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To Kindle or not...that is the question
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John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
carrying on 05/31/2012 08:07:18 MDT Print View

i stuff mine in a bubble insulated paper mailing envelope roughly the same size as the Kindle and pack in between down items with no damage issues.

Scott Simcox
(Simco) - F

Locale: Nashville
yes. on 05/31/2012 10:01:47 MDT Print View

As long as you don't drop it, there's nothing that can beat an e-reader.
The 6 oz Kindle 4 should be the lightest option, unless I'm mistaken. With it, you get the pdfs (or specific ereader) maps and a book or two or hundred to take while you're out.
Other ereader choices, including heavier Kindles, even give you the option of having music with you, too.

The only argument I can see someone having against this technology is if they feel compelled to romanticize the paper medium. And while that doesn't make any sense to me, I know it matters to some.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
Kindle on 05/31/2012 10:28:38 MDT Print View

My wife & I like our Kindle. She takes it on the trail regularly. If I'm going solo, I rarely do. We keep it in a padded carrying case. We turn off the Wifi so it doesn't constantly search for a signal (battery drain). Being frugal, we use our local city library to access downloadable books for free. For 14 days, you get to read a book (or books) for free. We've also used to download itineraries and other info on our trip (not just backcountry stuff). Amazon also allows for free downloads of 'classic' books (e.g. Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, etc.).

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 11:51:53 MDT Print View

My first Kindle just died... it was 1-1/2 years old and had been in the Grand Canyon 3 times, Mexico twice, plus half-dozen short backpacking trips. I'd made a simple fleece envelope for it but didn't do much to protect it beyond that. It had small hairline cracks at all four corners of the screen.

Only issue I ever had was on a hike that got below freezing in the late-afternoon when I was trying to read. Froze up completely. But I used the hard-reset procedure after the hike and it worked just fine again.

All in all, I think I got my money's worth and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again (and probably will.)

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
library books on kindle on 05/31/2012 11:54:19 MDT Print View

I check out library books on my kindle touch. As long as you don't synch your kindle (wirelessly or 3g) your library books will remain on the kindle indefinitely. I tend to just leave the wireless off and transfer books to the kindle from my pc through usb. This keeps the kindle from checking to see if library loans have expired.

I got the kindle touch thinking that I might use the browser on occasion (over wi-fi), but I have found that it is pretty cumbersome to do much productive with it. It has it's benefits and could be used to check out books from the library and check email and such, but it isn't a great experience.

The touch also has headphone jack, mp3 player, speakers, and the capability to do text to speech. The touch has a 30 hour battery, compared to the 15 hour battery in the kindle 4. The touch interface is nice, but it is slow. I used the regular kindle 4 for a while and found that I preferred its interface.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 12:26:08 MDT Print View

Hi Sumi,

If you contact Amazon they will give you a new one a discount if you send in your faulty one.

P.s Ann Arbor rocks :-)

Edited by stephenm on 05/31/2012 12:27:53 MDT.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 12:31:51 MDT Print View

Hey Stephen, tell me more! I've got a dead kindle too.

Carter Young
(kidcobalt) - M

Locale: Western Montana
Kindles and cold weather on 05/31/2012 13:21:13 MDT Print View

I read my Kindle on the chairlift while skiing--put it in a plastic sandwich bag and you're good, except with thick gloves it is difficult to push the "on" button, especially when the Kindle is in the bag. In a blizzard, it's hard to read a conventional book because the snow gets down in the crack between pages.

I've never had any problem with this daytime activity even when the temps were down to 5F, but out camping has been another matter. If the Kindle is left in sleep mode and the temps are below freezing, by the morning it will either say that the battery is low, or it will be completely locked-up. I've tried warming it over a stove, but to no avail. But when I charge the frozen Kindle, it recharges quickly, leading me to believe that it is not the battery that was drained, but rather something in the operating system that reacts poorly to cold weather and shuts down to protect the device. The solution is, of course, to sleep with the Kindle in your sleeping bag.

There are some things I miss about paperbacks: you can use them to start fires, swat mosquitos, and give/lend them to others. Also, with a Kindle you can't write snarky comments for the next reader to see, such as: "He escaped through the back door of the Pinto"--Pintos never had back doors.

Edited by kidcobalt on 05/31/2012 17:30:41 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 14:34:07 MDT Print View

I love my kindle, its the only non-paper presentation of text I can read and retain well.

I read mostly technical literature, and being able to upgrade forever for an additional $5 is nice.

The battery life is incredible compared to other technologies.

I collect literature that i want, but 80% of my purchases this year have been digital. The paper has been mostly out of print books that capture a brief era that I got to experience that I just want to have. Mostly illustrated texts.

I'm already sure to be an early adopter of what ever for Amazon uses their recent purchase of color e-paper screens.

