Not nearly two weeks ago I finally ordered my Kindle. I’ve been wanting one since last year, but with the new job, the move and everything I pushed it further and further. I had convinced my husband that it would be a nice idea when we were still busy packing up box after box of books and bringing them to our storage. It’s very easy to convince your better half of the advantages of a device that is supposed to hold up to 3,500 books when you have been busy filling more than fourty boxes with books. (Actually, I don’t know how many boxes with books we have, but there are a lot of boxes in storage and I’d guess about 80 percent are filled with books.)
So. On that famous Thursday in February I finally went ahead and did it. It was delivered the very next Monday, which is pretty fast, considering it went all the way from the US to Germany and I immediately picked it up and loaded The Name of the Wind on it. (Mostly because I had listened to an interview with Patrick Rothfuss on the Sword and Laser podcast and he talked about Joss Whedon which is the maybe easiest way to make me like you.)
I was afraid that reading on an e-book reader wouldn’t be my thing. I thought that I might miss the feeling of a book in my hand. Miss actually buying books or having them sent to me in neat little packages and looking at the covers. Afraid that I liked the way a book’s weight changes from one side to the other while you’re reading it.
Fortunately, all this isn’t the case. Or, maybe it’s the other way round, I enjoy the advantages of the Kindle so much that I don’t have time to miss the real book feeling.
Let me first say that the screen is perfect. It really looks like a writte page, perfectly clear and readable in sunlight. There are a couple of reflections when bright light shines directly on it, but that’s all. When I first held it in my hand I was amazed at how small it is and even more, how incredibly light it is. You can hold it comfortably with one hand and press the next page button with your thumb to read practically anywhere.
It took me a couple of pages to get into it, but I very soon forgot that this was not an actual paper book I was holding. It might have helped that The Name of the Wind is such a great read, but I figure it is just that you need some adjustment time to get used to the feeling of an e-book reader. Then you easy like it or not.
I will keep up with more impressions or remarks as I continue carrying my Kindle around with me, but for now, here are a few early comments on the experience:
- The delivery was awesomely fast. I expected at least two weeks, and it got here in five days. You pay for customs on checkout so that it gets through quicker. Very smart.
- It is very comfortable to read with, mostly because it’s so light and you only need one hand to hold it and turn the pages. Which makes it easy to pretty much read anywhere, even standing up in a bus or so.
- Can’t say much about the battery time, but there’s plenty. I have WiFi on all the time, which is supposed to drain the battery somewhat faster. I have charged it once since I originally got it (and not counting the first time I charged it), but that was mostly precautionary.
- PDFs work okay. I haven’t tried the convert feature so far, just loaded some PDFs I had on my laptop to check how they looked. The font is usually smaller, but it looks generally okay.
- Most of all: I love reading on it. I was afraid I wouldn’t, but I do. I hope it’s not just enthusiasm, but given that I read nearly 700 pages in less than a week, I’d say that it’s a pretty neat device to read on.
The only irk I had and sometimes still have is a usability issue that I think I just need to get used to (and probably already have). I used to press the „next page“ button on the left side to go back a page every now and then. Somehow the feeling of using a real book got mixed with how the buttons are adjusted. But I also realized that I like the fact that I can hold the Kindle with either hand and just keep turning the page, so I think this is really just something that you need to get used to (if you even have that problem to begin with) rather than faulty design.
Now I’d like for more and more books to be released as e-books as well as Amazon rolling out German books for it. I know there are already some available, but I couldn’t find any current books that I would like to read. And now I’d like to snuggle under the covers and continue reading The Passage.