Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Do you kindle?

I got myself a kindle recently and was interested to see how I really liked it.  I had tried out a couple of friends' first to at least make sure I didn't hate it.  There were a couple of reasons that I decided to buy one.

  • I don't have a whole lot of space to keep many more books.   I have gotten better at not holding on to books I'm not very likely to read multiple times but even so, space is limited.  And there's always the environmental aspect of all that paper, too.
  • I don't like reading hardbacks but they're always what comes out first.  I don't always mind waiting for a paperback to come out but that can mean up to a year.  With the kindle, if it's a book I really, really want, I can read it when it first comes out without having to get the hardback version.
  • I hate writing on a book but now that I'm reading more and more non-fiction, I also have the need to be able to make notes more and more often.  I got the kindle with a keyboard to allow me to do just that.
  • Easy to use when travelling.
  • And another reason I only recognised after buying it: you can download samples of books, which means reading about the first chapter of a book for free.  So far, this has been useful. 
Now that I've had it for a couple of weeks I've had a chance to see some of the good and the not so good.  On the whole, for the reasons listed above, it was a good purchase.  But I haven't fallen completely in love with it either.
  • I haven't bought a cover for it yet and perhaps when I do I'll find it more comfortable to hold while reading.  For the moment, I'm getting used to it - it's good for leaving lying on the table and reading while eating (bad habit for some people but one of my main reading times), however it's not great for reading while lying down (lazy Sunday mornings being one of my other main reading times).  I have a tendency to press on the page forward or back buttons by accident, especially when turning over.
  • Kindle editions seem to be generally far worse in terms of formatting and editing in general.  This is possibly related to the final and most important downside to the kindle.  Which is...
  • It's just not paper and it's definitely more difficult to lose myself in the pages.  I wonder if the editing and formatting really is worse than paper-based books or if I'm just so used to looking for and seeing errors in documents in work that I see them more quickly on the screen.
 The kindle is great when travelling.  It's great to be able to switch between two or three different books easily.  I love the note-taking facility (once I had figured out how to disable highlights made by everyone else.  That was just as annoying as reading a book that someone had written in).  It will never replace paper books for me but all in all, I'm definitely glad I got it.