Since I have everything delivered to me at work, & I only go into the office twice a week, I got my Kindle on Wednesday. I had a feeling I could have gotten it sooner but our receptionist doesn’t message me about goodies unless I ask her to watch for something. I mean, it’s not like I don’t have constant packages from Amazon already.
I think I read about Amazon’s Kindle around a year ago, & I immediately dismissed it. Old school dead tree reading, baby! It wasn’t until my friend Joy brought it up, a few months ago, that I actually gave it any thought, & frankly, it only took a few minutes for me to think maybe it was worth examining. I mean, mp3s have downsides; the sound quality suffers & then your ears become accustomed to listening to tinny, compressed crap. But there isn’t really a downside to downloading a book other than the physical presentation, & the new generation of Kindles looked kind of… ok.
When I finally did buy a Kindle a little over a week ago I had inspected the product description & read reviews & various discussions. Largely my research was a form of stalling, because I’d barely survived Christmas (I love giving gifts! But I run out of money! I hate it!), & one of the best ways to keep me from doing something is to give me more information that needs to be digested. I was aware that there was another reader put out by Sony, but I actually never even looked at it. I know Sony is a good brand. My SACD player is a Sony. But I shop so ridiculously often at Amazon that it just seemed natural that if I bought any kind of electronic reader it was going to be this Kindle. I can’t remember the last time I shopped for books at Sony, you know?
I purchased the smaller Kindle version because I do a lot of my reading lying in bed, & didn’t like the idea of holding up a 19 oz book while trying to get sleepy. I was gratified that this 10 oz reader was no heavier than a normal book in my hand, & that the “Next Page” buttons were on either side or the display. To turn my Kindle on, there was a slide & release button on the top edge, & the display “woke up” immediately upon sliding & releasing. It took probably half a minute to format itself & then showed me a Welcome page, which I didn’t really read.
I familiarized myself with the buttons – Home, Menu, Back, Next Page, Previous Page. There was also a little directional, clicker nipple right where you’d put your thumb if you’re right handed (Get your minds out of the gutter! Ok, I was thinking it too.) which was used to navigate & select. And then I bought my first book. It’s easier to just browse Amazon on the computer & “buy with 1-click” from there, which I did, & my first Kindle book appeared on my display within seconds. Very exciting.
It was actually hard for me to choose my very first Kindle book. True, there were already documents on my Kindle – an entire dictionary for one thing – but to me it just seemed like I was making a choice for a Maiden Reading. I decided it had to be Oscar Wilde. My hero. Naturally I’d want to have a gay man busting my virgin Kindle’s cherry. Meh.
Operation was very simple & easy to figure out; use the little nipple & select the book. The nipple, then moved left or right, jumped chapters. When moved downward, it became a cursor on the page of text & whatever word the cursor rested on would be defined at the bottom of the page in a small, unobtrusive bubble. Very nice! When the Menu button was pressed while reading a book, a book specific menu appeared, including very helpful options like bookmarking or note making. I haven’t yet tried out these functions but it’s nice to know they are there. Frankly I might purchase a few Anne Rice novels just for the sex scenes & God knows a bookmark would work well there. That’s really all Anne Rice is good for, imo.
The book text read very easily. I had been under the impression that it was possible to scale the text size but I was unable to find that option. The display was glare free. There was no glare as I held it in my hands under the office fluorescent lights, no glare while I lay on my bed reading, & no glare while I ate dinner with the Kindle laying flat on the dinner table. My only disappointment was that the display itself was smaller than I’d imagined, nonsensically thinking that if the Kindle was 8″ x 5″ that the display would be 8″ x 5″ (very occasionally, my logic fails me) or something. I read fast, & I have to press that Next Page button about every 15 seconds depending on how many details are on that particular page. Well. It couldn’t be worse than text messaging. If I could have made the text smaller I’m not sure I would have, but it’s hard to say without actually being able to do it. Not being able to block out the world with a one-paged reader was actually not an issue; reading was immediately immersive. So far so good.
KK had brought up a good point about the advantages of old fashioned books over a digital reader – he liked to be able to tell where he was, proportionately, in the book & how close he was to the end while reading. Thoughtfully, the Kindle shows a percentage in the bottom lefthand corner, & I did catch myself checking it from time to time while reading later purchases.
The ability to preview a book without buying it was fabulous. It seriously aided me in my subsequent Amazon Kindle Book Shopping Adventure, from which I had to log on to WoW to stop me from spending too much money. With each book costing, on the average, between $6 & $7 & then being delivered immediately to your Kindle, it’s so easy just to keep on clicking. After reading 5 previews & then purchasing 3 books all within a 15 minute period I made myself put the Kindle down & slowly back away. Log on to WoW, Lauren. Stop looking at the Kindle.
In 2 days I read 3 books & am in the middle of the 4th. Since Dollhouse (I gave you the link but you have to watch it from Season 1 Episode 1 to get it, which is probably why it can’t survive) is coming to a close (screw you Fox!) this has allowed me to save episodes & as I type I still have not watched the latest episode, which I understand is hand biting good. I have not yet had to recharge the battery; I’ve barely nicked it so far.
I thought that I would immediately pick up whatever Jim Butchers were yet unread as well as the Anita Blake series, which was fun until she turned into Super Slut (Laurell Hamilton doesn’t write sex as well as Anne Rice, so it’s really just slutorama for me: oh look, a new male character has been introduced, & oh look – she’s screwing him). Those are cheap entertainment stories that I hesitated to buy because of lack of physical shelf space. I thought with this new 1500 book shelf I’d feel free to pick them up, & I still may… but not just yet. I’ve actually found at least one brand new author that I think I like better.
Currently I’m not sure what the book listing is going to look like once I have a few more titles in the hard drive. It looks as if the titles are listed in order of activity rather than author or title name. The Home page can display 10 items. The Search function looks pretty specific but what if I’m just trying to decide what to read tonight & I have 1000 titles? It’s not like Windows where I can actually get a visual overview of my choices. I guess we’ll just have to see what that’s like when I have 1000 titles.
Hopefully I can do this slowly.
I do wish there were more Kindle versions of Tanith Lee though. But then I’d be so broke.