Kindle Review – At $189, You’d be a Chutiya Not to Buy this eBook Reader

(For SI Blog reader Kreacher)

In an era of 140-character Twitters and 10-paragraph Blogs, reading books has turned out to be a major casualty.

Who gives a f*ck for leisure reading, right?

Verily, a dying tradition.

Particularly, among our desi chutiyas who mistake ogling at pictures of Bollywood starlets’ thighs and tits for reading.

Alas, such are the times we live in.

What’s a Kindle?
Kindle is a compact hardware device sold by Amazon that lets you read eBooks.

Amazon is currently peddling Release 2 of the Kindle (the first version debuted in 2007).

For long, we’d mulled the purchase of a Kindle but never got around to it. Partly, because like cheap desis we felt the price was unjustifiably high.

But with its recent price reduction of the 6-inch version to $189, Amazon effectively made price a non-issue. Amazon also offers a 9.7-inch Kindle for $379 but the 6-inch version is the more popular version.

Kindle vs iPad
Even so, we were tempted by Apple’s iPad tablet device. We went to the Apple store in the mall and played with the iPad at length, drove the sales guy nuts and got all our questions answered.

Folks, we’ve got to tell you this – in sheer sex appeal the 9.7-inch iPad with its virtual keyboard beats the 6-inch Kindle with a regular keyboard by a mile by 100 miles.

Kinda like comparing that worthless twit of an actress Priyanka Chopra to say Jodie Foster or our new inamorata Jennifer Lawrence.

The iPad is backlit, which means you can read it in the dark, and scrolling to the next or previous page is so smooth. A small tap on the right or left of the text is all it takes to go to the next or previous page respectively. Just like on the new iPhone 4.

Also buying books on the iPad is a breeze.

The iPad offers full color display while the Kindle is still restricted to black and white.

Although our interest in the iPad was primarily as an eBook reader we knew we could also use it as a digital media entertainment device to play songs and movies or to even blog on it.

Alas, the iPad is not in stock. Not at Apple Store and not even at Worst Buy oops Best Buy (at least, not the 32GB WiFi-only model).

Keeping in mind the iPad’s non-availability, its higher price point and the significantly larger eBook content for the Kindle (672,000 vs 60,000 for iPad), we decided yesterday to go in for the Kindle.

KindleKindle eBook Reader
(Image: WSJ)

Smooth Ordering
We ordered our Kindle on the Amazon web site around noon Tuesday selecting the free 2-day delivery option.

Surprise, surprise, the UPS guy delivered our Kindle Wednesday, 24 hours earlier than scheduled. We guess it must have come from the Amazon warehouse located not far from our place.

After fumbling a bit, we opened the box and there it was the white-color Kindle along with a short user manual and a cord to charge the reading device and also to connect it to a PC for download/upload.

The device is slim, light (10.2 oz) and supposed to be able to hold up to 1,500 books. More than adequate for the little time left us.

Unless you are Abhishek Bachchan, it’s easy to figure out the Kindle’s menu and functioning in a few minutes. The key control buttons are positioned on the face of the device except for the power button and headphone socket, which are on the top and the volume control on the right.

We also ordered a case for the Kindle ($25) but we’ve yet to receive it.

* The biggest negative of the Kindle is that it is not backlit, which means you can’t read it in the dark.

While many have pointed that the iPad is hard to read in the sunlight we don’t think it’s an issue because most books are read indoor, not on the beach where you go to ogle at the bikini babes. 😉

* There’s no color and when you move from one page to the next there’s that irritating shift.

* No touch-screen capability.

* It’s not possible to quickly skip several pages by holding down the Next button.

* On a couple of occasions while we were trying to buy an eBook from Amazon the widget did not work and gave us the following error message:

Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again.

* Reading on the Kindle with its e-ink technology indoor is comfortable.

We read Samuel Johnson’s essay on Cowley in bed.

* When you set the Kindle down, it goes to sleep in a few minutes and after waking it up by sliding the Power button it returns to the page where you stopped. Nice.

* Bookmarking and note features (have yet to try the notes).

* Comes with a built-in 3G capability to buy books wirelessly.

* The text-to-speech feature works via the built-in speakers or the headphone. We tested this feature briefly and found it to be alright (but not spectacular).

