What really makes the Kindle special

Now, these comments can apply to any eBook reader with a built-in dictionary, but I have just recently come to appreciate how special the integration of a book and a dictionary is. Since my acquisition of two Kindles this year, I have been using them extensively for both technical reading and reading for pleasure. At the same time, I am an avid audio book reader, since I spend a significant amount of time commuting from home and between business facilities. I also read books and magazine in legacy formats. The Kindle ebook, audio book and regular (paper!) book reading experiences have now hit home the power of instant education associated with highlighting a word in text and getting a definition on the spot. I absolutely can think back to times in the past where I have read a word, (or heard a word in the case of an audio book) and, although I had a good idea of the meaning based on past exposure to the word and due to context, I would have checked the “real” definition had it been simple and “real-time”. Now, with the integration of the dictionary with text in the Kindle, it is as easy as toggling to the word with the Kindle joystick and the Oxford American Dictionary definition pops up at the bottom of the Kindle screen. I now find myself checking words on a regular basis to validate my knowledge and to add to it, since definitions sometimes have subtleties which are not necessarily learned through casual exposure. The Kindle is not just an eBook reader, if used with the built-in dictionary it can foster learning and expand knowledge – this can be a real boon to students and professionals and casual users alike.

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