I love to read. Both my kiddos love to read. Our house is full of books. We also love our local public library. I was skeptical of this whole e-reader thing. I have tried to read a book on the computer and didn't like it at all. I do well to read a long article on the computer. I really wasn't sure that I would ever like an e-reader.
For my birthday, my mom gave me a Kindle. I started shopping on Amazon's site for free books. I loaded it up with plenty to read for our beach trip in May. I first had to read the newest Karen Kingsbury book, Leaving. After that was finished I picked up the Kindle. I had all my books right there. As soon as I finished one book, I started on the next one. I didn't have to dig in my bag or go back to the room for another book. I think it was easier on my eyes than a real paper book in that bright beach sunshine. I am totally hooked! I will never fully abandon books, but the Kindle is awesome!
My kids beg to read my Kindle. I set up collections for each of them on the Kindle as well. My 11 yr old started reading Great Expectations because it was on the Kindle. I don't think she would have even considered it if she saw the print copy.
For those of you that homeschool or take long car rides, the Kindle is a great solution. One device with the capability of holding 3500 books vs. a bag of reading material? You can hold all your books in one small place. It easily fits in your purse, backpack, etc. It also has the feature to rent textbooks for college now. Stuck in traffic, waiting for an appointment, whatever the case may be you have your books right there with you. I even have several translations of the Bible loaded on mine and have used it for church and Sunday School.
The Kindle is now available for as low as $114. I know that even that amount is too much for some families. For families that have avid readers, I think it would make a great gift for an older child. An initial investment, then for other birthdays, Christmas, etc. give a gift card so they can purchase additional books and / or games. There are so many free books available that you don't have to actually purchase books at all. They range from old classics to plenty of contemporary books. All genres have offerings for free books. A great site to help with this is www.pixelofink.com . They post freebies and bargain books every day. Better act fast though, because some of these are only available at free or bargain prices for a day or even a few hours. You can also load pdf files on the Kindle.
There are only a couple negative things I could say about the Kindle. But, even these things are not necessarily negative ~ depending on your preferences/use. Currently, the Kindle does not support the format used for reading of library loaned e-books. However, Kindle has announced that it will support this feature sometime later this year. While this will be a nice feature to have, I have found that most e-books that I want to "borrow" from the library are rarely available and have such long hold times, I opt for the print copy of the book instead.
The other negative feature is that while the Kindle does have web-browsing capabilities, it is difficult to get used to. If you are wanting to use your device for lots of web-browsing along with reading books, you might want a different device. If you are using your device primarily for reading books ~ Kindle is the way to go!