Friday, December 31, 2010

Reading on a Kindle: a Review

I got a Kindle for Christmas, but I got in in October. I used it to read school documents, and to read public domain novels that are available for free (since the Luddite in me still doesn't want to spend money on a book that isn't an actual pile of paper on my shelf).

I love that Kindle tells me what percentage complete I am, since that was something I had always had to calculate on my own (and--NERD ALERT--I always was calculating it). I also like that Kindle is much easier to transport than a stack of books, so instead of bringing one book and being stuck with it, I can switch if I need to. I am indifferent to the need for a reading light; I know this is a huge turning point for most people in the iPad/Kindle debate, but I prefer Kindle, even though I have to have a book light to read after the sun goes down.

Here are two things I dislike: one is the lack of page numbers, and the other is the tendency of the device to reboot and lose bookmarks. Since I keep track of the pages I read in a year (there was no "nerd alert" because the previous alert is still in effect), I need to know how many pages are in a book I am reading. Since Kindle doesn't have page numbers, but "locations" (the relation of which to pages or paragraphs I still don't understand), I have to look up print versions on Amazon, find an edition that looks like one I would have read, go to its product description, and see how many pages it has. Even then, it's imperfect, since that number does not correspond to the printed number on the last page, but is more like a count of pieces of paper used (multiplied by two).

As for the second issue, I think it might be a result of the free versions I read. As with most free things, the coding seems pretty bare-bones, and I bet a "real" Kindle book wouldn't have as many problems. However, that doesn't mean it's not frustrating to have to refind my spot in my book every time I turn my Kindle on (especially since it doesn't use page numbers to help me find my way). I've had this problem with three Wodehouse books, and my wife had it with Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

Rating: five out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.

No comments:

Post a Comment