My Kindle arrived as a birthday gift from my parents. I’ve had it for only a couple of days but have already loaded it with books (some of which are legally free!) and read one title from start to finish. I know that there is discussion in the reading community with some readers (and authors) being strongly in favour or opposed to eReaders so I’d like to add my voice to the chorus.
Downloading books is a breeze although Kindle editions are not always the cheapest option, particularly if you’re willing to buy second-hand. For the moment, I’m doing my sums for each purchase and unless it’s a ‘must have right away’ book I buy the cheapest. Of course, there are lots of free titles available for Kindle where one would pay for a paper book and that’s an added bonus.
The Kindle itself is comfortable to hold and gives the reader total control over how the text is displayed. The page-turning buttons are located at either side of the reading surface and are very easy and intuitive to use. I have found myself turning pages by accident when I pick up the device though but I think this will be resolved when my cover arrives – it’s been delayed by nasty weather. The reading surface is grey rather than white so one doesn’t have the high-contrast of a computer screen there have been a couple of times when I’ve turned on a light in order to see better. I suspect I would have done likewise when reading a paper book, however, and have just been slightly spoiled by Kindle for Android. Of course, the pay-off is that the Kindle can be used in bright sunlight (my mother used her’s on holiday with no problems) where a back-lit display can’t. You pay your money and make your choice.
The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you’re reading. Immersed in the author’s world and ideas, you don’t notice a book’s glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective is to make Kindle disappear — just like a physical book — so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.
This is the hype to which the title of this post refers. I didn’t believe it. Until I read using the Kindle. It’s a long time since I’ve been so immersed in my reading or so comfortable holding my chosen text. My hand didn’t ache from the weight of a hardback, I wasn’t wedging tight pages open with my thumb and, once I’d set up text the way I wanted, it seemed to dissolve leaving me wandering the world created by the author. Of course, this is testament to the author’s skill but as we’re talking a Harlequin Historical Romance I didn’t have such great expectations.
There is one down-side, however. I really missed being able to see the book’s cover. I’ve got used to looking at the art-work and musing about the book and the artist’s interpretation of it. I like to day-dream a little. And, yes, I’ve gotten a little lazy when it comes to imagining things for myself. To make the Kindle perfect for me, it needs a colour picture of the cover. Or I need to make more of an effort. Of course, eliminating the day-dreaming does mean I seem to read faster on the Kindle and my concentration is much improved. So maybe those colour pictures aren’t such a good idea!
In short: You can believe the hype. I love the reading experience a Kindle offers. But I’m wondering what will line my walls if I stop buying paper books!