Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My Kindle Trial

This month our book club read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. For the first time I installed Kindle for Mac on my computer and downloaded the novel from Amazon for $9.99,  about $4.00 less than buying the hard cover book. Being able to instantly access a book is wonderful. It took 3 minutes and worked flawlessly. I didn't want to even try doing this because downloading anything always seems to involve some kind of complication for me - but this process worked perfectly.

Did I like reading it online? I liked increasing the font size to make it marvelously readable on my big IMac screen. I found I could read faster because of not turning pages ( I never thought I'd say this) and not shifting my body around, dropping the book and picking it up again. Everything is well illuminated on screen, so much more so than when you read under a light - at least, when I read under a light. I don't think I've ever really chosen a chair and light that were ideal for reading and I always seem to have to turn a certain way or sit in a certain position to get sufficient light when reading at night.  When I left the book to do something else, of course, it was very easy to come right back to my place. 

You can display the text full screen or in columns and you can change the background color if you wish. You can mark spots in the text and make notes in the margins. Unfortunately you can't print the notes - I  guess that function will be available at some later date. For a book club situation, this is a real handicap because you can't carry along anything for discussion unless you make notes as you go along. 

At first I thought my neck would be cricked from reading with my head tilted up but I found by enlarging the type, I could sit back and read at a comfortable angle. 

What do I miss? Of course, the feel and heft of a book in your hand and the smell of the binding and type. The inability to write in the margins, underline and make notes is a big disadvantage for the club. Most of all, not being able to read in bed! All of my objections would be overcome with a handheld device and now after this trial, I'm ready to invest in either the Kindle or the Ipad. 

21st century, here I come!


  1. very interesting. i'll have to try it. but i still can't stand to pay that much for a book. i'm really really spoiled. Although I do want to buy Nora Ephron's new book "I Can't Remember Anything". Maybe that's the first one I try - if I can remember to do it.

  2. I have a kindle app on my cellphone and it's pretty nifty. No matter where I go, my books come too, and they never loose their places. I just read the free classics on there for now, its a nice way to try it out.