I Bought a Kindle (Part two)

KS-slate-05-lg._V389394900_I bought a Kindle with my birthday money in June and wrote a first impression review of it here.

Now that it’s almost Christmas, it’s a good time to present my follow-up review:

PROS

It’s small and light, meaning you can take it anywhere.  I went on holiday this summer and my kindle fit in my jacket pocket.  I travel light so I usually only have hand luggage and whatever I can fit in my pocket, so this was perfect.

You can carry hundreds of titles.  Again I found this handy going on holiday.  I don’t read that much on holiday.  I don’t do relaxing holidays; I want to come home exhausted! But I do usually take at least two books.  I read at the airport, on the plane and before I go to sleep.  I take two because I might finish one, or I might not enjoy one.  This year I also took a train to a small town called Halden on the Swedish/Norwegian border, about 90 minutes from where I was staying so by the time I got on my home flight I was on my second book.  The book I had been reading on the train was a bit heavy for bedtime reading so chose another.  That’s a big benefit!

You can purchase new titles instantly.  See a title you want on Amazon, buy it and it’s on your Kindle before you can blink.

You don’t have to use bookmarks (or fold the corner of the page, as I do *naughty*) as the Kindle goes back to the last page you were reading.  Even if you read something else on the Kindle, each time you go to any of the books you have it will remember where you left it.

On most books you can skip to the next chapter – great for text books or short stories.

You can change the font size to suit you.

You can make notes and highlights (I do this on paper books but I know some people are loath to do that to a book.  See here.) Whenever you underline or make a note, the Kindle saves it in ‘clippings’.

No paper = saving trees.

CONS

Books don’t have to have their battery recharged; Kindle does.  BUT it does use the same charger as a standard camera charger so on holiday you don’t have to take lots of leads and plugs with you.

It doesn’t feel like a book.  It’s not just the stories we love.  Books themselves are works of art, to hold and feel and smell!

AND THE REST

I read recently that it’s no good for special characters particularly for maths, science engineering etc.   I have read a couple of pages from a Swedish book but it did not seem to have this problem.  ø was not represented as o for example.

You can get pictures, but on most versions only in black and white.  You can also get travel guides for the Kindle, complete with map.  Again, very handy when on holiday.

You can get samples.  If you are not sure of you want to buy a book in a book shop, or check out a book from the library, you read a few pages first. Well you can do that free on the Kindle too!

You can read something trashy and no-one will know! But if you are reading something which would make you look super intelligent, no one can see you reading it because it’s hidden in a custom kindle cover!

Finding Time to Read – Part Two

A while a go I wrote a post about reading too many books at the same time.   This read-one-book-at-a-time project was to finish the books sooner, as well as allowing myself to become fully engrossed in one book.  It seems to make more sense but it’s not working for me.

Today I bought a new book for the kindle and even though I was already reading one I couldn’t not start my new one.  I’m also reading one physical book in bed and a different one for downstairs – the very thing I didn’t want to do.  Working in a library doesn’t help because I’ll see something interesting on the shelves, and that will be my lunchtime reading instead of the book I brought in to read.  Thank goodness I’m on annual leave right now or I’d also be reading the Patrick Ness book I recently purchased for the Junior Fiction collection!

Project result: Epic failure.

I bought a Kindle!! (Part one)

How will this affect my reading habits?  Will I read more? Less? Will I go back to reading more than one book at a time

I wanted a Kindle so I can have it with me at all times as it’s quite small and light.  It’s great for going on holiday as I would usually take two  or three books with me.  When I’m on holiday I spend so much time walking around, taking in the sights, observing the different culture around me that I don’t spend a lot of time reading.  I’m not a ‘beachy’  type, and I don’t go to resorts so I don’t spend my holiday reading by the the pool.  Most of my holiday reading is done at the airport and on the plane, with perhaps a chapter of pre-bed reading in the hotel room.  Even so, I do need at least two books.  With all that waiting in the airport, the flight itself, and sometimes changing flights in the middle, I could finish one book before I even enter my holiday destination.  My second book might not be to my taste after all, so I need a back-up holiday read.   Of course, I can buy a book when I’m on holiday, and donate the book I took with me, to the nearest library.

But then there’s the travel guide.  You can get those on the kindle too!  Very handy.

Another great thing about the Kindle (great for me, the reader; not so good for publishers and book sellers – two sides to every coin 😦 ) is that a lot of classics are free, or very cheap.  I used to read classics a lot, and even though there are so many good modern books out there; it’s good to go back to the likes of Brontë and Dickens once in a while.

You can also download samples to your Kindle for free.  This is just like reading a few pages of a book in a bookshop before deciding if you want to buy it.  Amazon will send you the first part to read, then if you like it you can pay for the rest.

With so many titles by my side at any one time, it might be hard for me to stick with just one at a time.  But if I do flick between two or more, at least that’s my choice and not because I’ve accidentally left my book behind so I have to start another one!

I am enjoying the novelty of reading on an e-reader at the moment, but I’m not going to stop reading print books.  For a start, I work in a library where interesting books are constantly grabbing my attention when I’m just doing my job. I’m not going to stop borrowing these just because I can read them on the Kindle now.

First impression – Love it!  But I intend to do another write up once I’ve had more time with it, in order to weigh up the pros and cons. 😉

What do you think about Kindles or e-readers in general?  Tell me…

Finding Time to Read

Like lots of people, I’ve always got a book on the go. But my problem is that I always seem to read several books at the same time. This is very disruptive to each story and it can get confusing. The most confusing time was when I was reading Dracula on my lunch breaks in work and The Historian at home (also about Dracula). Reading a book just on lunch breaks during the week means it takes a long time to finish. If it starts getting un-put-down-able I will take it home; which then puts my ‘at home’ book on hold.

Why don’t I just read one book and take it the work with me? I think the reason goes back to the days when I didn’t have a car. I enjoy walking so rather than take a bus I walked to work, so the less I had to carry, the better. That’s why my locker in work was stocked up with food and books to save me carrying them every day. Good plan – then. Now I drive to work but my reading habits remain the same (thankfully my eating habits have improved!). In fact my reading habit has become worse. I now have a ‘car book’: A book that lives in the car for when the person I’m picking up from work (boyfriend) isn’t ready and I’m waiting in the car. I sometimes have two books for home; a heavy reading for downstairs when I’m alert and my brain is working, and a lighter one for reading in bed. I can add yet more to this. If I’m going on a long coach journey by myself I take an audio book (for planes and trains I prefer to read a print copy). That’s potentially four books at any one time. It’s no wonder it takes me an age to finish reading any one book.

This has to stop, hasn’t it?

So today I took my bedtime book to work (sorry H.G. Wells, you’ll have to wait). And I will also read this books if I’m reading downstairs (sorry too, Emotional Intelligence, you will have to wait for a weekend when I can give you more attention). James Thurber I will keep in my car for now. There will for certain be times where I will be stuck in my car waiting for boyfriend to call it a day and let me drive him home. I’ll probably have my reading book with me – that’s the plan. But if for some reason I don’t, Thurber’s hilarious short stories are short enough to keep me occupied until my car can start moving.

The first time I tried to become the type of person that carries the same book with me, it didn’t work out too well. I started with Slaughter-house 5 because it was small enough to carry in my bag. For that fact alone Slaughter-house 5 became my ‘bag book’ – a book only to be read when I find myself without my regular book, as this book will always be with me (as long as I have my bag!).  But this time it will work.  What can possibly go wrong?  Watch this space…