9/28/17

Come on baby, light my Fire: reading, listening and playing on my Amazon Kindle Fire (review)

A snappy review of Amazon's Fire 7 by @Lihsa

Come on baby, light my Fire: reading, listening and playing on my Amazon tablet
Amazon Fire 7 screenshot
of the cozy mystery,
The Case of the Fallen Hero
Admittedly, I am late to the game on buying an Amazon Fire. I’ve been cheating, downloading the free Kindle app onto all of my devices, even reading on my browser rather than buying yet another device. I couldn’t justify owning a laptop, a phone, a tablet and a reading device.

Amazon Prime Day

But then Amazon had its eponymous 2017 Prime Day last July (oddly, it fell on an even day).

For, not only am I a film buff, I am also an avid reader—you kind of have to be if you are going to play on social media because, well, that’s all it is: reading. Plus, I have to read a book once a day because it is the only way I can fall asleep.

Which leads me to why I ended up buying a Fire on Amazon Prime Day for the very low price of $30. My tablet was too big and my phone was too small for reading in bed. In true Goldilocks form, the Kindle Fire was just right.

Amazon Fire apps and features

And I’ve been super-happy with it. It fits easily into my hand. I like to give one final peek at my email and social media accounts, play one (yes, only one!) word game, then lull myself to sleep by reading some horrible cozy mystery—the book can’t be too good or it will keep me up at night. Thank goodness for free @BookBub downloads or I would be robbing the proverbial Peter to pay Jeff Bezos.

Fire and Alexa

The Fire also syncs up with Amazon’s Alexa and I love talking to her in the morning, telling her “good morning” to await her always chipper response. But I really love the news app, Alexa Flash Briefing. I’ve customized it to listen to apps and/or podcasts. My line-up is The Skimm, the Houston Chronicle—both the general and local sections,  Jimmy Kimmel Live Monologue, KPRC-2 Houston News, NPR, a Bible verse and the best part: The Daily from the New York Times.

The Daily from New York Times runs for 15 minutes, five days a week. Hosted by Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb), he interviews reporters and often reveals the back story on the biggest story of the day. Giving an insightful analysis of the top story du jour, you are treated to reporter insights you might not get from TV, the paper or radio.

Fire and light

So all of this sounds fantastic. But my library friend, Saskia (@sioslo), and I were discussing the pros and cons of using Fire as a Kindle reader and she had one final question: how easy is it to read outside? Does the glare get in the way?

So I ran a very scientific test to determine the Kindle’s legibility in daylight. I stood next to my office window and looked at my Fire. It was an easy read, both in the white background and the black background (the black background is my preferred mode since I read mostly at night). There is a glare but then I recommend wearing a big floppy hat to shade it, which you should be wearing anyways to protect yourself from UV rays.

So there you have it. My review and usage report on my Amazon Fire.

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