I’ve had my Kindle for about six months now and have to say it’s one of the best gadgets I’ve ever bought. It took me a little while to get in to it, even though I could see how good it was but now I’m a confirmed Kindleite. The conversion has come about as I make my way through all of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels, in order, and on the Kindle. I started reading Rebus at about the half way mark of the series so my understanding of his timeline was way out. Rebus’ history is making a lot more sense now and, who would have thought, reading the books in order gives you a real sense of growth of in the recurring characters. I’ve just read the 5th of 17 novels. Number 6 will come after a short break while I tackle a non-fiction work on the prohibition era in the US.
What do I like about the Kindle? Glad you asked. I love that’ it’s so slim and easy to take with me, although I don’t have to take it out of the house to keep on reading if I don’t want to. It has a fantastic form factor and is so much easier to hold than a book. The pages are as easy to read as a book, it really does feel like you’re reading on paper. It’s so simple to buy a book and within 30 seconds it’s been delivered to the Kindle ready to read. Indeed, with one click purchasing it can be too easy to buy a book at times. And books are cheap, cheaper than books from Book Depository.
I especially like that books purchased from Amazon synch across a range of devices. I generally buy the book on my Kindle and then have it sent to my phone or (soon) to my tablet. No matter where I finish reading it syncs automatically so I can just pick up the story on my phone and when I get back to the Kindle a quick sync and it will pick up where I finished on the phone. This is especially helpful because a lot my reading time comes when I’m waiting to pick up Bert from school. I can just whip out the phone and have a good 15 minute read.
I like the count at the bottom of the screen that tells me the percentage I’ve read, love that I can tweet extracts and it automatically encourages me to leave a tweet when I finish a book. The built in dictionary has also come in handy for some of the more esoteric Scottish words in the Rebus books.
I’m not sure why, and would love to hear theories, but I find I read quicker on the Kindle and seem to take more in. Can’t for the life of me think why that would be.
Of course there are some drawbacks to the machine. One is it’s not backlit (although that’s a plus as it’s no strain on the eyes) so you have to have a light source handy and while not a complaint or problem I’m so accustomed to touch screens on digital devices it seems odd to have to use the arrow keys for navigation.
The biggest complaint I have, however, is that not every book is available on Kindle and not every Kindle book is available in Australia. The book I’m reading before heading back to the mean streets of Edinburgh is Last Call and it hasn’t been released as a Kindle yet. Same with The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. There have also been a couple of books I wanted that weren’t available to Australian readers, a ludicrous situation in this age..
I wouldn’t swap the Kindle for the world, and when I get my knitted TARDIS Kindle case from mum it may just be perfect.