Monday, December 06, 2010

More on the Kindle

David Welton just bought a Kindle. Here are his thoughts.

The good:
I like it a lot.  I was worried that I would not actually enjoy reading with it, or that it would be significantly inferior to real books.  However, I do enjoy reading with it, and I think they have achieved their aim of making it so that it 'just disappears' like a good book does.  It's a very small and light device, even with the leather cover I got for it (always best with a small child in the house), so it's in no way heavy or uncomfortable.  It's relatively more expensive and fragile than a copy of The Economist or a paperback, so I don't sling it around quite so casually, and do try and remember to keep it out of reach of said small child, which makes it a little less worry-free than an actual book.  On the other hand, it's much cheaper than an ipad or samsung galaxy or something like that, so it's not the end of the world if something happens to it, although it would be unfortunate to be without reading material for the time it took to replace it!
there are quite a few books available for it for *free* because they're old and out of copyright.  Stuff you might get for 99 cents at a used book store as a paperback, but it's pretty cool to be able to just zip it right to the device, for nothing at all.

The bad:
The selection of material available for it is ok, but I'm just a bit disappointed - I thought offhand there were more books than there are.  I regularly bump into things I might consider getting if they were available for it, but are not.
I find it somehow a bit monotonous to read everything in the same form factor and with the same fonts.  It takes something away from the character of a book, especially a well-done hardback.  Of course, what counts is the content, but the presentation counts for something too, I think.
it does have a browser, however, the screen refresh is so slow that I'd only really consider using it for reading web pages - wikipedia, say, rather than doing much with it.

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