Friday, June 11, 2010


I had balked at the first Kindle that came out, and just shook my head each time it was staring me in the face when I would log in to shop at Amazon. I felt that nothing could replace a good old fashioned book. However other things have since come into play and now an E-Reader has become a most sensible choice: 

  • I'm using Robinson curriculum which basically uses older out of print books. So my options are that I must print the books myself,  have the kids read on the computer, try to find them used, try to find reprints or have to replace many of the books with books I could easily purchase. The books are mostly all available for free online for print or download but again the reading on the computer factor or printing comes into play. 
  • Space is an issue if I opted to print all the books. As well as the cost of printer and ink and paper, and report covers or binders (which is how I would bind the books, the lazy way LOL). Where would I store everything? As our bookshelves are already well stocked. 
  • I love the idea of having so many books in such a small compact area. I did a test run using Kindle for Iphone and loved that.
So we opted to give the Kindle a try. My 8 year old is very responsible with her items and we felt she would take good care of it. It's a bit steep at a price tag at $259, however when I add up what I spent in one year of homeschooling using materials for just one year, I exceeded the price tag of the Kindle. And I didn't end up with 1500 books on my shelf. So when I looked at how many books I can store on the kindle, all free books of course, the price tag of $259 (the price has dropped on or about 6/20 or so to $189)seems to be very cheap for all the material it will hold. 

My 8 year old is loving the Kindle. She is reading about 2 Robinson books average on it per day. So since that is such a hit for her. I've been considering if an E-reader would be a good option for my 6 year old in the near future. Now I can't see getting her the kindle because I would say she is not quite as careful as my older daughter in regard to something so pricey. But I have found a few that would work well for her age group, you know the kind that you would not cry over if it did end up damaged LOL. 

Here are what I've found so far that are not as pricey as the Kindle or the Sony: 
If anyone comes across anymore I'd love to hear about them so I can look them over and make my decision. Here are some charts I found to do side by side comparisons:

So I've opted to purchase the Aluratek Libre from Amazon for my 6 year old. I just watched a nice Youtube on the feature (disclaimer that some of the comments under the video are quite rude but the video itself is great for giving a good overview). I went with the white not the black version. The black version is on sale though at Borders for $119 free shipping. 
****Well Fed Ex lost the package that was to arrive tomorrow which contained my Libre E-reader. So I asked for a refund verses a replacement on this from the seller on Amazon. I opted to order another Kindle. The price on the Kindle just dropped to $189. I have asked for a refund of the price difference (which I am told Amazon does within 30 days of purchase). So that will be a $70 refund on the first kindle, which I will be happy about. 
Another update as of 6/23 the Libre showed up, however I am not happy with the lack of font adjustment. It is also not as user friendly as the Kindle. It is going back but I wanted to at least take a look at it before sending it back. It would be fine for an older child I think. 

Here is a tip I just found for downloading the Gutenberg books right to Kindle verses having to use the computer to do it:
Below is copied from A Kindle World Blog: 
OH, for the Kindle, try this instead:

After downloading "The Magic Catalog of the Project Gutenberg E-Books (MOBI Edition) to your Kindle (or transferring it from your computer to the Kindle if you don't want to type in the long URL on the Kindle), follow James's instructions which are:

"Use your Kindle's Search Feature to find your favorite Author and/or Title.  Click to go to that page.  Click again on the Author: Title listing and your chosen E-Book will automagically download directly from the Project Gutenberg website to your Kindle..."


Melissa said...

Thanks so much for your review. I have really been thinking about the Border's one.

Melissa said...

I was just reading more about the Kobo and from what I can tell, at least as of now, any epub books you load (like those of gutenberg, etc) have a format flaw and you can't size up the font for reading. Which for me is probably going to have me crossing that one off my list at least until they get that issue repaired.

Rebecca said...

Hi Melissa...I too have balked at Kindle becuase I like to borrow books from the library (heck, our taxes already paid for them, right?!?!?) But unless I am mistaken, you are finding a lot of the RC books for FREE to be read on a Kindle?????

(Sorry...this comment is kinda late due to the date of your post, but I've just now found your WONDERFUL blog and am going through it, still deciding on whether RC will fit our family.)

Melissa said...

Hi Rebecca:
Yes I've found essentially 99% of the Robinson books as free downloads for the kindle.
We don't have access to a good library so that was not an option for us.

No problem. Awe thanks I appreciate that. If you'd like to chat RC please feel free to drop me an email.
I tell you it's been amazing for our family schooling in this way, works so well with my unschooling style : ).