Sunday, 1 January 2012

Kindle 4: Initial thoughts

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle for the last twelve months, but something in my subconscious has been stopping me. I swap most of my books with friends and enjoy the occasional browsing in a bookshop. Both of which are hard or impossible with a Kindle.

I was also hesitant about the idea of taking a Kindle on holiday. I'll happily leave my book by the side of the pool and wander off without a second thought, but would be worried about a Kindle being pinched.

However, just before Christmas I decided to take the plunge and have been loving the Kindle experience so far.

In Apple-esque fashion it came with minimal packaging and accessories, and was very simple to set up. I'd connected it to a WiFi network and downloaded some books within a matter of seconds. It worked very smoothly.

It fits nicely in the hand and has a textured (rubber?) back which is tactile to hold. It is very light. There aren't too many different functions, but then you don't need a lot. It was simple to change the font size and text spacing which is about all I've wanted to do so far.

The screen is very clear and the e-ink means you don't get eye strain even when reading for long periods.

Of course there are a few niggles. I'd prefer it if the page 'turns' were marginally quicker. Every four or five turns the screen transitions through black before painting the next set of words. Something which I find annoying (although I'm not sure why). This version of the Kindle is better than the previous model which transitioned through black every page.

There are forward and back buttons on each side of the Kindle and the forward button is larger which makes sense. For me it would be more ergonomic for the scroll forward button to be on top, but it is in fact the other way round.

There are two features I'd like to see added (I'd love someone to let me if they are already there). Firstly, a clock at the top of the screen. Secondly, a bookmark feature would be useful so that multiple users could share a Kindle or you could read several books at the same time and quickly jump back to where you left off.

Best of all my mum made me a case to carry round my Kindle in.


  1. I LOVE my Kindle so's made reading for me much more...interesting, accessible & just better.

    You can bookmark pages on your Kindle (menu then add marks I think) and you should also see a clock up the top by pressing the menu button - a task bar shows up at the top of my screen.

  2. @MissPiggy - I've been reading downloaded copies of the Economist quite a bit so far, I don't seem to be able to bookmark that. However, following your tips I can bookmark regular novels.

    The time does show up when I hit the menu button, but I'd like to turn it on all the time!

  3. Love the homemade carry case. Dad has one and I've had a play with it, but I couldn't stop myself from trying to use it like an iphone/ipad (ie touching the screen) and I found that pretty frustrating. I love the idea of less trees but I am such a sucker for the real thing, so find current compromise by not buying new books (ie only using library or borrowing books).