Some Kindle Thoughts

Eric is trying to persuade me that the Amazon Kindle is not the end of the Codex as we know it or the end of human civilization.  He bought me a book to read, a collection of highly goofy essays called “Things I Learned from Women who Dumped Me,” and conned me into reading it.  I’m 70% done with the book, but I figured I could post a little commentary now.

– Reading off the Kindle does not give me headaches.  If I try to read a long piece on a computer screen, I get throbbing headaches, but I did not have this issue with the Kindle.

– It is light and easy to hold and easy to flip pages.  Eventually hitting the next page button doesn’t feel any different than turning a page.

– The raft of buttons at the bottom means I can prop it up on my chest and see it clearly.  This is, oddly, a major plus.

– Clicking it on and being at the page I left off is really nice — no lost bookmarks or fumbling around with pages or having to skim pages to figure out where I left off.

– The controls aren’t bad.  Takes a bit to get used to it, but not bad.

– Nice and light.  Weighs much less than a paperback.

However, not knowing what page I am on in relation to the book is a bit weird.  I finally realized the bottom bar is the chapter marks.  I also find going to the Table of Contents to be really kludgy.

My verdict on it is that reading a book off the Kindle feels very much like listening to an audio book off Audible, except reading it instead of listening to it.  It will not work for dense histories or reference books or art books or anything that really requires tons of focus.  It’s pretty much great for the newest Christopher Moore novel or an Elmore Leonard novel or a history book by Sarah Vowell but I shy away from anything serious, dense, or requiring an index or lists of citations.

In my mind, I’d treat the Kindle more like an Audible subscription.  These are books you don’t really need to keep but they’re nice to sort of breeze through with 1/2 of the attention and half the brain.  It’s great for read once, toss away paperbacks.  I like it in an it’s okay to read outside sort of thing, but it’s not going to be parting me from my books or book collections any time soon.