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Reading my Kindle Touch

April 14, 2013
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Now, here’s the thing … although I am onto my second Kindle, I still do most of my reading in print form, which might make you wonder why I’m onto my second Kindle!

I upgraded to the Kindle Touch last year for one main reason, the Touch.  Because Touch is quiet whilst my Kindle 3 (aka Kindle Keyboard) would make a clicking sound whenever I turned pages and made notes. This rather disturbed Mr Gums when he was trying to sleep. As part of this upgrade, I also decided to buy the cover with the built-in light. I liked my old Kindle, but I love my new one – it’s quiet and I can read in bed without having a light on. However, I still mostly read printed books. Why?

Well, the main reason is that sense of the physical book and knowing where I am. Yes, the Kindle tells me I am 64% through the book, but as most Kindle readers have discovered I’m sure, that’s a bit fallible because it counts to end of the book which may include a lot of end matter. Frequently I discover I’ve finished the book when I thought I was only 92% through. I find it all very disconcerting not “knowing” where I am. And then there’s that thing that many readers do: you know, we’ll say “I’ll turn the light out/go clean the bathroom (sure!)/do my homework – when I’ve finished this chapter”. It’s easy to flick through a book to see how long the current chapter is, but a far more fiddly thing to do with the Kindle – until now.

Why now? Because, silently, wirelessly, those Kindle folk have updated my Kindle and one of the updates is that the Kindle will assess how fast I am reading and then report at the bottom left of the screen the “time left in chapter”. The percentage read is still there at bottom right. I have no idea when this was done, but I’ve only just noticed it! I love it … there are still aspects of the physical book, of being able to flick through it quickly, that I miss, but this is an excellent upgrade. Not only is it now easy to decide whether to read the next chapter, but I have a new game: Can I finish the chapter faster than it thinks I will!

And now, over to you Kindle owners out there:

Do you prefer your Kindle to print? Or do you still prefer print? What changes to the Kindle would sway you further towards it?

76 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2013 8:43 pm

    I regularly switch between reading on my Kindle and a physical book, I hardly notice the difference anymore. I also now have an IPad on which I can read Kindle books as the Ipad syncs to the Kindle cloud, but I I tend not to use it as a reader, the IPad being a heavier device and somewhat more cumbersome to hold than the lightweight Kindle. I’ve still got my old keyboard Kindle, and even though I lust for a Kindle paperwhite, I can’t really justify the expense. When the keyboard Kindle dies I’ll upgrade to the latest version. When reading in bed, Mr Catpol can’t stand me tapping on my IPad, but doesn’t mind the Kindle’s gentle, hardly audible click.

    • April 14, 2013 8:58 pm

      Oh thanks for replying Anne. I have an iPad too but don’t read much on it either … the only books I really prefer on the iPad is travel guides, like Lonely Planets, because of the colour and the better display of maps. I just use iBooks for that, and haven’t bothered with getting Kindle for the iPad. As you say the iPad is heavy and awkward to hold for reading, and I don’t really find the screen conducive either. I love the fact that you can pretty much hold a Kindle (particularly if you have a cover) like you’d hold a book.

      I don’t think Mr Gums minded the click to turn pages much, but I tend to make notes and that resulted in a lot of clicking at once.

  2. April 14, 2013 9:40 pm

    I have a Kobo and I hate it. It serves its purpose though — long battery life for travelling. I mainly read on iPad or iPhone (depending on if hubby nicks the iPad). I much prefer reading on iThings than paper books these days. I still read paper books sometimes, of course (I have stacks of them) but when I do I get annoyed at how hard they are to hold open and the lack of dictionary definitions when I click on words ;-p

    • April 14, 2013 9:57 pm

      Oh that makes me laugh Tsana … the lack of dictionary definitions I mean! I must say though that I hate reading on the iPad because it’s so hard to hold! I can’t imagine reading on a phone screen – it’s so small I would feel even more frustrated I think about the “sense” of the book. But, this is probably partly a generation think I think. Those of us who have spent decades reading print books are possibly more likely to have mixed feelings?

      Why do you hate the Kobo? I agree though that e-readers are great for travel.

      I do like the iPad for one other type of reading, besides travel guides, and that’s the newspaper. I think that’s because newspapers are awkward to manage and I like the fact that I can pick and choose articles easily.

