Kindle Fire: A Review

I swore to myself that I’d never get a tablet because they are a royal waste of money and are useless. A Kindle Fire is not a tablet, though, just like any Kindle is not an e-book reader. It’s a lot more than that. Which is why I couldn’t say no to a Kindle Fire when I got it as a wedding anniversary gift.

My Kindle Fire is a thing of beauty, people. It’s a fantastic little device that does everything any other tablet does but costs a lot less. One of the greatest things about Kindle Fire is that it’s very small and light. You have to be quite an athlete to be able to hold, say, an iPad in your hand for longer than two minutes. Kindle Fire, however, is very easy to hold. It also fits into any regular handbag.

What I use my Kindle Fire for:

1. When I got my Kindle Fire, I immediately disconnected my television. All of the shows I watch are available for free through Amazon Prime, so there is no need to maintain an expensive TV subscription. I’m a huge fan of shows like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Top Chef, America’s Next Top Model, and Project Runway. I also sometimes watch One Tree Hill (yes, nobody is perfect). Now I can watch them on my Kindle Fire whenever and wherever I want. I only watch TV shows when I grade and as the end of the semester is approaching, I will now watch a lot of these shows on my Kindle Fire.

2. I can listen to a multitude of radio stations from anywhere in the world on my Kindle Fire. Now I just turn it on whenever I’m in my office and listen to talk shows from Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, etc.

3. The Amazon app store has apps for really amazing games (many of which are completely free). The games are colorful, complicated, and very entertaining. There are moments when one is so tired that even watching a TV show is too much of a strain. This is when playing a game on my Kindle Fire becomes a great way to relax.

4. There is also a free app that brings you all of your favorite newspapers for free. Kindle Fire is a tablet, which means that, unlike on other versions of the Kindle, you can read Cyrillic characters, so I can read papers in Russian and Ukrainian.

5. Kindle Fire doesn’t have a WordPress app which is available on an iPad. But it’s just as well because I find that app to be very useless. I can blog directly on my Kindle Fire from the Internet browser.

6. Since Kindle Fire is so small and light, I can bring it into the kitchen with me, turn on a video with a recipe I want to try, and watch it as I cook.

I’ve only had my Kindle Fire for a few days and already I discovered all these amazing ways to enjoy it. In the future, prepare yourselves to being bugged with more annoying gushings about how great my Kindle Fire is. ūüôā

What I don’t use my¬†Kindle Fire¬†for:

This tablet is good for everything except reading books. For the purposes of reading, you should buy any other version of the Kindle. Kindle Fire has a backlit screen, which makes reading books impossible. It is as painful for the eyes as reading on a computer screen. Also, the screen rotates with every move. This is great for watching videos but very annoying when you are trying to read.

So my old and trusty Kindle 2 will still be with me. I now often find myself clutching a Kindle in each hand, smiling beatifically as I try to decide which one to use. I think we will now have to buy a bigger bed to accommodate two humans and two Kindles sleeping in it. If anybody is willing to make an argument that co-sleeping with Kindles is an instance of Kindle-abuse, I’m always willing to listen. I wouldn’t want to traumatize my Kindles for anything in the world. (For the excessively earnest among us, this was a joke.)

What Blogging Has Done for Me

1. Allowed me to improve my writing skills in English.

2. Got me to forget about the horror of a blank page. Before I started blogging, it took me forever to begin writing a new piece. Now I just sit down and write. Writing has become second nature.

3. Introduced me to many extremely intelligent, cool, and fun people. Every time I read the new comments to my posts, my faith in humanity is restored.

4. Allowed me to meet fantastic colleagues in my field and other academic fields. I now feel a lot less isolated professionally and intellectually.

5. Helped me to reduce my blood pressure dramatically.

6. Provided company and a great support network. Now wherever I go, I always have my readers and fellow bloggers accompanying me. It’s like always having a group of friends in your pocket. (I mostly read and answer comments on my BlackBerry.)

7. Taught me that sharing my experiences with people can be very liberating.

8. Gave me a new identity as a blogger. And it’s now one of my favorite identities.

9. Banished boredom from my life for good.

10. Helped me generate many important insights. You never know where you will arrive when you start thinking or arguing about any topic.

And what has blogging (either your own or that of others) done for you?

Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Not a¬†huge¬†collection of links¬†today¬†because I didn’t have time during the week to do a lot of blog reading. Feel free to share your own. I promise a much better link encyclopedia next week.

The moment I start blogging about Tolstoy, my blogroll becomes populated by other people’s posts on the same author. Here is a really good one.

An update on DSK.

The heroic work of escorts at Louisville abortion clinic.

The ideology of dressing to attend the gym. A very insightful post.

Hugo Schwyzer writes a good, intelligent article for a change.

Masturbation and motherhood. I don’t think I’ve read a piece that made me sadder than this one in a while.

Another great and informative post on food.


I spoke to my sister, checked my blog, poured myself a glass of port, looked in on N. who is playing a video game in the study, looked at the pile of books I still have to read, and realized that I am the happiest person in the universe.

This has been a very hard-won instance of happiness for me. I can’t tell you, guys, how much work it took to get here. I always knew that the only normal state for a human being is that of unadulterated bliss, and now I finally have it.

Now I have a question that I’m very much afraid to ask. How is having children of one’s own likely to add to or detract from this state of bliss.