* Buying books was easy, search and hit buy. We ‘purchased’ a few from the Kindle store at Amazon.

But all of them were free. The eBooks we ‘purchased’ include Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson, Plutarch’s Lives, Volume 1 and Gibbon’s Memoirs. Each of the ‘purchases’ took us about 30 seconds.

* Transferring eBooks downloaded to our PC for free from was a piece of cake.

Free eBooks we acquired from include Letters on the State of Christianity in India by Abbe Dubois, a French missionary who lived for 30 years in south India in late 18th and early 19th centuries. On the flip side, there are plenty of spelling errors, garbled words and line breaks in some of these free eBooks, like for instance in Letters on the State of Christianity in India.

* Satisfies the urge for instant gratification.

* Cheaper than hardbound bestsellers.

* Plenty of India-related historical eBooks that you can get for free including, yes, the Kamasutra. 😉

Overall,while the Kindle may not have the sex appeal and cachet of the Apple iPad, at $189 it’s a steal.

The Kindle works reasonably well and you desi chutiyas would be fools not to buy it.

Now, if you’ll excuse us we’d like to replenish our glass of Gin and Seltzer water. 😉

Related Stories:
Barnes & Noble Ups the Ante in e-Book Reader War, Puts Out Color Nook
Will Steve ‘Moses’ Jobs’ iPad Tablet Fly? Hmmm

20 Responses to "Kindle Review – At $189, You’d be a Chutiya Not to Buy this eBook Reader"

  1. vjcool   July 8, 2010 at 6:42 am

    ‘Predators’ review please. Responds:


    • abhi220   July 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Even I would appreciate if you would review predators. Currently its in my weekend calendar.
      Hope you have seen Adrien Brody in Pianist. Dont tell me you haven’t. Responds:

      We’ve only watched the award-winning French movie La Pianiste, not the English film Pianist. Read a few lines about Pianist on Wiki. Looks interesting.

      Will watch and review Predators soon.

  2. STG   July 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm


    Is any of these films (Tamil) releasing on your shore tomorrow…

    Anandhapurathu Veedu
    Banaa Kathadi

    All three films are from decent banners and thankfully different genre – supernatural-horror, romance and historical respectively.

    Any plans…? Responds:

    Madarasapattinam is releasing here.

    We might watch it if we find a sponsor. 😉

    • STG   July 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      you say…We might watch it if we find a sponsor.

      I know. I know 😉

      but I am skeptical about Madarasapattinam. It might be either good or extremely worst. So its safe to skip if there is no sponsor.

      I might watch Ananthapurathu Veedu. From S Pictures (Sankar’s banner – remember ‘Eeram’ horror-charmer?) and the director is Naga (famous for his Marmadesam and Vidaathu Karuppu super-natural soaps)…keeping my fingers crossed.

      Further, I watched the trailer while watching Kalavaani last week and found it interesting.

      You ask me about Kalavaani?
      Well…as usual you missed another nice lighthearted-film which kollywood churns out once in a blue moon. I had a wholesome laugh throughout. Responds:

      We don’t think Anthapuram Ananthapurathu Veedu is making it here. Nor did Kalavaani.

      • shadowfax_arbit   July 9, 2010 at 4:05 am

        Me too. Thoroughly enjoyed Kalavani. It was awesome. A good Tamil movie after a LONG time. Responds:

        We’re gonna watch a (hopefully) nice non-Indian movie this weekend.

        Watch this space. 😉

      • chennaiarun2007   July 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

        Madrasapattinam has released here today(9th July)and as of now running to “packed houses!!”.

        the reviews have been “overwhelmingly positive”





        A completely different view as well:


        As of now,the reviews have not been “too mixed”.If the audiences show the “middle finger(in your words)” to this film,it would be an epic disaster as the budget of this film is too huge!!

        The director of this film Vijay has a brilliant track record as of now,having two back to back hits in “Kireedom” and “Poi Solla Poram”.Hope he does not goof up this time. Responds:

        1. Just returned from Predators. 2:58PM ET.

        In no mood to drive 250 miles (400 KM) to watch Madraspatinam. Plus, we haven’t lined up any sponsors.

        2. Was Kireedom really a hit?

        • STG   July 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

          you say… Was Kireedom really a hit?

