I've had my Kindle since about January. I love, love, love it. Yeah, it has corners so pointy you can lose an eye and the buttons get pressed if you don't hold it "right." But I don't mind those details. I find it generally comfortable to hold, and I can read it comfortably with my crappy, crappy eyes, which is critical. My focal distance isn't bad, but I get terrible eye strain. I can read the Kindle for hours without getting a headache, which makes it better than any other electronic device I've spent time with, and also better than most paper books.
Many people, quite sensibly, hate the idea of buying DRM'd books, which is the main model for getting books onto your Kindle - buy them from Amazon, and be locked in to the format. Yeah, you can put free stuff on there in Mobi format, but it won't read PDFs properly, and most of what you're going to want to put on there is probably not going to be available without DRM. So, if you care about that issue, save your money, because this gadget is all about selling DRM'd stuff. Me, I have just never cared about DRM, even though I know it's bad, even though my husband has campaigned for years to get me to break up with my Ipod. I know that I can't share the books I'm buying, and that I'm SOL if Amazon ever retires the Kindle. And that DRM is essentially a way of screwing the paying customer. But, eh, whatever.
So, leaving the evil bits aside, what I like about the Kindle store at Amazon is that every full-length book they sell lets you download a free sample chapter before you buy it. So I've got a trillion samples on my reader, and a small group of purchased books and stories (you can buy short stories, yay, but you can't sample them).
Excluding samples, here's what's on mine.
- 2 short stories from Tobias Buckell - In Orbite Medievali and All Her Children Fought...
- The Long Goodbye, by Raymond Chandler (just finished. Very good)
- Works of Arthur Conan Doyle (great, cheap collection from www.mobilereference.com, available in non-kindle formats too)
- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron (terrible formatting! formats stanzas as paragraphs. What the hell. So much for that $1. Went and got free version from Gutenburg instead)
- Works of Sir Walter Scott (also from www.mobilereference.com)
- Works of Mark Twain (mobilereference)
- Works of Alexandre Dumas (mobilereference)
- The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett (good first chapter. Downhill since)
- Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, by Mike Resnick (awesome short story)
- The Vor Game, by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Triplanetary (Lensmen), by E.E."Doc" Smith
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (got for my husband, as I've already read it, and my only paper copy is a signed one...no touchy!)
- The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova (I own the hardback, but it's a doorstopper...so I bought it 2x. Reading it when the mood strikes me. It's not a page-turner.)
- Three at Wolfe's Door, by Rex Stout. (I own pretty much the whole Wolfe canon in paper, but it's nice to have one handy when I'm out & about, and hubby's only read a few so far)
- Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (mobilereference)
- Getting Things Done, by David Allen (have read part of it, suggested by my boss. Haven't finished it, oh the irony, etc etc)
- a couple of, ahem, recreational titles
- A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (nice for reading out loud during the holidays)
- Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, by Steve Martin (very very good)
- Fanny Hill, by whatsisname. Free books don't show their authors in the browser. Cleland?
- Child Harold's Pilgrimage, the readable version
- Lilith, by George MacDonald
- The House on the Borderland, by William Hope Hodgson
- The Kalevala, by some Finnish or Nordic bard or other
- The Call of Cthulhu, by H.P. Lovecraft
- The Warden, by Anthony Trollope
- Phantasies, a Faerie Romance, by George MacDonald
- ThePrincess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
- The Door in the Wall and Other Stories, by H.G. Wells
If you have a book reader, what's on yours? If not, what physical books are at the front of your "next reads" queue?