Kindle or Nook is the way to go. With the new Nook having the built in lighting on the unit, it might be the way to go if One hasn't invested in either set up.

I think the Nook might display pdf content better, the kindle works, but I haven't been overly impressed with the display options.

Edited by redmonk on 05/31/2012 14:35:55 MDT.

Thomas Fischer
(hankmeyer) - F
Take the nook :) on 05/31/2012 15:08:41 MDT Print View

I cycled the States and I craced my cindle after the bag felt on a rock.

I bought then an Nook and I did really love them. The UI was much bether and with the memory card slot All my ebooks went on the device.

But... I craced my nook as well (luckily still in the states so I could get another one).

So Yes Take one of these, but protect the display. Now i put a small hardplastic sheet on top of the screen and put it in the nook neoprene cover.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 17:27:34 MDT Print View

I love reading on my Kindle, and have read nearly all my books for the last two years on it, but one very big drawback with digital reading devices is that it is very difficult to read books like guides or manuals. When you need to go back and forth easily between pages, for comparisons and re-reading certain passages and skimming, while it is possible, it is clunky and takes far too long. Linear books like novels and travel accounts work great, but I hate reading educational material with the Kindle.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 19:31:40 MDT Print View

Miguel, it seems like those issues could be resolved easily with software by adding features like split screens and better page navigation.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 20:03:52 MDT Print View

John, certainly. But that is not what the publishers have done. What has mainly been done is the cheapest possible transfer of the text, with minimum formatting, in many cases not even splitting up the chapters, and very often not even doing a good job with proofreading. The publishers are making big money off these simplified texts where they don't need to spend a lot of money on graphic designers and typographers and printers, but still charging nearly the same prices as hard copy books. It's quite a sham.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 05/31/2012 20:35:58 MDT Print View

I agree with you on that Miguel.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Paper or Plastic? on 06/04/2012 20:14:01 MDT Print View

I generally agree with Craig. I prefer paper books, and hard covers to be more specific. Most hard cover books are now going for up to $50 a piece. So most of my purchases the past few years have been Kindle. If it is a great book I then buy the paper version, because IMO a great book should be read several times.

Since I travel a lot, I use a 3G Kindle and on business trips and I may read several books (or parts of books) in a week. What is nice about the Kindle is that you can sync the Kindle with the application on a Smart Phone and a PC, so you know exactly where you left off. Also you can make notes, and even copy and paste passages from the books and your notes. You can PDF stuff and send it to your Kindle.

And I agree that the formatting is often horrible. Clelland's last book and Skukra's book were AWFUL in the Kindle version, especially Andrew's.

I don't take books or the Kindle backpacking.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Audio Books on 06/06/2012 00:50:46 MDT Print View

Here is another +1 for Audio Books. With a tiny UL mp3 player you can't be wrong. After all it's an UL backpacking we do. So it saves you on light (take the photon instead of heavy petzl or so) and also on the ebook reader itself. The drawback is if you fallen asleep, you drain your battery. Not an issue for me.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 06/06/2012 02:51:17 MDT Print View

Edited to delete duplicate post. See below.

Edited by JRScruggs on 06/06/2012 02:55:14 MDT.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 06/06/2012 02:52:55 MDT Print View

+1 for Audible books on MP3 player.

Especially an MP3 player that's powered by an AA or AAA battery since there's no outlets in the woods to recharge an internal battery device.

One MP3 line that's AA-powered is iRiver, if they still sell them.

Weight of an MP3 device (not counting battery) plus ear buds would be two ounces or so, versus six ounces for a Kindle.

Disadvantages of Kindle compared to MP3 player with Audible books: significant weight difference; internal battery of Kindle requiring electical outlet to recharge rather than replaceable AAA or AA battery for MP3 player; plus requirement of a battery-powered light to read the Kindle in the dark.

Even so, I'd take a Kindle when its weight (and battery usage for light) isn't a factor because reading rather than listening is enjoyable.

Of course, a paperback would be even better -- pages read make a good firestarter, and the weight gets reduced as you read.

Frank T
(random_walk) - F
Re: To Kindle or not...that is the question on 04/29/2014 17:34:35 MDT Print View

I think I'd be more inclined to take an e-reader if I had significant down time planned for reading. I have a Nook Simple Touch which has great battery life. I rooted it so it is a rudimentary Android tablet, including a Kindle App and a few other capabilities to make it more versatile as a reader. It also has web browsing and e-mail access if I'm connected to WiFi; that would be unnecessary if I carried a phone, though.

That said, my next hike is a 150-miler on the PCT with mostly 20-25 mile days, so not a lot of time for reading (I'm usually passed out an hour after dinner). I'm thinking the best option is my trusty Sansa Clip MP3 player with music and some audio books, a few photocopied pages from a guide book, and possibly the Halfmile PCT App on a cheap Android phone.