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The Week in Geek: My Kindle Dilemma

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Every time I bring up the subject of wanting a Kindle, someone inevitably mentions, “There’s an app for that.” They’re right, of course. It’s a small download, minimal fuss to get it set up the way I want it on my Android phone, and I could be off and reading.

Therein lies the problem.

Where my phone is concerned, I try (often without success) to define it purely as a communications device. Yes, I have Angry Birds installed, yes, I have Words with Friends installed, yes, there may even be the phone equivalent of an MMO on my phone. The thing is, I want desperately to keep my gaming as completely removed from the device that resides in my pocket throughout the day.

It’s not some stubborn attempt to keep my phone “pure” or a misguided attempt to ignore the fact that mobile gaming has finally become a reality on the device I hold to my ear to speak to my mother.

It’s a simple reason. I’m a gamer and having a device that doubles as an effective gaming platform (and is with me pretty much 24/7) would completely kill my productivity should I ever delve too far into those delicious gaming apps.

I’m also an avid reader. I consume books in their entirety in one sitting if I am left to my own devices. I will use a day off to do the proverbial “curl up with a good book” and look up only to see that, in the case of the really good books, my entire day has been spent flipping pages.

In the case of mobile gaming, I have my Nintendo DS. It resides almost permanently in my backpack that goes with me everywhere and it makes appearances in the open on long trips, lunches where I have to remain in my office, and, sadly, the occasional trip to the bathroom. It suits my needs perfectly but, for whatever reason, when it comes to work, I am able to set it down and enter a productive state.

Now, my phone is a fairly permanent accessory. It sits on my desk so I can readily grab it and respond to text messages from my family, friends, and co-workers. I use it throughout the day to check my various email accounts. It’s a constant presence throughout the day and it can quickly become a distraction without me realizing it.

So, having a reader on my phone is not a question of when it would become a problem in regards to my productivity but how much it would interfere with it.

The ability (thus far) to keep my gaming as separated from my phone as much as possible has been mainly due to the possession of a portable gaming device. I believe this would be the case should I buy a Kindle, a device made purely for the consumption of the written word.

And yes, I could go out and buy an iPad, I know some of you are thinking that right now, but why would I spend that much on a device that would eventually come to serve multiple purposes, the very thing I am trying to avoid.

The convenience of a device that could hold my entire library in a sleek and slim package is also a draw for me. I inevitably carry too many books with me on long trips, which tends to weigh down my luggage. I know I’ve mentioned this aspect of the e-reader’s draw for me before

In effect, the only hesitance I have in this matter is the price tag. It’s not that it’s too high but I find myself thinking that $180 could buy me a lot of paperbacks…

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