Kindling new tech lusts...
So, last night whilst waiting for the drunk party of 2 to pour in (4:15am I got to bed, seriously), I passed the time having a good old play around…
…With the 4th generation Kindle.
Now, I love me some real books. I love caring for my books - always using a bookmark, trying not to crease the spine, so on - and I love reading them. So, e-readers have always been an oddity to me, as it’s like not having any of the things I like about books bar the text.
Still, it’s not mine, and I am yet again being a tech guru to somebody with their new shiny, and so I diligently went ahead and immersed myself in it. How to work it, how to fill it with delicious words, all the good stuff. And then I spent a good amount of time finishing the physical book that I’ve been struggling to want to get done (part 2 of the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire). I don’t know if it was the uniqueness of the method or what that finally drew me back in, but I actually found it hard to stop reading in the end.
Now, there are niggles with the Kindle 4 experience, for me anyhow. For one, the keyboard is A-Z. It’s a pet peeve not having a proper QWERTY layout, and so that was irksome. I also don’t like the fact the page turn buttons are the same either side, even though I understand why they made it that way. For me, the large button to the left being back and the one to the right being forward just makes sense, but I can see it’s a concession to ambidexterity. I don’t like how it seems I cannot reorder a list of books, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere and I haven’t found it. The e-ink “flash” on a page turn is also irritating at first.
My biggest issue with it is simple: my formative experience of e-reading is on the iPad. The very day the device hit these shores I was in the Apple store playing with one, posting to this very blog from the demo unit. I played a few games, browsed the web - and read a book in iBooks. In landscape mode, with 2 pages on the screen, it felt very natural, as the Kindle does in portrait. But there’s no denying that extra screen space and nice sepia toning appeals to me more.
I’m waiting, now, to see what happens with the (very imminent) UK launch of the Kindle Fire, the colour Android tablet, as well as Google’s very own Nexus Tab (unconfirmed name, thought be an Acer product), both of which are aiming for a rather nice sub-£200 price. That’s cheaper than an iPad 1 refurbished or used. Both will most likely be 7” rather than 10”, natch, but it’s better than nothing.