Thursday, January 26, 2012

Books ... they don't need charged every few days

A Kindle user since May 2011, I've grown fond of the grey lightweight device in its protective cover. Easy to pick up on the way out the door to fill those moments spent waiting for a swimming lesson to end or while Littl'un is in Brownies for an hour.

And the free 3G and built-in web browser can be used to read your email while avoiding overseas roaming charges in wireless-less locations. (Something missing from the newer wee wifi version.)

Yet, I've read very few books on it. Partly due to the number of 'dead tree' unread books in the house! But also because there's a lack of distinction between different titles. Everything looks the same. Spot a passage you want to return to later: highlighting a page on the Kindle is fiddly; turning over the corner of a page in a book is done in a moment.

And as this cartoon clip suggests, books don't run out of power. Whereas Kindles with wireless left switched on do drain away to become lumps of plastic. [Cartoon from Roaring Book Press - an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - via BBC's Imagine.]

What the Kindle is fantastic for is reading newspapers. Being able to flick through the table of contents of the Irish Times and pick out the interesting articles by their headlines and the section is the closest thing to flicking through the papers in the bmi gold lounge with the advantage of not getting newsprint on your fingers.

I can't understand why the Newsletter, Irish News and Belfast Telegraph haven't yet brought out Kindle editions?

There's a worldwide diaspora market that currently have very little access to quality news from a (Northern) Irish perspective. Amazon seem to make the process of pushing content into a daily newspaper feed reasonably straightforward. (Surely easier than crafting an iPad version of the Belfast Telegraph.) And Amazon's subscription model generates revenue without going near a single advertiser!

Update - Karen's post on books and the Kindle is worth a read.


Allan Leonard said...

You want PressReader app for iPhone (and you want one of those too). Does newspaper subscriptions for Irish Times, Irish Independent and Belfast Telegraph (but no Irish News nor News Letter).

stewartfinn said...

I do like my kindle and after 2 years of use, I still see the value. I tend to read several books at once and never had the one I wanted with me - kindle solves all that.

I thought I would miss real books, but I really dont and still have ample opportunity to pick up a 'real' book if I wish anyway.

I did at first really like the newspaper option, however the practice was nowhere near the experience I was looking for so I gave up. I use my kindle just for books and it does that very very well. For magazines, newspapers and PDF viewing I use an ipad which is a much more pleasurable and engaging experience...but despite all its bells and whistles the ipad cannot do what the kindle does. Present books with as close to paper visuals as is possible in a light format with a mammoth battery life.