[Addendum: I forgot to include a caveat about free e-books, which I've now added below.]
So I've had my Kindle for a few weeks now. How do I like it? I love it!
Many objections to e-readers have been made by book-lovers, and to some extent, I can sympathize with them. As I said previously, I had all the same thoughts about the nefariousness of e-readers and the superiority of books.
But I find that I really love my Kindle.
It's very easy to read, with clear, crisp print and no glare. I have read it in direct sunlight with no difficulty whatever. Moreover, with the case I bought for it, containing the built-in light, I've finished a book before dawn while my spouse was still asleep beside me. Yes, one can buy book lights and do the same thing--I realize that. I'm just happy with Kindle for providing an option here, since the screen is not backlit. I didn't want a backlit screen, after all, so this is a happy solution. The case, too, offers some protection against everyday knocks, slings, and arrows. I find it aesthetically pleasing as well, Kindle and case both.
The battery lasts for up to a month if you (a) don't leave the WiFi connection on; (b) don't use the Kindle to play games; and/or (c) don't use the light a lot (it runs off the Kindle battery).
The Kindle is well designed, with ease of navigation and the opportunity to organize your library in collections. You can highlight passages in books, bookmark pages, and write notes about whatever you're reading right on the device, with the ability to call up all these notations easily when you need to, say for a book discussion.
I also downloaded the PC version of Kindle, so that I can read on the computer if it so suits me. All of the books I've purchased or downloaded for free are available on my computer with no extra effort on my part--Amazon handles all that. You can get Kindle for your Blackberry or iPhone or iPad, too.
While I haven't done it, one can also get blogs, newspapers, and magazines via Kindle.
I like being able to get a book instantaneously. My fears of reckless spending have not materialized; in fact, I've spent more at Amazon recently on CDs than on books. I like that I can use the Kindle itself to shop the Kindle store at Amazon. Very handy if, say, you're traveling and don't have access to your computer.
I had a great time browsing the Kindle store's many free offerings of books copyrighted before 1923. I downloaded a couple of dozen or more, including a cookery book (as they were called) dating back to 1600s England and a book on cooking and dining in ancient Rome. While I wouldn't buy a Kindle version of a cookbook I planned to use regularly, these old cookbooks are perfect for leisurely reads that give one a flavor of the period and of attitudes toward food therein. I happen to love old recipe books, and now I have a slew of them on my Kindle.
I also downloaded (free) three early Virginia Woolf novels that I've always meant to read but never have. Right now I'm part way through The Voyage Out, and loving it. Yes, I could possibly have found it at my local library and borrowed it, but this way I own it (at least until TEOTWAWKI!), along with Jacob's Room and Night and Day.
The free offerings at the Kindle store are amazing in their variety: everything from 1800s travel diaries to diseases of the horse hoof, beekeeping, and surgical techniques. I have a hard time resisting some of the travel journals, especially those having to do with severely cold climates. Why? Heck if I know. I just had to have Shackleton's memoir of his ill-fated Antarctica venure, though, as well as something called Tenting in Siberia, written just after the Civil War.
I should warn you, though, that not all free e-books are created equal. At Project Gutenberg, about which I've written before, a serious attempt is made to produce an electronic book as free from error as possible. That's not true everywhere. Customer reviews on Amazon.com sometimes complain of error-riddled e-books. And in my own case, there are problems with The Voyage Out. For whatever reason, lines of poetry included in the print version are missing from the electronic version. If something like that makes you crazy, you'd do well to obtain a different version than what's offered in the selection of free Kindle books on the Amazon site.
Another thing: Kindle editions are often (not always) cheaper than print editions. Yep, I'm cheap!
Most of all I love having a little library that's so compact that I can take it anywhere with me and choose from a number of offerings to suit whatever mood I'm in. When Jim and I went to Grand Island, New York last week, it was great to have a choice without lugging a lot of books with me. Or I put my Kindle on my nightstand and there it is, ready for me when I wake up in the middle of the night, whether I want to read a mystery or P.G. Wodehouse or Origin of Species (which I also got for free).
I can't speak for other e-readers, but the Kindle is terrific and available at a very reasonable cost, so if you've ever considered an e-reader, do look into it. You don't have to give up books. But you just might find that e-readers have their own compelling attributes.