          As far I remember, Kireedom release was postponed due lack of theaters, thanks to Sivaji which occupied all the theatres and all the shows(many films faced this issue at that time).

          When it was finaly released, it met with mixed reviews comparing to its original Malayalam version but box office results werent so good. Its an average-grosser. But two of the songs become chart busters upton its release (Akkam pakkam and Vizhiyil).

          Poi solla poram – it was a sleeper hit. Made with shoe-string budget, it met with critical acclaim and box office success.



          Working on Predators review. BTW, did it make it to Mera Bharat Mahaan?

          • STG   July 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

            Reporting from Chennai for SI blog… 😉

            I guess its not released here. However, The Last Airbender (Ulaga Nayagan – title for dubbed version in Tamil!) and Knight and Day released today.



            Ulaga Nayagan, ha ha ha. The movie was torn to shreds by the critics here.

    • STG   July 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      Update: Banaa Kathadi release was postponed to July 30 due to non-availability of theatres Responds:


      Not that much into Samantha Ruth Prabhu. 😉

  3. boopalanj   July 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    “Unless you are Abhishek Bachchan, it’s easy to figure out the Kindle’s menu and functioning in a few minutes.”

    LOL! Responds:

    Abhishek Bachchan is strangely quiet these days. Wonder why? 😉

  4. vjcool   July 9, 2010 at 2:07 am

    check this out

    the other composers can be found on the menu on the right Responds:

    Seen this link before.

    Gandhiji (SI blog reader), who’s now AWOL, posted it a couple of years back.

    • kreacher   July 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

      Seen this link before.

      Yup – I guess I had provided it:

      Glad you liked the Kindle. I am on a mission to have as many people as possible purchase it. Responds:

      1. Apropos of the Kindle, the India-related free books we’ve downloaded at leave a lot to be desired. The foreign books (Samuel Johnson, Gibbon, Macaulay et al) are not bad.

      2. BTW, iPad (WiFi versions) are still out of stock. At least in the local Apple and Best Buy.

      Find it odd. Very odd.

      Are the WiFi-only iPad versions easily available in your area (assuming you’re back in the country)?

    • முனிAndy   July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      kinda busy! Responds:

      Us too. Ginning away to martyrdom. 😉

      • முனிAndy   July 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm

        I am Jägermeistering.. Jai Responds:

        Maybe, we’ll try it this weekend if we can get it at our Patel liquor store.

        A change from ginning up a high.

        Watched Dark Knight again yesterday. Liked it better this time.

  5. logu   July 9, 2010 at 6:06 am

    He’s “Still” in demand as the link suggests, Responds:

    The link is not loading. Could be a temporary glitch. We’ll check again later.

    • kreacher   July 9, 2010 at 11:49 am

      Could be a temporary glitch.

      When Tendulkar scored the ODI 200 Cricinfo’s servers went down. I guess AB Jr’s feat of still being in demand is comparable in magnitude, hence warranting extreme contingencies. Responds:

      Ha ha ha.

  6. raghavendrav   July 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I got a 6″ Kindle and returned the same cos the pages were cropped to the right even at the smallest font size available.. I ordered a 9.7″ and should be delivered tomorrow let me how the same book appears on it.. Responds:

    Strange, we’ve read bits and pieces of several books (all free, of course…some ‘purchased’ from Amazon and others acquired from

    Never encountered the problem.

    What was the offending book?

  7. முனிAndy   July 29, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Now that the new kindle is going to sell at 139$, make it is time for me to take up reading??? Responds:

    Spoke to Amazon last night…We’re returning our older model/case today and will get the new one.

    BTW, the $139 version is a very good deal (with this model you can buy stuff only on Wifi but not a serious constraint).

    • முனிAndy   July 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      “Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)”.. am interested to know how good that will be. Responds:

      If you are looking for web browsing, iPad is the device.

      • முனிAndy   July 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

        iPad is 4 times more expensive… i’d rather get a hannsbook for 250.. iPad is definitely not in my radar. Responds:

        Now that we’ve returned the old one, we’ll probably get the WiFi version and a leather case with built-in light feature.

        1900 is pretty good. Watched about 40 minutes so far. Classy film.

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