      • April 14, 2013 10:07 pm

        I find I can balance the iPad well enough for it not to be too awkward. I admit sometimes when I start falling asleep I drop it but I haven’t quite hit myself in the face with it yet. Also, night mode on my iPhone is perfect for when I have insomnia and hubby doesn’t (theoretically the same can be said for the iPad but I find even in night mode the large screen gives off too much light to comfortably read in the dark). The high pixel count makes the letters really nice on the eyes, from a lack of strain point of view as well as aesthetically.

        The Kobo annoys me because of how slow it is to respond. Page turns are generally OK, but anything else is a pain. I find I don’t even bother trying to sort my books into shelves on it any more because it’s so annoying. And if I accidentally tap the screen while I’m reading (often with my hair if I’m slouching over it) then the delay in making whatever popped up go away is frustrating. I do like that the lack of backlighting means I can often get away with reading during aeroplane take offs and landings (which is safe, I promise. Trust me, I’m a physicist 😉 ). Hubby hates it as well because it freezes for him just about every time he tries to read. I reckon it doesn’t like how fast he turns the pages; I read more slowly than him and it hardly ever freezes for me.

        At this stage, I think when the Kobo dies, we’ll be looking at an iPad Mini, which is almost as light. That way we won’t have to fight over our one iPad.

        • April 14, 2013 10:49 pm

          Thanks for expanding Tsana. I know what you mean about the brightness of the iPad in the dark. I agree the pixels make for great resolution but I prefer the e-ink screen for intensive reading. A friend got an anti glare screen for her iPad and likes that, but I haven’t bothered with that cos I figure it lessens the resolution for other things. No wonder we have so many choices, we all have different preferences!

          PS I believe you about these devices and planes … Hubby is a retired communications engineer and says the same. I understand it’s being reviewed by the FAA?

        • April 14, 2013 11:12 pm

          Yeah, I heard that. Since the pilots get to use iPads for the duration of the flight, it was starting to seem more than a little hypocritical.

  3. April 14, 2013 9:43 pm

    No, I still don’t like it. I only use it for long books/classics that I want to read or re-read, and don’t want to add to my print book collection, which, over many moves, I”ve restricted to 2 bookcases. I don’t like the feel of holding the Kindle, even with a cover, I don’t like the solidity of it, the fact that you can’t just flick over the pages to an earlier or later part, or to see how much is left, or what happens at the end. And I don’t like being careful how I place my fingers, so I don’t inadvertently press forward or backward keys and lose the page.
    So I’ve read War and Peace, a couple of Zola books, and am now onto Shakespeare on it, but I much prefer reading in print. And I don’t have to worry about a Mr being disturbed by the light or me turning the pages!

    • April 14, 2013 10:01 pm

      Thanks Christina … it’s interesting how different we all are isn’t it. I rather like the feel of the Kindle and find it easy and comfortable to hold, but I do agree with you about the inadvertent stuff. That can be really irritating. With the touch version, you can’t brush off a piece of fluff without turning a page or two!! I do find that frustrating. I don’t care about fluff on my shelves and coffee tables but I do like to get it off my reading screen!

    • April 14, 2013 10:05 pm

      Me too, Christine. I hate reading on a Kindle, the whole experience of it. I use mine only to lighten the luggage when I’m going overseas, to read freebie old classics, or very, very occasionally when I want a book immediately. I dislike Amazon and all it stands for and I keep my purchases to the absolute minimum for that reason.

      • April 14, 2013 10:28 pm

        I must say, I mostly use it foe travel .. Or when I want a book immediately or can’t get anywhere else easily. I don’t hate it though … I just don’t prefer it.

        I suppose I’m being a bit simplistic but while I don’t use Amazon unless it’s my only option, I can’t hate it. It revolutionised book buying in a way that many of us greatly benefit from now … I love the fact that I can now order pretty much any book I want online from somewhere and have it land in my mailbox a week or two later. Amazon may not have been the first but it did show it was a goer on a large scale.

      • April 15, 2013 6:14 pm

        Lisa, we are in accord. I only download freebies or good-as; I only buy books in print that I really want to have a copy of, and I try to use other booksellers than Amazon for that. I think the best thing about the Kindle is its portability and the fact it has almost infinite holding capacity. BTW, does anyone know how you delete files you no longer want on it?

        • April 15, 2013 7:06 pm

          Yes, my first Kindle items were freebies from other sites like Many Books and Gutenberg. As for deleting, I think I’d Google that because it’s different I believe depending on which Kindle you have.

  4. April 15, 2013 12:14 am

    I started on Kindle several years ago and it took a bit to adjust. At first it was just for travel but this aspect grew. Finally, when it broke it’s little cursor button I got an iPad and read on the Kindle app there now.

