eReading (294th new thing).
February 18, 2012 § 4 Comments
I got a Kindle for Christmas. Well, actually I received two of the eReaders (one from my family and one from Patrick), but one was returned. On Day Two Hundred Ninety-Four I pulled out the tablet and downloaded a “Kindle Single” to test how I liked reading a book without the paper.
I have mixed reactions to the idea of an eReader. On the one hand, I love to collect books. Many are arranged in a rainbow on my bookshelves. I like having something to touch and hold once I have consumed all the words within. But when I read in bed before sleep, the really big books are difficult to maneuver. The way I lay is dictated by how far along I am in the book. If I am just beginning I lay on my right, so the bulk of the book’s mass rests on the bed next to me. After the halfway point I rotate to my left for the same reason. Talk about first world problems, eh?
I also found the cost of an electronic version of a book kind of outrageous. It was the same or only slightly less than the hardcover version of new release novels. Wouldn’t I rather pay the dollar or two more and then have another box of words to add to my shelves? There really should be a “buy the book, get the electronic copy for free” deal.
In defense of the Kindle, I enjoy the idea of having multiple books on one device that can be discretely carried around in a purse or bag. Going on vacation with a single thin piece of equipment sounds much more pleasurable than filling a suitcase with reading material.
To test out how I liked using the Kindle I purchased something called a Kindle Single from Amazon.com. The Long Run by Mishka Shubaly. Patrick had met the Beat the Devil performer several times and heard good things from his little electronic novella about kicking drugs and running marathons. He bought the work on his phone several months ago, and recommended it, so I followed suit and downloaded it to my own device.
Reading on the Kindle was similar to browsing a physical book, but certainly had some distinct differences. I have the version of the Kindle that supposedly reads like paper text (no glossy screen, no color). I had wanted the basic model; between staring at a computer monitor at work and my iPhone the remaining hours of my day, I didn’t want to add yet another “smart” device to slowly kill my vision. The text did somewhat resemble looking at the pages of a book until you flipped to the next page via a small button on the side. There was a sort of dissolve effect going on and I found myself blinking so my eyes didn’t attempt to refocus in strange ways. Plus, I didn’t feel like I was reading an entire page. I reduced the font to fit more text on each screen. While I could see what percentage of the work I had gotten through via a bar at the bottom of the screen, there is something to be said about holding the pages of a physical book in your hand and physically feeling the heft of how far along you are.
I think it takes some getting used to. But so far I like it. Now if there was some sort of Kindle book exchange…or at least, of I could find it…then the eReader could be a phenomenal investment.