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Reading: iPad vs. Kindle

Max Al Farakh

I’ve always wanted to buy a Kindle, mostly because, you know, all other geeks have it and really like it. At the same time, purchasing a Kindle while already having an iPad seemed like an overkill to me. Well, at least I thought so before reading the latest DHH’s post on 37signals blog:

Instead of killing the Kindle, the iPad just killed my desire to read books. From the time I got the first iPad until I rediscovered the Kindle this Christmas, I don’t think I finished a single book.

I realized, that I had the exact same problem. I’ve been struggling to read Steve Jobs’ bio for a month, and I haven’t read even a quoter of the book, although it is very interesting and incredibly well written. So, I went and bought a non-touch Kindle 4 yesterday. Wow! I can’t stop reading ever since.

When you’re reading on an iPad, the whole internet is just a few taps away, while Kindle shows you just the things the real book shows you: the text itself and your progress through the book (you can always estimate how many pages left in the real physical book). I think that’s the main reason causing such a great difference in the reading experience. Kindle is a distractions-less and, with it’s sluggishness, even zen-like device.

Kindle fits in the inside pocket of my jacket, it is really light and cheap. You can take it anywhere without being afraid to lose it, it’s not a big deal at all, just go get a new one. Can’t say that about a $500 iPad.

iPad is much better for reading RSS and magazines, but for books (and Instapaper, i guess) Kindle is way ahead. I’m reading again and, damn, it feels good.