Feb 02, 2011 — For many years I have been looking for the “perfect gadget” to read Srila Prabhupada’s books from. It’s clearly impractical to carry the sixty plus books everywhere we go and computer technology gives us the ability to store large amounts of information and easily carry it with us.
For many years I have been looking for the “perfect gadget” to read Srila Prabhupada’s books from. It’s clearly impractical to carry the sixty plus books everywhere we go and computer technology gives us the ability to store large amounts of information and easily carry it with us.
While I have used the Prabhupada Folio Infobase on computers extensively for research into the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, I have never really read Prabhupada’s books from the computer. I suppose there are people out there who read books on a computer but even though I am something of a computer geek, still I do not feel very comfortable reading books from the computer…
Over the years I have seen many small computers and e-book readers, still I never found anything very practical for reading really. One of my friends purchased a Kindle and asked me to provide him with Prabhupada’s original books in the format the Kindle needs. I was very impressed by the Kindle and actually found myself reading Srila Prabhupada’s books on it very comfortably.
It is very simple to use, the most striking thing about it is the display. They call it e-paper, and truly it reads like paper. It is very comfortable to read, just as comfortable as a book. It is about the size of a large paperback, but very thin and light. Also because this e-paper display does not use much power you can read for up to a month on one charge of the batteries. Which I found truly amazing.
For me the real problem from a practical point of view is mostly on these e-book readers the search function is almost useless. Generally you can type in a word and it will search for the next place that word appears in the book you are reading. Very basic and fairly useless. But the Amazon Kindle is different. It has an extremely powerful but still very simple to use search function. It has almost got the power of the folio search without the complexity. It is very simple, you just type in a few words like you would for doing a search on Google, and like Google or the folio it gives you a list of “hits” including the snippets of text around the words you are searching for in the text so you can understand basically what each search result is without having to actually open it up.
This was very surprising to me. I didn’t expect such a powerful yet simple to use search function on one of these e-book readers. The search is super-fast as it creates a full-text index of all the books you have on your Kindle, just like the folio does or google does of the web pages, so you get practically instant results. And it can search either in the book you are reading or you can search in all the books you have loaded on your Kindle.
So for me the powerful search function combined with this e-paper display and the low price of $139 make the Amazon Kindle e-book reader certainly by far the best ever gadget for reading Srila Prabhupada’s books while traveling. Even for research you will find yourself doing the searches on it that you would normally do on folio and getting very good results.
There are other e-book readers on the market of course which basically have the same screen, but so far, as far as I have seen, the Kindle is unique when it comes to the simple to use yet extremely powerful search function. Because I am making the e-books I also have a Barnes & Noble Color Nook, which is a nice little gadget also. It looks nice, and the color screen is nice, but the batteries only last a few hours really and it’s just like reading from a computer screen, and it’s also quite heavy in comparison to the Kindle.
The Amazon Kindle e-book reader is a very simple unpretentious looking gadget but it is surprisingly comfortable to read from and simple to use and I think is really a revolutionary way to read Prabhupada’s books.
After looking at all the e-book readers that are available it is really the only one I would recommend from the point of view of easy reading, very long battery life, and very powerful but simple to use search function.
I am very, very impressed with the Amazon Kindle and we are providing the complete collection of Srila Prabhupada’s books, plus transcriptions of his lectures, classes, morning walks, conversations and his letters in the Kindle e-book format including fully searchable diacritical characters and very good table-of-contents so you can easily get to any place in the book quickly.
All you need to have the complete teachings of Srila Prabhupada in the palm of your hand in a very comfortable to read and easily accessible format is a Kindle e-book reader from Amazon.com and the Kindle Books download from KrishnaStore.com.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!