Tag Archives: Kindle

Wanted: Better Cliches to Describe the Kindle

kindle paperwhiteCracking open a book is a familiar phrase that describes reading a text for the first time, but cracking open a Kindle (or iPad) is an alarming turn of events that will surely turn a good day into a bad day filled with customer-service phone calls.

Advancements in technology are great, but what happens when advancements in descriptive cliches don’t keep pace?

OK, so you know I’m just having fun with doomsday rhetorical questions, but in all seriousness, I find myself searching for non-robotic ways to describe reading an e-book. Can’t crack it open, can’t dog-ear it, can’t turn pages, can’t describe the pages as well-worn. You can sort-of judge an e-book by its cover, even though you don’t see the cover other than when buying it. Continue reading

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Four Reasons I Changed From a Paper Pusher to an E-Book Evangelist

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As I sit here surrounded by mounds of hardcover books from the library, I’m profoundly grateful that I’m legally required to drop them into a slot in three weeks when I’m (hopefully) finished with them. (Or in three weeks and four days when I drive them there in a panic, realizing I’ve once again wracked up fines).

I realize this sounds strange, considering I drove to the library, wrote down the Dewey decimal numbers with a cute little pencil, perused the stacks, and lugged my finds home in a barely-making-it Target bag. But, these days I do everything I can to avoid paper books unless they’re returnable. Here’s why.

1. Books are heavy. My epiphany moment came during the middle of a very warm summer day, when I packed up the fifth cardboard box of books in preparation for a move. Books are sweet, innocuous things when they’re decorating a shelf, but they quickly become the enemy when you have to hoist them down three flights of stairs. I stared at my many boxes of books, most that I’d read only once, and vowed that this would be the last time I lugged around decorative objects that had served their purpose.

2. The Kindle is magically light. This reason is similar to #1, except my realization came as I tramped through an airport, hooking my thumbs under my straining backpack straps. I simply can’t choose one book to take on a trip. I must take at least five, and five in a Kindle weighs the same as one.

3. I am no longer tempted to read the ending of the book before the beginning. Okay, well, I’m still tempted, but the Kindle format discourages that type of peeking. I like having that extra prod to my self-discipline.

4. Instant gratification. Out of books and found a great one online? No problem. One click and the book is in my hot little hands. No long drive to the bookstore, hoping it’s in stock. No week-long vigil at the mailbox for the telltale cardboard box.

5. Jealousy. I watched friends and family receive e-readers one Christmas, and I wanted them for me.

So there you have it. I’m no longer a reluctant convert to the digital age of books, and my back thanks me for it. It only took me three years — how long did it take you?

 

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Study Says E-Books Take Longer to Read

CNN recently outlined an interesting study on the speed of reading e-books versus printed books. Sure, the study has a relatively small sample size of 24 and gives some disclaimers about differences in reading speed not being statistically significant, but the general idea strikes me as significant.

So here’s what the study says: compared to reading a conventional printed book, people using e-readers read at speeds between 6.2 and 10.5 percent slower on the iPad and Kindle.

I’m actually surprised that the iPad boasted the “faster” designation of 6.2 percent, as I expected the e-ink of the Kindle to put it ahead of the glowy iPad screen. However, the iPad seems to switch pages faster than the Kindle, and its page switch is less distracting, so maybe that’s the golden ticket.

Personally, I still can’t grapple with the idea of giving up printed books for their cooler, electronic brethren. I’ve only used the iPad and Kindle at the mall/friend’s houses, but I’ve had no urge to ditch print. Along with other reasons, I just think print is a richer, more immersive experience. Apparently it’s more efficient too.

Still, in the end, I’ll put my betting money on overall convenience winning out and e-books dominating the marketplace. No one really wants to lug heavy backpacks of textbooks or cart around hardcovers in their carry-on luggage, and the study reports that ratings for the overall experience of reading on devices versus print were extremely close. As for me–my personal, book-buying money will still go towards pulpy paper and dog-eared pages.

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