We've been wanting one for a while. Our children, especially the older ones, are avid English readers. So avid, in fact, that they long ago exhausted their supply of English language books. Long ago. When we returned home from the States this summer, a good chunk of the weighty parcels we brought back with us were filled with books. They devoured their books in a number of weeks. We just can't physically keep up. The books are also quite hard to get here, and frankly, we ran out of space for more books ages ago.
To each of these challenges, the Kindle seems to be a perfect solution:
1. We can get books at the touch of a button. Too easy, in fact, if you ask me. But I guess Amazon is counting on that. No shipping.
2. There's no space or storage issues.
3. Even better, is that while the Red Dawn (or Red Bull, or whatever the Science Fiction series they love is called) series costs money, there are literally thousands and thousands of books that are available for free.
So, with a new Kindle available for shipment to Israel, I finally caved and bought a Kindle 3. At this point, we really love it.
To date, two of my children have read or are reading the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a book they probably never would have read in print form. Seems too old. But on the Kindle, it's actually a good book. Funny how that works. Moreover, for my eight-year-old, I was able to bump the font size way up so that the words on the page didn't overwhelm her, making reading a more manageable task for her. Even I have started to enjoy the device. I downloaded a book sample that seems poised to suck me in. I might just have to buy the whole book. As we use the Kindle more, I'm curious to see whether it's a fad, or whether it will really be a device that we use on an ongoing basis (like my iPod).
I also love the fact that this is a dedicated book reader. It's not a tablet where I have to worry that my kids are surfing the web or playing games. In fact, I told my children that they can use it without any time limits, with one condition: that they don't fight about it.
I doubt the Kindle can prevent that family problem. Oh, that's right. Amazon does have a solution to family fights about its book reader: They'd be quite happy to sell me another one.
Update: Two children have finished reading the Wizard of Oz, and have moved on. My daughter is now on the next book in the Oz series (I didn't even realize that there were more Oz books - and there are many more, and my son, who's in 6th grade, has started reading Great Expectations. By Charles Dickens.)