    I like the font adjustment and the search feature, a dictionary handy enough I use it, as well as the ability to go straight to the web to look something up. It’s light enough to tote around easily. Also they have page numbers now and that helps although with non-fiction books formatting the footnotes and other material seems still to be inn an experimental stage – heh. There are no storage issues with the Kindle books.

    I continue to read paper books and I listen to books, too. I read the paper format when the book I want isn’t available in Kindle – this happens with some older books which aren’t quite classics as well as with newly translated books. Sometimes I want the nice glossy maps and photos of a nonfiction – (art and history). I really only listen to detective fiction and sometimes a classic or other book which is read by a favorite narrator – Will Patton.

    I used to miss the paper format but not so much any more. Now when I switch to paper I miss the search and font size. I still miss the currently reading or just finished book covers lying around the house and on the shelves.

    One sad thing is that my bookshelves are all full of books I really read quite some time ago – like 5 years or more. I have a couple thousand anyway. The newer books (last few years) are all on my iPad. It’s not so fun to look at my shelves anymore.

    • April 15, 2013 12:55 am

      Lovely discussion of the pros and cons Bekah … you are a complete reader clearly!

      I totally understand the thing about the shelves. It’s one of the tensions I feel about acquiring eBooks. I want the hard copies on my shelves and yet, at the same time, I know I have to start thinking about downsizing. Hopefully I have a few decades in me yet but they won’t all be in my current pretty large house. I am going to have to resign myself to reducing my book collection one day so I’m starting small now. I’m still not at all convinced about intensive reading on the iPad – it’s comparatively heavy and awkward – and I find the screen tires my eyes more than the Kindle. I worry that might have some deleterious effect on my eyesight, but who knows?

  5. April 15, 2013 12:48 am

    I have three kindles: kindle v2 and kindle v3 (keypad) and a kindle fire (not crazy about the latter). I read a lot on the kindles but it’s not a matter of preferring print over the kindle. For a crime fan, the kindle had been nothing less than a miracle. I’m seeing books that were really expensive (sometimes 100+) for a 60-70 year old paperback that was falling apart now FINALLY available on the kindle for 3.00 or so.

    The paperbacks are great to collect if you’re into that, but some of them are so frail, you don’t want to cart them around with you.

    There have been a couple of times when I’ve remembered a partial quote and it’s a hell of a lot easy to find it on the kindle than to try thumbing through 100s of pages to find it.

    • April 15, 2013 12:49 am

      BTW, my kindles don’t make that clicking sound….

      • April 15, 2013 12:57 am

        They don’t? My Kindle 3 did — maybe clicking isn’t the right word, but there’s a sound that sensitive Mr Gums could hear!

    • April 15, 2013 1:00 am

      Oh yes, Guy, I love the availability issue — I have stacked some classics that are hard to find, on my Kindle, but wasn’t aware that there was a lot of availability at good prices for the sort of genre fiction you’re talking about. I love that more and more of this material is being turned into e-format isn’t it?

      And, like you, I adore the search functionality … that’s a fantastic thing to have.

  6. Susan permalink
    April 15, 2013 12:56 am

    I have an old Kindle and it doesn’t make any noise at all when i turn pages. I haven’t upgraded even though the interface is archaic these days because I like the screen that’s not backlit—easier on the eyes and it doesn’t go off if I don’t touch it regularly. I could read on my ipad, but the ipad is much too heavy to read in bed. As it is the Old Kindle is heavy enough to be somewhat of a problem if I fall asleep reading. That said I agree with all your points about what’s disconcerting about the Kindle (and I don’t think i have that estimate of minutes you describe and which sounds useful). The main reason I don’t use the Kindle more often is the COST OF BOOKS. I buy paper ones, not so much because I like the feel of a real book, but because I can get used ones cheap.

    • April 15, 2013 1:09 am

      Thanks Susan … I’m loving all these perspectives and experiences. The Kindle Touch is still the e-ink screen which is why I like it, whereas I think the Fire is the backlit screen which, like you, I don’t much like for intensive reading. I’m surprised about the noise issue … the page turning on the older Kindles is a mechanical thing isn’t it? It’s a noise that I wouldn’t notice in daytime but in a silent bedroom I was very aware of it. Are you sure all you people who don’t hear any noise aren’t losing your hearing? LOL!

