Playing with (the) Fire

by Gwen


I know, the book world is all ablaze with the “Amazon is evil” theme right now and I am indeed playing with fire by raising my hand to tell you that I bought a Kindle Fire. (Well, really, it was a gift, but I asked specifically for it, so same difference)

There were many reasons for me choosing the Fire and continuing my relationship with Amazon.

  • I already had a Kindle Keyboard that I loved and therefore, the books bought for that one would transfer easily.
  • I have an iPod touch that I use often and really wanted something like that, but with a bigger screen.
  • I already had Amazon Prime because I like my McCann’s Oatmeal by the case. Now I can watch free streaming movies and TV shows on the Fire.
  • To say that my budget is limited is an understatement.
  • There aren’t any independent bookstores near me. There are a couple used ones that I do go to once in a blue moon. Sure, I could drive the half hour to Barnes & Noble, pay for parking, and all that, but I don’t go into town that often for anything.

The Fire fulfills a need that I had, for a price that I could justify and seamlessly meshes with what I already own.

The Review

The Fire is a great entry-level tablet with the added customer support that all of the other low-priced tablets can’t even begin to match. While the low amount of onboard storage space concerns me a tad, the reality is that I just don’t need all of my books, videos, and music on a portable device at one time. (Even my Kindle Keyboard got sluggish when I had it loaded to the gills, so I have learned that less is better)

So far, it has been able to do everything that my Touch could do and more. That is what I wanted and needed. The Amazon App store is still a bit limited, but I can sideload apps from other places easily.

The reader app itself is the only thing that I think needs a bit of improvement. Since the Fire isn’t a 100% dedicated reader, the experience is more like using the reader apps that you may already have on your phone, PC, or iPod. It isn’t as full featured as my actual Kindle Keyboard.

Many have whined that it doesn’t have parental controls and therefore it is easy for Betty Sue or Billy Bob to buy books and videos that aren’t age appropriate, or for that matter to buy anything to their hearts content. I don’t have kids, so this isn’t an issue. However, I would feel comfortable handing this over to my step-grandkids without a problem. Since they aren’t genetically related to me, they are smart and know that when they click a button that says “buy” they are buying something.

So, have you made the jump to a tablet/iPad? What are your thoughts? Have any questions for me? Want to rant at me for supporting Amazon? Want to know why McCann’s oatmeal is the best?

8 Comments to “Playing with (the) Fire”

  1. Is it bad that every time I see “Amazon” it catches my eye? (And that I first think “books” not “river”?) I can’t help but like them (they just keep making good choices, curse them!), and I disproportionally buy from them more than anywhere else. So I probably won’t be ranting against them (or the river).

    As much as I love them (I own a Kindle), I have to admit that I think the Nook is kicking them around the block right now. Both their tablet and ereaders are–to me–much better, which is why I was really interested in this post of yours. And as it turns out, I also agree with you. Even if the Nook is winning, IMO, Amazon will always come back fighting, and will invariably end up being the better choice. (I must learn from history.)

    I’m glad you like the Fire, and I look forward to seeing what Amazon does with the second generation Fire, and what you will think about it.

  2. WOW! So glad to “see” you!

    You are right Amazon, just like The Amazon, will always be there and will continue the flow of good stuff. Like you, I usually wait for at least the 2nd gen of things, but just couldn’t hold back on this one. I had been crying every night, staring at my iPod and wishing that it was bigger, but couldn’t afford the jump to an iPad. It was time.

    I will continue to be your guinea pig, okay?  

    So far, storage isn’t an issue and that is the only thing that made me wary. 

  3. McCann’s is the only oatmeal worth eating, in my opinion…so no ranting from me. And dude…I so hear you on our lack of indies. It’s depressing.

    So enjoy your new toy!

  4. Maybe it is time for a road trip to Chaucers?? Can Danielle and I fit in the Ghia with you and Hamburger? LOL.

  5. Any time you want to go to Chaucers I’m in! I’ll even drive. (My Honda, though.)

  6. I’m totally into the smell. Been sniffing mine all the time. 🙂

  7. Hey Gwen…my sister got a kindle for Christmas, too. I like it. Keeps her quiet, kind of like her own chew toy. LOL
    All the best to you in 2012.

    What’s the first book that you’re reading in 2012? I’m reading the New York Times Annual of Obits for 2011. Hey – don’t know it until you tried it!

  8. I love that, it is a chew toy. Problem is that I has been keeping me quiet ever since I got it, very little blogging, commenting, or anything other than tweaking it and adding things.

    The obits can be interesting. Don’t laugh, but I read a hilarious book about Obits, called The Dead Beat. (by  Marilyn Johnson)

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