Tonight I was reading on my Kindle and I decided I’m not completely happy with it. I love reading on the Kindle, that is, seeing the large print, reading screen by screen with a press of a button, and having a narrow line width to scan with my eyes. What I don’t like about the Kindle is the Home directory. I also discovered I no longer like reading Time magazine on the Kindle, although this might not be completely the fault of the Kindle.
For my personal use and taste, I’ve decided I like the Kindle best for reading a single book at a time. The Kindle is great for reading on a book you’re hooked on and you’re ready to sit and do some serious reading. I can read screen after screen with little eyestrain. The Kindle is a comfortable magnifying glass. Whenever I used to try to reading normal books and hold a magnifier it was never comfortable. For me the Kindle has become a tool to make reading easier on the eyes.
I don’t like managing books on the Kindle. The computer makes for a much better librarian. I wished the Home page only had unread books on it, and I could hide all my read books in another directory. Really all I want is to turn on my Kindle and start reading where I left off, so I’m not even sure I wouldn’t be happy leaving my library of books on my computer or on Amazon.
The whole thing about carrying 2,000 books around in one little device isn’t as interesting in practice as it was in theory. In other words, I like the Kindle as a book replacement, but not as a library replacement. The Kindle’s software and hardware interfaces are clunky when it involves more than reading. PREV PAGE and NEXT PAGE are perfect concepts for reading – all those other buttons, not so much.
I could handle a much simpler Kindle, but I don’t know if my tastes would make other Kindle users happy. Amazon should sell two kinds of Kindles – a streamline reader with few buttons, no broadband connection, and have it managed from a computer, for about $100, and then the more expensive Kindle with all the bells and whistles for $399. I would be happy with three buttons: an On/Off switch, and a Next and Previous page buttons, along with a USB port. Yeah, and it would need some kind of home button with a trackpad or other cursor selector device – but ultimately I’d prefer a touch screen. I wondering if something like the iPod player control would work with ebook navigation.
I’d like this simple Kindle to be super hardened so I wouldn’t be afraid of taking it places, include the bathtub or beach.
My 4gb iPod Nano can hold many unabridged audio books but if I put more than a few on it then it becomes a pain to find things. My iPod and Kindle just need room for 1-3 books – at least that’s how I feel. I’m trying to simplify my life. My iPod Nano is the perfect tool for listening to audio books. The Kindle is still too swiss-army knifey to make me happy.
I love that the Kindle is Green and I can go paperless, but I’ve decided that general magazines aren’t suited for it. My fiction magazines are okay, but modern magazines have too much content, with lots of little sidebars and snippets of facts mixed in with the articles. That busy layout doesn’t translate well to a pure reading layout of the Kindle.