Nikki (nakeisha) wrote,

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Well and truly Kindled

It's been about nine months since I first got my Kindle and I thought it was time for a proper review of it and my experience in using it. To share what I love about it and what I don't really like all that much and/or things that irk me.

Firstly, let me say just quickly and easily I've got used to it and how (very surprisingly) it has become my may source of reading. I do still read 'real' books, but far fewer than I thought I would. I really thought (and feared) that the Kindle would end up being a wee bit of a novelty whereby I did read from it but it was the exception rather than the norm. Whereas in fact the opposite is true, which is more than a little bemusing for me.

The Good

Why I love it so much.

- Well, it's lovely to read from, it's so light and easy to hold. I can hold and operate it in one hand leaving the other free to drink a cup of tea or whatever or stroke Lacey or just have it free in case I need it.

- I love the fact that you can change the font on it, which enables me to read without having to wear my glasses, which again is so much more comfortable for me.

- It's so easy to search. I'm sure everyone has, at some time or another, come across a character or a place and thought 'who/what on earth are they/it'? With a real book you have to flip back through the pages to see if the name leaps out at you. With the Kindle you just type the name or phrase or whatever in and it will bring you up a list (starting with the first reference) of occasions were the term for which you are searching has occurred. You can easily then click and go to the first (or any) occasion and check back. And you haven't lost your place, simply by pressing the back button you are back to where were in terms of reading.

- It's really easy to look a word up. Again I'd venture to suggest that most people have, at some time or another, come across a word they do not know and need to look up. Often it's too much trouble or just too inconvenient to get up out of your chair/get out of bed, etc. find a dictionary and look the word up. With a Kindle you don't need to move; you can simply look it up.

- For the most part books are cheaper or even free!

- You can upload your own stuff onto it, e.g. fanfic.

- You can have your entire book and fanfic collection in one place and not have to worry about tottering piles and over-full bookcases. Not that I don't still have over-full bookcases, I do.

- You can take it anywhere - not that I do, but if I wanted/needed to, I could.

- You can download a sample, a chapter sometimes two or three, to get a feel for the book and see if you like it rather than waste money buying it and finding out that after you've read the first couple of pages you don't like it.

- Amazon lets you know if you have already bought the book or downloaded the sample chapter so you don't have the 'oh, darn it', expense of buying it again.

The Not So Good

For the most part these are minor things and some are specific just to me and my 'anality'.

- The fact the book blurb isn't downloaded when you download the book - unless it happens to be part of the book rather than just on the book jacket. It means that you have to connect to Amazon and go to the site to read the blurb rather than just being able to flick through several to decide which book you are going to read. This is a bit more than just a minor irk.

- The way you can organise it - now this is a big thing for me. I can't organise it in the way I want to. It has a lot of functionality, a lot of ways you can arrange your collections, but it is too rigid. For example I can't put my books in the order I want them: i.e. in a series I want them in order from the first book to the last not in any of the ways Kindle allows me to have  them. This for me is very irksome; in fact it's a real pain as it means I have to have a list elsewhere of the order in which the books come.

- The fact that the books you buy are limited just to you or to anyone else who has a Kindle on the same account. With real books J and I can share, but if he got a Kindle unless he put it on my account he couldn't share the books I've bought and vice versa. Not that he'd want all of mine nor would I want all of his, but we do have quite a lot of common-liked books. It'd be great if someone Amazon could change this so that rather than have the Kindles on the same account it could be anyone who has the same home address could download the same books.

- The fact that you can only buy one book at a time - be it via the Kindle or via Amazon's site. How many people only buy one book at a time? I rarely do. As it is I can't just put several in my shopping basket and check out, I have to buy one at a time. This, of course, shows up on your Credit Card as individual items and whilst I haven't had any problems with my Credit Card company querying a lot of small amounts, I know a lot of people have. And of course you get an email for each book you buy - which if you've been on a spree mounts up to a lot of emails. A lot of emails!

- The emails you get don't detail the book you have bought - you have to go to your account to see what that is.

- The fact that you see a percentage of how much of the book you have read rather than page numbers. I know you can see the page numbers (if the book has been Kindled to show them) by a simple click, but not all books do have them and it isn't the same. I also know that really seeing that you have read 26% is more 'helpful' than seeing you are on page x of y, but I do prefer my page numbers - it feels more like a real book with page numbers.

- The fact you can't just flip back a few pages, you have to go back a page at a time. Not all books allow you to go back and forth by chapters, so if you want to check something you know appeared in say chapter two, but you can't recall the exact phrase so you can't use the wonderful search facility, and the book hasn't been set to allow you go back by chapter you can spend an age going back page by page. There are other functions that allow you to go to various places, but obviously it is limited to set places.

- It is a tad too easy to buy a book from the Kindle as you have no confirmation or 'second chance'. Having said that, it you do buy something by mistake you can click and let Amazon know and it's sorted for you.

For me the three biggest irks are the lack of being able to download the blurb, the fact I can't organise it exactly how I want it and not being able to share books with anyone else. Also of less importance but still something I find more irksome than some things is the fact I can only buy one book at at time rather than putting a dozen into my shopping basket and checking out all at once.

All in all I wouldn't give my Kindle up - despite the little irks. I love it! I love it far more than I ever thought I would and I am a convert to this kind of reading. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, most of which are minor.

I know there are ways I can deal with some of the 'issues' e.g. I can create a list of books in order, I can copy the blurb and I can send the documents to my Kindle, thus I will have them there so I can check the order and read the blurbs without having to log on, etc. But that still doesn't change the fact that these are, for me, negative points about the Kindle.

However, I can live with those for how good it is otherwise.

I am most definitely a Kindle convert.
Tags: books, books: kindle, nikki

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