Just in case there should be any doubt. I do most of my reading on this which is a Kindle. But unless you’ve been living a cave for the past oh umpteen years you knew, or at least could identify from the image.
Why I love the Kindle; It is a very practical device, it does for books what mp3 players (a misnomer, since most devices today also plays ogg, wma, flac and others) It makes it practical to bring more that one book with you. It allows you instant delivery of books. No more waiting for books to be shipped, or hope that the local bookstore has it in stock.
Now I am sure that the Nook et. al. is just as good. But when I bought my first one, it was the only serious contender. Today when it comes to gadgets that consumes media of any kind, it not just enough to have the best device out there, you need the ecosystem to support it.
This is why I settled on the Kindle, I was familiar with Amazon and comfortable and familiar with their ecosystem. Having purchased more than my fair share of books from them I was also confident with their brand.
Would I recommend the Kindle to people, without a doubt. Is the competition just as good or better ? Honestly I have no idea. I have never had any relationship with B&N and because of that I never considered the Nook. I would be highly skeptical of an eReader that didn’t have a serious ecosystem backing it. Because the utopia of a DRM free world is a far way off, and in the meantime I want a device that has content I want available when I want, whitout me having to tinker with either the device or the data of that content.
The Kindle reads pdf, mobi and regular text files. This is enough of a compromise for me to justify Amazons DRM scheme when it comes to content they deliver. I have the option to transfer content from outside the Amazon ecosystem (via the regular USB cable) without any proprietary software.
The downside is of course that the content I have purchased via Amazon is locked to the Amazon ecosystem and their apps and devices. For some this is of course the achilles heel of any DRM locked device. But the Kindle is a good device regardless. And I can’t see any dark clouds on Amazons horizon that would threaten to upend the ecosystem surrounding the Kindle. And even if the worst should come to pass, at that point there will be enough book geeks with Kindles out there to figure out a solution.
Oh and a final reason I love my kindle; Since I bought my first kindle I have read more books than ever and exposed myself to stories and characters that I otherwise would not have. And I firmly believe that reading books, good or bad, fiction or non-fiction is healthy and more stimulating than any other activity I know of, except… you know… actually taking to people.
Books and reading as an activity is under siege from a multitude of competing entertainment sources. Books need every weapon they can get in the multimedia world to fight off apathy and ignorance. The Kindle is one of these.