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I’ve only recently become the proud owner of the device that’s meant to transform the way we read – the Kindle.  I was among the many people I suspect who just loved books and didn’t relish the idea of staring at a screen for even longer than normal.  It was one of my problems with the device, like many most of my job involves sitting in front of a computer screen.  So the idea of coming home from work and looking at yet another screen apart from the television just didn’t appeal. In fact it was only when I noticed my mother seemed to be surgically attached to her Kindle that I started to have second thoughts.

They’re actually not expensive and the rival devices released from other manufacturers has driven the costs down even more.  I’m not even one of those technophobes who hate the idea of us all reading from an electronic device, books in themselves are not that important to me – merely the words they portray.  But I was still uncertain and unsure about how pleasurable it could be to read from a screen rather than a page.  I think the real moment I decided to try one was one evening when I finally discovered by reading this webpage – how to watch BBC on the Ipad, which as I am currently living in the USA was previously not possible.

So how was my first experience?  Well it involved a few little technology fiddles to get going, you have to associate an Amazon account with  the device.  However that doesn’t take too long and the process is fairly intuitive, even when the device is bought under a different Amazon account which mine was.  For anyone used to using a decent Smart phone or the iPad, then the menu is fairly clunky although that’s using the original basic one.  The new ones have touchscreens and other handy navigation features I believe.  So you use little arrows and the buttons on the side of the device to move around menus, it is a little bit like hard work especially when you want to buy something.

For expats though the choice becomes a bit simpler, especially if you’re starved of English books.  After all check what we have to do simply to watch the BBC on our computers –

It’s a bit of a nuisance but a price worth paying – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCj4b86wnoI

However the reality is that all you really need is to select a book and use the page back and forward to read it.  All the rest is best done on your computer, buying a Kindle version of a book can be done from your computer as normal.  Buy the book and it automatically gets synchronised with your device – it’s effortless and really simple to use.  But the real benefit to the Kindle is the screen, it’s really just like reading from a book. In some senses it’s easier as the Kindle is smaller and lighter than most books as well – plus you get to carry hundreds around with at the same time.  If you’re considering trying a Kindle or one of it’s alternatives, I urge you  to give it a try – they really do work well.