By May 10, 2012 Read More →

Kindle for Mom

Kindle for Mom

“A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” — Author Unknown

One of the best gifts I got my Mom is the Kindle Touch 3G . It’s a gift that keeps on giving.  She uses it all the time, and now I can easily get her books as gifts for the holidays, like Mother’s Day.

I’ll share my Kindle review experience here.  I’ll also share my thought process.  My experience might help you perform your own Kindle review, whether as a gift, or for yourself.

There are a lot of Kindle reviews, but I actually had a hard time figuring out what really mattered until I had a specific scenario to test against.  Buying the Kindle as a gift for my Mom, really put things in perspective, and helped me prioritize and choose which Kindle to go with.

Here’s the surprise — I never imagined getting my Mom a Kindle.  My Mom LOVES to read.  And by love, I mean books are really her thing.  But she’s not a gadget person, and she especially does not like computer screens.  The glare hurts her eyes.  And because she doesn’t like computers, I figured I would never get her a Kindle.

I was wrong.  It turns out, the Kindle is a better experience than printed books, even for my Mom, who has grown up reading paperbacks and hard-covers.

The Kindle Experience vs. Print

My Mom likes the feel of a book in her hands.  She also likes turning the page.  What she doesn’t like about physical books is going to get them.  She doesn’t like when it’s hard to read the book because the font is too small, or not very clear.  She likes to read outside, but not when the Sun glares off the paper.

So the big advantages of the Kindle over paperback books turned out to be getting books at home and the Kindle is easier on the eyes, and in many cases, the Kindle is actually lighter than the physical books my Mom reads.  The other obvious benefit, which didn’t matter as much to her, is that her books are now stored in the cloud.  This means less clutter and her books are available wherever she goes.

Kindle Review at a Glance

How did I walk through choosing the right Kindle for my Mom.  As part of my Kindle review, I walked the scenarios and experiences that my Mom cared about the most.  Basically, I wanted to get my Mom an e-Reader that is optimized for reading books.  And I wanted to get her free 3G, since she doesn’t have Internet at home. This helped me rule out options.

These are the Kindle options I walked through:

Key Choices During My Kindle Review

As you can see, the main choices really come down to the following key choices:

  1. Tablet vs. E-Book Reader. Do you want the Kindle Fire, which is more like a tablet, or do you want just an e-book reader (all the other Kindle options.)
  2. Connectivity.   Do you want to connect with Wi-Fi or free 3G.  (3G is a brilliant feature if you need it.)
  3. Interaction.  Do you want to interact using touch, keyboard, or the original Kindle 5-way controller?
  4. Price.   Once you’ve narrowed down what you want, it’s really a game of what you can afford, and whether you want to pay more to avoid ads, and what you are willing to pay for in terms of features.  In my Mom’s case, I really needed to go 3G, since she doesn’t have Internet.

Whenever I got lost among the options during my Kindle review, I came back to the key points that my Mom needs 3G and that she needs E Ink for her best reading experience.

Options I Ruled Out During My Kindle Review

Here is how I ruled out the options during my Kindle review to narrow down my choice for my Mom:

  • I did NOT rule out a Kindle just because of ads.  I was originally worried about getting a Kindle with ads, but they are tastefully done.  I asked my Mom if she cared, and she didn’t.  This is a nice way to get a cheaper Kindle.
  • I ruled out the Kindle because it didn’t come with free 3G.
  • I ruled out the Kindle DX because it was too big and no longer felt like a book.
  • I ruled out the Kindle Keyboard options.  This was not a bad option.  But my Mom did not plan to take a bunch of notes, and the touch is actually a nice experience.  I also ruled it out because it wasn’t in the store, and I would have to order it online.  Ordering online would have been fine except I needed it that same day (Long story short, I found out my Mom already had the gift I got her, so I was trying to get the Kindle, since I knew she didn’t have that.)
  • I ruled out the Kindle Fire.  It’s not E Ink and it would not be as easy on her eyes.  Also, she just wants to read books, not play movies or songs.

That left the Kindle Touch as the main option.  And what a great option it was.

Why the Kindle Touch

The Kindle Touch 3G turned out to be the perfect experience for my Mon.  It feels good in her hands.  She can turn the page with her finger tips.  She can change the font size to make it easier to read.

She doesn’t take notes in books, otherwise, a keyboard option might have been better.  I liked the idea of getting 3G, since my Mom doesn’t have Internet.

So How Does Mom Like Her Kindle?

My Mom loves her Kindle.  She loves it.  A lot.  I had to ask her again why she loves it so much.  It turns out that the E Ink is a really big deal and so is the ability to change the font size.  I didn’t imagine that she would really use it, but she does, and it’s much easier on her eyes, than her paperbacks.

I really have to thank Amazon here for helping my Mom continue to enjoy her favorite passion — reading books, and taking it to the next level.

Check Out the Kindle Touch on Amazon

Here is the Kindle Touch 3G page on Amazon:

The Kindle Touch 3G page on Amazon includes a list of the features at a glance, technical details, a comparison chart of Kindles, E Ink 101 (a quick overview of E Ink), detailed feature descriptions, customer reviews and discussions.

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4 Comments on "Kindle for Mom"

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  1. Alik Levin says:

    Wonderful review. You have got me thinking now. I like how you covered experience and the pricing aspects, very useful.
    Thank you

  2. JD says:

    @ Alik — Thank you.

    I figured walking the experience would shed some light. I really was surprised and I never imagined that my Mom would want a Kindle. I underestimated the readability factor, the lightness of it, and the book collection at your finger tips.

    The Kindle has been great for me, but now I know it’s great for Mom, too.

  3. Hi JD,

    This is something that I have been thinking about getting myself. You explain this very good and I thank you. Now i would like it for reading, but most likely for taking notes too. I like the fact that you could make the print larger. Sometimes my eyes can get tired from reading. Which one would you thing was best for me?

    Also with the Kindle do you have to just get your books from Amazon or can you download from your own PC too? Do you have to have a carrier for it. You know like cell phones have your carrier, Verzion, ATT etc. llok forward from hearing from you.

    thanks again for the info. Have a great weekend and blessing to you,
    Debbie

  4. JD says:

    @ Debbie — Great questions.

    If you’re optimizing for your eyes, I think that helps you narrow down to Kindle, Kindle Keyboard, or Kindle Touch for the E Ink. My Mom has the Kindle Touch, but she doesn’t take a lot of notes. I have the Kindle Keyboard 3G, and I do take a lot of notes. They’re both good experiences, so I think the key is to take them for a test-drive. I test-drive them at Best Buy, and I walk through scensrioa, like holding in my hands, taking notes, flipping pages, etc.

    Kindle is really optimized for Kindle/Amazon. You can get books from Libraries too, if the Library uses OverDrive. The Nook and iPad are more open in that you can get apps to read Kindle.

    The big thing that really helped me decide was that I wanted Amazon to be the storage for my books in the cloud. Also, I wanted something for just reading books effectively. For me, a big facxtor for effectiveness is focus.