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Tech-savvy, and using the Kindle

By March 19, 2012December 8th, 20224 Comments

Silver surfers are reiterating that they are extremely tech- and web-savvy, keep up to date with new gadgets, and are far from ready to “be put out to pasture”.

Let us not forget that it was “our” generation who created the PC and the internet, and “our” generation who own many of the businesses that design and manufacture most of the electronics and related software in the world today.  We love technology, as we remember how we used to “do it by hard copy and Tippex”!  And in retrospect, that was hard work!

Are you a Kindle owner?    Last year, opened a discussion thread on one of their forums titled the “Average Kindle Owner’s Age”.  Although they are trying to reach a younger demographic, it would appear that many seniors are buying the Kindle for a variety of reasons.

For those that may not know, the Kindle is an electronic device for downloading, storing, and reading electronic books, known as e-books.  Developed by a company called Lab 126 which is a subsidiary of, the Kindle has instant wireless access to and their huge number of e-books.  You can also read newspapers, subscribe to magazines and blogs, and even play audio files such as MP3’s or audio books.

YEI spoke to some Kindle owners:

Maureen has had a kindle for a couple of years.  She finds it very light, compact and easy to carry and handle.  Being able to adjust the font is a huge advantage for her, as she can read so much more easily, especially at night.

Dee – on holiday in South Africa, from Ireland, does not use the Kindle itself.  She uses the Kindle application on her 3G Samsung Galaxy tablet (the equivalent of an Apple I-pad).  Dee has bought about  40 e-books so far and finds them generally quite a bit cheaper than “real” books.  She finds that they are ideal for travelling, as she can take a large selection of books to read.   The Kindle automatically takes you back to where you left off, and is very easy to search, if you wish to re-read something.  Having worked in technology, Dee has found it relatively easy to familiarise herself with both the kindle and the tablet, but she does believe that if you are able to use an ordinary 2G mobile phone, then you will be able to use the Kindle.

Janet has had a Kindle 2 ever since it became available in South Africa, and believes it is the second best present she has had, ever.  She has purchased about 20 books to date, at an average price of R90 each, although she says there are lots of bargains to be had.  She is re-reading the classics, and has bought all of the Bronte sisters novels for only $3 each.  The whole process of purchasing a book, downloading it from Amazon to appearing on the screen is easy and takes less than a minute.   Janet takes her Kindle everywhere – she even stands in line at Pick ‘n Pay and reads.   Janet loves her Kindle and does not believe she will ever buy a “book” book again!  She believes that there are a myriad of advantages to owning a Kindle:

  • It’s light and easy to handle, as slim as a pencil and easy to slip into your handbag.
  • Once you have set up your account with Amazon (you do need to be computer literate to do this), it is very simple to operate.
  • There is a huge choice of books available at a major cost-saving.
  • You  can download anywhere if you have the 3G model. Whilst on holiday, Janet downloaded a book while sitting on the beach!
  • It is perfect to go on holiday with – all your reading matter is in one place!
  • No more heavy “bricks’ of books to hold.
  • You can vary the print size to suit your eyesight.
  • You save on storage space.
  • The digital reader is a lot easier to handle for arthritis sufferers.
  • You can never lose a book because copies of all your purchased books are kept by Amazon.
  • Amazon frequently email Janet with the latest titles of books in which she may be interested ie crime, love stories, etc.
  • We save on trees.
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all school children and university and college students could have all their textbooks downloaded to their personal Kindle.  Every learner and student would have access to textbooks, and there would be no more heavy satchels!



  • TonyA says:

    Buy a Kindle? NEVER!
    That was before I was given one – I now own 2!! The greatest invention ever for a reader. I am never without a good read. I thought I would miss the paper versions but definitely not – I only miss the visits to the library. So the other day I went to the local library – found three books I would like to read – downloaded 1 [about 20 seconds] and put the other two in my wish basket. Now I have the best of all worlds. Tony

  • joanv says:

    I also received a Kindle for Christmas and thoroughly enjoying it.

    Does anyone know if one can borrow a book from another Kindle reader, and how do I enable this.

  • Jilly says:

    I completely understand the advantages of a Kindle and will probably have one within the next couple of years as I am an avid reader. However! Does this mean the end for the printed version in the not too distant future.? My small ‘library’ is filled with precious books, new and old, which I delve into and read again and again. Reading began at a very early age for me and the heady smell on opening a brand new book is so evocative. The frisson of excitement at the beginning of the new school year, when new text books were handed out … and birthdays always brought the gift of a new book. Sitting on the sofa between my two boys, reading ‘Kettleship Pirates’ and ‘The Yami of Yawn’, both beautifully illustrated. Nothing like it!

  • pensioner says:

    Kindle is a bit expensive if you are a fixed income pensioner and you have to read a lot of books before you have made up the initial expense. I have nothing against it but we have so many wonderful books on our shelves that I can never read all of them. Then there are the second hand bookshops and the charity sales where you pick up perfectly good books for five or ten Rand. Now add newspapers and sport on TV plus physical activity, real live conversation and socialising and I just can not imagine where you find the time and how you justify the cost?

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