Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Bought My First Kindle Book

But I haven't bought an actual Kindle yet.  I downloaded the app on my Nexus One Android phone and it works quite well.  I also downloaded the Windows desktop version.  I'll probably soon download the Mac version.

Is there a Kindle in my future?  We'll see how this goes.  The truth is, except for gadget lust, the phone is all I need.  It's where I read nearly everything anyway.

First impressions:  After spending maybe 10 minutes with it, I have to say I'd prefer to just have scrolling text rather than flipping screens.  Recall that scrolls came before books.  With electronic displays, we don't need pages any more.  Yes, I only want to see a “page” of text at a time, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to scroll down as I read, the way everything else works!  It's okay if a  flip, or some other “next” operation, is used to get to the next chapter or, okay fine, even the next section.

I get that flipping screens provides a convenient way to bookmark something, but a bookmark should easily be able to correspond to a simple point in the text.  An actual point, like right there between those two letters.

We are more than a little too hung up on the old book paradigm.  (Look at the iPad book reader which is the worst with it's animated flipping pages.  Good grief!)  The book paradigm should be left behind!  If we're going to do this electronically, we should go all the way!

Oh, and by the way, I've been reading scrolling text on electronic screens for over 33 years!

The skeptic might ask, And you don't ever use the space bar for more(1), or the space bar to page down a web page, or the PgDn key?  Okay, yes, I have used them and still often do.  Granted, paging is okay or even desirable sometimes but it shouldn't be required.  In fact, the Kindle app could allow free scrolling and then page up or down when you swipe left or right.  Why can't it do both like that?

With that rant out of the way, for now, I can say that everything else works fine.  With clearly rendered text, with black letters on a white background, and with a nice font at the appropriate size, all else is well.

Here's an update.