC.
I can sync all my ebooks in up to five devices (all with Kindle software loaded in the devices) using my Amazon account. There are limitations for non-US residents though.
I can download the free ebooks from Amazon into my Kindle, although they apparently charge USD2 for purchases by non-US residents.
How-evah... I would like to report that YES! It is true I am unable to buy ebooks from www.amazon.com because I am on a computer with a Malaysian IP address. One of my acquaintances who works for a company that uses a VPN has no problems with Amazon because his computer has a US IP address. So, the solution to a Kindle owner would be to make sure he surfs online with a US IP. Bah, paham-paham saja lah.
The Kindle 3 Oh-So-Thin-And-Light
My Kindle Now Sits Safely In a Flipcase