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Old 09-24-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
Davimee
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Questions - sorry, I'm ignorant about Kindle

Hello! I almost didn't post this, because to be honest I'm a bit intimidated by the Kindle thread. I figured my questions are probably answered somewhere here on the forums, but I wasn't quite sure where to find the answers. So I figured I'd venture out, and hopefully I don't come across sounding too dumb, although when it comes to the Kindle, I'm pretty ignorant.

Lately I've become really interested in the Kindle, although unfortunately I don't have $139 laying around to buy one. I'd consider selling my Pocket Pro, but I wouldn't even know how to go about doing that. Plus, mine came with a faulty on/off switch (won't turn off or go into screen lock, something's just not connected), so I doubt I'd be able to sell it. (I didn't want to send it in for repair because that was my second one - the first had other troubles - and I was getting tired of paying for shipping ).

Anyway, from what I've seen online, the new Kindle looks really nice! I'm trying to decide if it's worth it for me to save up for, or just learn to be content with what I have. I'm sure my hubby would prefer I stay content with what I have. :

So here are my questions. I'm sure I'll come up with others later, but I'll start with these. Oh, and I'll be away for the weekend so if I don't reply to anyone's responses, I promise to do so next week.

I've seen you can do email with the Kindle. How difficult is it to access gmail on the kindle? Does it work well, or is it really not worth the effort? Is it easy to read and write email? Or is it better for just reading?

Since the kindle has that nifty keyboard, I was wondering if it's possible to write some sort of text document? For example, if I was out for the day and thought of something I needed to do when I got home, would I be able to make some sort of note? Or could I write out something in text, then somehow copy it into an email when I had wi-fi access?

Most of my books are in epub, although I have a few in rtf. Would I be able to read them on the kindle, or would I need to convert them to something else? All my books are free books from the public domain, so if I needed to convert them that would be a simple matter for Calibre, I would think.

Oh, one other thing. Does the Kindle have a status bar at the top (or bottom) of the page? And if so, what information is on that? On my Pocket Pro when I'm reading something in Adobe Digital Editions, there is no status bar. When when I'm using CoolReader there is an optional status bar that can display the name of the book, the page I'm on out of how many total, and the time. I find that very handy, as I have a tendancy to get carried away with my reading and forget to take a break now and then to do whatever it is I need to do. But with the clock there, I can keep an eye on how long I'm reading. I also like the page number so I can have an idea how far I am through the book.

I think that's all I can think of for right now. If I have any other questions I'll let you know. I really want a kindle, but I'm also trying to convince myself that what I have is sufficient.

Thanks!

Edit: I just remembered one other question. How are the books displayed in the bookshelf? I've got 200-300 books. Would I have to scroll through all those, or can you put them in folders? Right now I have my books sorted by genre (sci-fi, classic, action, etc) so I've got about 5 pages of genre folders, then my books are in the different folders. Does that make sense? Is the Kindle similar, or how does it display the books?

Last edited by Davimee; 09-24-2010 at 05:45 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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I've never bothered to use the internet on the kindle, I have computers for that. It's really mostly for reading, don't think of it as an iPad-lite.

It's got a keyboard, but I wouldn't say it's nifty. I wouldn't trying writing anything more than a few words on it, but then again, I don't text on phones, either.

You can take notes on books, but you can't make your own text document from scratch. (At least not yet, there is an app store in the works and I would think a text editor would be an app in that).

Calbre converts epub and RTF to Amazon's format pretty well.

There's a status bar on the top when you first start reading a book, but it disappears after the first page (at least on a K3, apparently in K2 and below it stays). There is a small bar on the bottom indicating progress through your book.

It just shows books as a big list, unless you put them into collections (which are sort of like folders, but not actual folders). Then they are hidden in those collections (they can be in multiple collections).
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:05 PM   #3
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I can only answer a few of your questions; hopefully others will be able to take care of the rest.

Notes: Yes, it's possible to write up a document with the keyboard, but not convenient. You'd basically have to do it as an annotation to a book or text file already loaded on your Kindle. But your notes are automatically exported to the MyClippings.txt file on your Kindle, which you can copy to your computer as needed.

Epub/RTF: You would have to convert. The Kindle supports neither of them, although ePub can be converted with Amazon's free KindleGen and now Kindle Previewer tools.

Status Bar: Yes. I have a K2, but I've read that on the K3, the top status bar, which displays the book's title and the wireless strength (and optionally, the time) auto-hides once you start clicking the buttons to read, but you can get it to display again by clicking the Menu button. The bottom bar stays, and shows your percentage read/numerical "location" in the book, and with some books, little chapter navigation marks that you can use the 5-way controller to flick back and forth between.

Bookshelf display: It's a simple text list which reads:

Book Title May Be Cut Off By Ellipses If Very Long... Author Name
....... <- line of dots indicating how far you've read into the book

Next Book Title... Author Name
....... <- line of dots indicating how far you've read into the book

You can arrange your books into "Collections", which are really more like tags, but act as virtual folders to filter your books by whatever organization you choose. The way you describe your current setup is pretty much how the Kindle handles things once you've got the Collections set up. One drawback is that there's currently no way to do nested collections, so everything is top-level.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
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If you use Calibre as your book manager, the email function is priceless.....you can email any book you add to your K3 and get it within seconds. Its not a true 'browser', too clunky still.

There is a clock.

Calibre can also convert epub to mobi IF the books aren't drm'd......if they are, there are programs that can crack that.

the K3 is the least intimidating unit out there, and with the one year warranty, and great CS, a no brainer to buy.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
Davimee
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Thank you!

Thank you all for your replies!

JeremyR, I'm really not interested in web browsing, just email. But it sounds like I'm better off just doing email on my netbook. And thanks for the info on taking notes. There are times I wish I could take notes or highlight on my Pocket Pro, but it's not that big of a deal.

ATDrake, Ok, it sounds like the "collections" is similar to the folders I have. One thing I like about the Pocket Pro is that I can have several layers of folders, so I sort books first by genre, then have another folder under that for author or series.

desertgrandma, if I didn't have my ebook reader, I think I might go with the K3.

Thanks again for all your input! I think for now I will be content with what I have, but if I decide down the road to get another ebook reader, I will seriously consider the Kindle. Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:25 AM   #6
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Collections aren't really like folders, they are like tags. You can't create subfolders within collections. But you can put a given book in more than one collection.
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