More thoughts on the Kindle

Now that I have read about half a dozen books on my Kindle, I thought I’d offer a few more thoughts on the device and the experience:

  • I often read while I am eating my lunch.  With a traditional book, this has always been somewhat of a problem for me.  I am very careful with my books, even paperbacks, where I try to avoid breaking the spine for instance.  With hardcovers, there is the problem of keeping the pages open with one hand, while eating with the other.  With the Kindle, all of these problems go away.  I can set the Kindle flat on the table, and not touch it, except to tap the Next Page button.
  • With traditional books, I have always been hesitant to make notes in the margins.  With the Kindle, I have no problem doing this, and it’s actually very convenient to be able to mark the exact place I want to make a note, and have access to the notes file on my computer for additional edits, if I so choose.
  • Whenever I reached the halfway point in a book, I’d always toss the next book in my bag so that if I finished the current book, I wouldn’t be caught without something else to read.  With the Kindle, I don’t have this problem.  I can have many books “in my bag” at the same time, and no matter how many they are, or how big they are, they only take up the space and weight of the Kindle itself.

There are still some things that take some getting used to:

  • Footnotes can be awkward if they are not well-implemented.
  • It’s not as easy to skip ahead and see how much more of the current chapter is left (convenient for finding a good stopping point) as it is with a traditional book.  A future version of the Kindle OS might include an indicator that shows you how many “locations” remain before the next chapter.
  • I like the Kindle enough to want to read just about everything on it, so that it has become frustration (and disappointing) when I find that the book I’d like to read is not available for the Kindle.  (And clicking the “Tell the publisher you’d like to read this book on the Kindle” link that Amazon provides is of little help, especially since I have no idea what clicking that button actually does.
  • There are a few books that are listed for the Kindle, but when you go to the page, you find are “unavailable”.  The most frustrating of these is Will Durant’s Story of Civilization.

All told, I really like my Kindle.  I am surprised to find that it is just as easy and comfortable to read off the screen as it is the printed page, so long as it is done in a way that makes the screen feel like a printed page.