Like any self-respecting reader, I have a healthy collection of books, and consequently an overflowing bookcase. I also live in Mumbai, where all the enemies of books namely, heat, dust, humidity and above all shortage of space exist in abundance. I try to keep my books well, without tears, creases, folds, dog-ears or any form of marking. Given that much of my reading takes place on the trains and stations of Mumbai’s local train system, this is far from easy to do, especially when one hand is occupied in desperately holding on to any available support for the duration of the commute. My success rate at book maintenance is beat lower too. The development of e-ink and electronic paper technologies has therefore been of great interest to me, and the growth of the e-book reader market too. The Amazon Kindle, now available in India and many other countries around the world, allows users to browse and download e-books directly on their device either over WI-FI or over WhisperNet, which connects to Amazon over wireless telephone networks such as GPRS/Edge or 3G. One can download e-books onto a computer and sync them with your Kindle, and there’s no need for itunes. The current edition of the kindle which I happen to see at one of stores here, offers 2 GB of storage, which is approximately 1,500 books. Now that’s a library I can easily accommodate in my Mumbai apartment. Though I have still not bought one, but what I could see with it in my hands at the store is that the viewing screen comfortable 6” and display as announced during its launch is exactly like ink on paper. As told and experienced by me at the stores it has an text to speech feature which reads out the text of an e-book through a onboard speaker which is very similar to PDF format that is in currency on our laptops or desktop. It also features a mp3 player. The file format is AZW that supports many readability enhancements on the Kindle namely page orientation, text size and others. It also protects PDF file format that are unprotected. Kindle is currently selling at INR 12,000. However, the e-books are required to be purchased separately which ranges nearly around USD 3 per book which INR 150. Hope you enjoyed the article!  

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