Amazon recently announced a bunch of new Kindle models, including one without a keyboard, and one that is almost a full-blown tablet. While the tablet model seemed like a natural progression, the thing that always impressed me about the Kindle, even if I didn't have one, was the e-ink screen. Put simply, it's like reading paper, and blows away the readability of an LCD screen.
The new cheapest model is only $79, "with offers," meaning it shows ads on the screensaver and in the main menu. I think it was another $20 to get it without those, but honestly, who cares? It doesn't get in the way of reading. I haven't bought a lot of books in the last two years, in large part because of the moving and desire to not add big heavy stuff to my life. I bought Diana a Kindle last year, and decided to take the plunge.
I bought the Steve Jobs bio as the first title, uploaded a technical book I had in PDF form, and I'm considering buying another one. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading on this thing. I tend to be a non-fiction guy, thus the bio, but I do like to read. I haven't done it nearly as much in my adult life, at least not purely for pleasure. It's like reading from a super clean book that weighs almost nothing. I really dig it.
At first, I tried reading via the iPad. It has a Kindle app, but I also get Wired that way. I'm not a huge fan of using it for reading. The LCD screen is not as sharp, and I think because it's backlit, it kind of wears on your eyes after awhile. Of course, it wouldn't work at all in the sun.
Gonch makes the case that it's not a great device because it only does one thing, which is funny because that's exactly the reason I think it's so great. With it coming so far down in price, and very obviously headed toward free, it's a no-brainer. It's just better to read with than an iPad. (Sidebar: I grossly underuse the iPad, too, but that's a post for a different day.)
I'm very happy with the Kindle, and look forward to doing a lot more reading than I used to.