Amazon Kindle – comments

Yeah, so I played with a kindle for a while and the device really grew on me. There are some “wow”s and, unfortunately, there are some “but”s as well.

E-ink. This is just marvelous. It’s almost like reading the ink-on-paper, only on some kind of weird plastic sheet. I find it much more readable and easy on the eyes, than a LCD or OLED displays. At start I was worried that there is absolutely no backlight, but now I think the backlight is the problem with other technologies. Still, there is this glare from light sources, that bring Etch-a-Sketch to mind.

Buying books from Amazon. The reader I got has only the WiFi, but still the time it took me from buying to start reading is impressive. I was a little baffled, as nothing seem to change on the site after I clicked the buy button, but then I looked down on the device and there it was, the download progress bar.

Dictionary support. Oh-em-gee. I cannot imagine myself reading a book in English anymore, where I cannot check the troubling word this instant. Normally, I’d stack a new word “for later”, but fail to look it up anyway (either because I forgot the word, or I forgot I had a word to look up). Not sure it would work with Lewis Caroll, dr Seuss, or even with George R.R. Martin, though.

Size. Six inches is a little to little for a big easy font to make the page contain the amount of text I’m used to see with a real book. I can achieve that with smallest font and set the font to condensed, yes. Unfortunately, one of the situation I constantly read, is at lunch. BTW, the device wins over books during lunches big time – I don’t have to come up with a solution to stop book from closing, when both my hands are occupied with fork and knife. But the be able to actually read something from a device laying on the table, I must change the font to something larger, and then I have to flip pages to often.

Color. Or lack thereof. Oh, I wish they invent the color e-ink soon…

Navigation. In the dead tree books (coming from Latin-based culture), if you want to go forward, you turn the page from right to left; if you want to go back you turn the page from left to right. On this device, however, if I occasionally want to go back a page, I actually move one forward, ‘cos going forward button is placed on both edges of the device. This is highly irritating.

Newspaper. A major no-no. I can imagine it’s nice to have an issue pushed to the device every morning, but one – six inches is far to little for a newspaper, where the layout also matters, two – no color to represent the pictures, and three – you cannot sync the newspapers to Kindle PC and Cloud Reader; what is the point of reading a simplified version of the paper?

All in all, I’m still not convinced. I can see myself using a device like this, that I could hold my library with me – especially now, when my second rearrangement of the shelfs and removal of very old books proved to be as short-lived solution as the first rearrangement, since I run out of space for new books again. But – not now, maybe next year, maybe some hypothetical next-gen of e-ink…

Discalimer: the above comment is not entirely true. I’ll try to explain tomorrow.

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