icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Kindle 2: A Progress Report

I’ve been using the Kindle for about two months and enjoying it. About the weight of two books, it travels easily in my backpack and my briefcase. Instead of taking the subway—too fast—I ride the bus so I have more time to read. I sit in parks and coffee shops before appointments and classes and read. I toggle between one book and another—nonfiction, poetry, contemporary and classic fiction—which is the way I prefer to read. I am not certain but I think I am reading faster though I don't know why this should be. My hypothesis: The screen is small, more concentrated than a page, fewer words. I "flip" them quickly.

I have accepted that it will take a while for the Kindle library to deepen and expand. Every time I want a book that isn’t in the Kindle bookstore, I click the little “request” box on the amazon.com site. I am hoping/assuming that negotiations with publishers in the English speaking world continue apace. I have noted that there is no Graham Greene available at all. Greene is surely a classic but the rights seem to be held by Penguin. I hope they release them for electronic download soon.

My Algonquin book club is reading Naipaul’s “Guerrillas” this month. Not only was this book not available in the Kindle store, it was also out of print in the US. That said, other members of the group who use the LIBRARY—how quaint—found copies there. I ordered a paperback copy; it was mailed from England. And I’ve been carrying it around and writing marginalia in it. I’m not unhappy. I’ll continue to buy “real” books, savor their heft and scent, their design. Which brings me to a serious caveat: Kindle is not good for book designers: there is no book cover, no page layout, no font to admire. Perhaps the next generation of the Kindle will find a remedy: a screen in full color.

Be the first to comment