Kindle: Can't Read With It, Behind The Times Without It

All right, here's the story. Many of my friends know me as a purist, so when "Santa" gave me a Kindle, I was teased a bit about my Benedict Arnold tendencies. But the world is trying to slough off it's love affair with the worn covers, dog-eared pages and rustic aromas of our cherished paperbacks, so I figured I should keep up. Tech savvy, etc.

I gave it a fair shake.
I did.
Got all excited about the free classics I could download. Bought a functional and classy cover so my Kindle can adventure out with me. And most importantly, I read a whole book on there that I was excited to finish. (Light Boxes. Delightful. Check it).

At the end, I "closed the book," and felt I had been robbed of the experience. So dear followers (and Amazon if you're listening), here are my critiques:

1. Books jump to the first page of the story, no introduction. I want the visual aesthetics of the cover, the title page, and the quote or inspiration. It sets the stage and preps the reader for the experience. It's the foreplay, if you will. I'm not just ready to jump right in; you've got to tease me a little.
2. When I try to use the highly promoted highlight feature, the pages restructure. Yes, that's right. It's frustrating to read a page and find it different when you return. It affects the pacing and narration of the story. It's incredibly frustrating when the pages realign for every underline. (FYI - called Amazon and they'd never heard of the issue before. See if yours does it. Let me know.)
3. There are no page numbers. I've seen this complaint many many times in the forums and always see the same baloney answer from Amazon: "we want you to be able to change your font size, so clearly page numbers are impossible." Well, other readers do both, so why are Kindle readers subjected to "locations?"

Now, technology can be great and there are perks to my Kindle:

1. I can "back up" my growing library. I like being prepared and I'd be lost without my collection, so in an emergency like a fire (knock on wood) I could save the spirit, if not the body, of my beloved paperbacks.
2. I can tweet as I'm reading. It's certainly much easier than trying to pull out my phone and hold the pages open to the desired inspirational/funny line. Slower, but easier.

I don't think eReaders have to be a disheartening experience. I just think the Kindle is. It is not made by readers. In my experience with the Sony Reader, it seems to be more in line with the purist's needs. It's not an ebook, but a scanned book; with all it's scars, illustrations and glory. It realizes that page numbers are a fixed part of a literary existence and embraces them. So there's hope out there.

So at the end of our adventure, where do we stand? It comes down to this: I still can’t use the Kindle as my primary reader. I tried, but too much is lost in translation. I’m going to stay old-fashioned.

But that's just me. What do you think of your eReader? Addicted? Furious? Too busy reading to check out it's bells and whistles? Comment it up.


  1. I love my nook! I haven't tried highlighting, but I would be lost without the page numbers. I also like that I can get books from all kinds of sources (like the library), which the Kindle doesn't allow. To me the most negative thing about the Kindle is that it's treated like a monopoly. The nook seems to get better with every update that is completed.

  2. I've heard great things about the Nook too! I think I will have to investigate....


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