December 24, 2008
Kindle: The 24-Hr Take
Soooo happy I gave myself a Kindle for Christmas.
The device came in handy immediately. I’m staying with my boyfriend Bryan in Minneapolis over the holidays, and the UPS guy arrived with the package very shortly after he left for work. As soon as I left Bryan’s apartment to go upstairs and sign for it, I realized the door had locked behind me, leaving me in Bryan’s robe and slippers, with no keys and no cell phone. But I did have a Kindle. Which meant I had Web access. I surfed to Ask MetaFilter, found lock-picking advice, and managed to get back in. Score.
Gripes: Like everybody else, I’m not really a fan of the paging button positions. Also, when you start typing notes, they should auto-save. I’ve been done in a few times by the combo of these two: I’ll start typing a note, then accidentally hit the back key and lose what I’ve written.
The “locations” concept is smart, but I wish there were more cues about where locations start and stop.
Loves: Having a virtual library is already world-changing. I never imagined how cool it would be to instantly shift between different texts as I enter different information-seeking modes. I have always been a juggler of multiple books — there are times I want to read fiction, times I want to read non-fiction, times I want to read fluff. In the analog world, this is disorienting; it’s hard to pick up where I left off with one book after having read another. On the Kindle, freed from a cacophany of book darts and dog ears, this feels wonderfully natural.
It is the same sort of epiphany the iPod invoked for me. Carrying a bunch of books around at once, it turns out, is every bit as much of an experiential leap as carrying tons of music around was in 2001.
I love the way the notes I take are both integrated into the book and separate from it. I never used to take notes on books because I hated having to skim all the pages to snatch fragments of the insights that occurred to me as I was reading. Suddenly, I’m taking all kinds of notes. (This works especially well with cheesy self-help books like The Four-Hour Work Week, which require you to do all sorts of exercises.)
I love that you can read for hours and the battery bar will not budge from 100%.
I’ve named my Kindle “Inkless.”
Update: I extra-super-duper love the fact that I can use Google Reader from my Kindle. Yes, I could do this on my phone, but this is even nicer.