Sunday, January 02, 2011

Reading on the Kindle Notes

I’ve finished my first book on my Christmas Kindle: Anthony Trollope’s The Prime Minister. I did not start the book on the Kindle, having read maybe a fifth of it in a Penguin paperback, but read most of the book on the e-reader, including early pages that I didn’t read well becaues of self-awareness and awareness of the device.

Once I got used to it, I liked it a lot. Here are some initial observations:

The lightness of the device (when it isn’t wearing its new protective cover), is amazing and much better for reading in bed than any book I’ve read since comix.

Something about the format, the relatively small screen, which is highly readable, changes my reading style with the intense focus on the present paragraphs. I find it hard to skim and modulate my speed, which I apparently never realized I did so much of. Since I will also be reading hard copy books, as well as the Kindle, I hope this simply turns into another way of reading, an addition to my reading repertoire.

What does look likely, and as I planned, is that I will gradually get all the free Victorian novels onto the Kindle and always travel with Geo. Eliot, Jane Austen, Uncle Tony, Charles Dickens, and all the rest of them. I’m not so sure about the Great Russians because of the issue of translations– the best translations are probably not going to be free. Do I really want Constance Garnett’s Tolstoy? Maybe I do. Anyhow, what I’m likely to carry with me is going to be out-of-copyright English language novels.

I haven’t tried poetry yet.

I haven’t bought a book for money yet. I was going to try the last of the Fire and Ice George R.R. Martin sword and sorcery books, but had already ordered a cheap used copy– a giant hard back. Too bad. I might still shell out six dollars to try it on the Kindle.

I’m not satisfied with how some of the books for Kindle look that are from sources other than the Amazon store (including the Smashwords books ): they have a double space between paragraphs, a combination of business letter and conventional narrative paragraphing that irritates me because it denies us novelists another means of expression– the double space.

More anon.

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