In which I am kindled
I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering how I’m coping with a Kindle?
No. I thought not. I’m going to tell you anyway.
Anyway I have been using it now for nearly a week which I suppose is enough time for trial purposes. I don’t like it and I like it.
I don’t like it because I have to handle it carefully as a slipped finger can result in my shooting backwards or forward through the pages. That touch screen is really fucking sensitive. Also it’s a bit dodgy if I want to keep referring back to a particular page such as a map, an index or a list of characters. I know that function is something I would very rarely need but I find it frustrating sometimes to be stuck on the last page that I’m reading. With a book, I can stick a finger or bookmark in the map/index/characters page while I carry on reading the main stuff. Maybe there’s a way around this but I haven’t found it yet.
It also lacks the comfortable feel of a book. New books have a lovely smell and there is something about turning pages which haven’t been turned before. Even the sound of flicking through pages is a happy sound.
One thing I love about books is the bookcase. A shelf full of books is a pleasing sight, and it’s nice to be able to glance along the titles and admire the colours and even how thick each book is. I haven’t yet found away to stack electronic files on a bookcase to give the same effect. Browsing the Kindle just gives bland grey cover images which aren’t very inspiring.
But I like it for many reasons.
First and foremost, if I fall asleep while reading I don’t lose my place. It just quietly goes to sleep too, waiting for me to wake up again. A bit like the dog?
Probably the biggest advantage is knowing that I can never ever run out of reading matter. In the past, I would ration myself partly to avoid too many trips to the library and also because I knew I had read most of the stuff in the library anyway. Now I can order a book and read it straight away. I am no longer tied to the library’s erratic opening times or their limited supply [I know I can order books but that takes ages]. Equally, if I order books online I have to wait for them to arrive which can take a while [and can be quite expensive]. I am now in a position where I could read for sixteen hours a day for the rest of my life without ever running out of material.
I’m still messing around with it. I think I have discovered most of its abilities. I even got it to read books to me via my laptop but that’s an experience I would rather forget. I have discovered how to order books or download free ones. I have also discovered how to create my own reading material.
I might even have a go at converting, uploading and reading the old book what I writ.
I can remind myself just how bad it was.
Yup, the screen is really sensitive. I've found that one brush of a napkin can not only bring up the "font size" dialog box but change the font size as well then quickly disappear before I can change it back. But damned if I can find a way to suddenly bring up the "font size" dialog box by one quick brush of the screen. Not a chance. Irritating but not enough to make me stop liking the thing.
As far as bookmarking is concerned, you can bookmark any page and return to it anytime you want. Just tap the upper right-hand corner of the page you are on, a small dialog box will display showing the page number with a plus sign at the right. Tap the plus sign and you've added your bookmark. A small bookmark icon will show up on any page you've bookmarked. If you've bookmarked one or more pages, tapping on the upper right-hand corner will show the dialog box with a list of bookmarked pages (with minus signs after each one in case you want to remove a particular bookmark). Tapping one on the list will bring up a smaller version of the entire bookmarked page overlaying the page you are currently on. Tapping on the smaller bookmarked page will take you to it. Getting back to your current page is as simple as tapping the top middle of your screen (bringing up "navigation" bar) and tapping the "back arrow" icon.
Hope this helps.
I should have mentioned I have a slightly older generation "Basic" touch screen model. Not knowing what model you have my above instructions may vary in actual practice. One correction I'd like to make is when clicking on the bookmark icon in the upper right of your (my) screen I said there would be a minus sign to the right of each bookmarked page in case you wish to remove one. On mine it's actually an "X". Not a minus sign.
You get to the font size if you move two fingers on the screen like you would want to enlarge (or minimize) a foto on a smartphone.
That's by the way one of the things I like about a kindle compared to a printed book – you can change the font size. No need to search for the reading glasses 😉
Many thanks! There's always something I miss and it wasn't in the instructions that I can recall Of course, me recalling something these days is more of a hit and a miss type of thing. (Yes, I'm a man who actually reads the instructions. I also stop and ask for directions.)
Okay. I have tried all and they work. It takes a bit of getting used to but what the hell. Life is a learning curve?
I too accidentally changed the font size somehow and lost my place in the book as a result. If I discover how the "one touch" works I'll let you know!
It has a Search function.
Finger on a word for a second or two and you will be offered a dictionary definition and a search choice – In the book or on line. In Book will show all occurances of that word. I find it useful for finding when some character first appeared in a book with dozens of characters.
It will also allow you to apply a colour, one of four, to a word which I find useful.
A free program (the old luddite in me avoids "app") Calibre, allows you to convert from one ebook format to another.
Keep your kindle dry.
Colour? Mine is strictly a monochrome device – very like the early laptops.
I have Calibre on my laptop for conversion purposes. I have some experimenting to do there.
Likewise – I hate "app" which is just a modern lazy abbreviation.
I think you are absolutely right. The over-sensitive screen, lack of ‘new book feel’ etc are a downside. But the always available and ‘never without something to read’ are, on balance, even better.
I have to agree about the never ending supply. I'm spoiled for choice now.