      That’s interesting re cost. I am sometimes surprised about the cost of eBooks, and then wonder whether I’m a bit naive about the cost components of books. Maybe the physical production isn’t as big a component as I’d thought? I can certainly see how eBooks would be more expensive than second-hand books, particularly those bought over the ‘net. I find that prices at secondhand shops here are not always that much different from those for an eBook, but that may be because our new books are so comparatively expensive here.

  7. debbierodgers permalink
    April 15, 2013 1:08 am

    I agree with Guy that the Kindle availability of out-of-print paper books is a draw. But I still don’t like reading on it. I have the Kindle Keyboard and it doesn’t click when I turn the page (?) I also have the cover which, while protecting the screen and providing that nifty light, also about triples the weight of the Kindle in my bag.

    Even knowing how far I am through the book doesn’t really tell me how big the book is or how many chapters – or as you said how far to the end of the chapter. That new feature doesn’t seem to be on mine but maybe I need WiFi for that to work?

    Anyway – there it is, in my bag, for travel when I can catch up on obscure titles, free downloads, or classics. I’ve thought of reading it in bed, but just can’t bring myself to pick it up when there are real books sitting on the bedside shelf.

    • April 15, 2013 1:23 am

      Thanks Debbie for joining in … as I haven’t done a lot of searching of O/P paper books, besides some classics, I hadn’t realised how well this area is covered by the Kindle. That’s good news.

      You are right about the weight, though it’s probably not much more than many novels? Anyhow, I’m happy to put up with it for the protection and the psychological thing, I suppose, that it makes it feel more like a book!

      I agree that the percentage etc doesn’t give you what you get from a physical book, but it helps! And yes, you do have to turn on the wifi to get the update. I have my wifi turned on permanently unless I’m really trying to conserve battery power, mainly because I can’t be bothered turning it on and off. A little “letter” comes with the update and it says keep your wifi on so that you can receive updates. I had no idea, until I saw this one the other day, that I might receive software updates!

      My main comment about the clicking was to do with making notes on the keyboard – the page turning noise as I recollect was pretty minimal though I was aware of it – but “typing” with the keyboard resulted in a sound. Not a big sound but one I was conscious of. I make notes as I read – sometimes a lot, sometimes not much, and I’d be anxious doing that in bed at night. I do read it in bed at night if hubby wants to sleep as the bedlamp bothers him but the little light on the Kindle doesn’t.

  8. sylviemarieheroux permalink
    April 15, 2013 1:14 am

    I read about half paper, half electronic by now. I’ve been reading lots of free books on Kobo (love the Gutenberg Project!). I have a Kobo Touch, which has its annoying sides (slowness, freezing, not wanting to synch properly) but also many good ones (lightness, fits in my purse, remembers where I am, dictionaries in all three languages I read in). I chuckle every time I press on a word I don’t know in a paper book, expecting a definition to pop up. I’m sure it looks pretty funny to the people sitting or standing near me in public transit.

    I still borrow some books from the public library but I buy a lot as well (both paper and electronic).

    • April 15, 2013 1:29 am

      Thanks SylvieMarie … I’m not 50:50 yet. More like 20:80 but it’s creeping up! I love the Gutenberg Project too, though I’ve sometimes had failures. I think I ended up paying a couple of dollars on Amazon for some Jane Austens because one I’d got from Gutenberg just froze. I love that I can get authors like Elizabeth von Arnim via Gutenberg.

      As for remembering where you are, what are we going to do with all our lovely bookmarks!

      I haven’t yet pressed on a paper book for a definition, but the time will come I’m sure…

  9. April 15, 2013 1:30 am

    Bahahaha! I would get sucked into that “game” for sure! At present, it’s enough of a leap for me to be “reading” via audiobooks. Though the portability of the Kindle appeals.

    • April 15, 2013 1:35 am

      If I would, you certainly would, I reckon Hannah … so, are you enjoying the audiobook experience? Is this primarily a commuter thing?

      • April 19, 2013 3:14 am

        His Dark Materials has become SUCH a source of joy for me that it’s become an everything-thing. Cooking dinner, making treats, taking photos, editing photos, doing the laundry… but then sometimes I crave blessed silence!

        • April 19, 2013 8:16 am

          Yes, I know what you mean Hannah … I love being connected but the one thing I do where I refuse to be is walking. I love to do that with me eyes, ears and mind free to wander.

  10. April 15, 2013 6:21 am

    I have one of those – don’t get into trying to beat the clock – it will ruin your reading pleasure! In any case, I think it recalculates it on the basis of how quickly you turn the pages, so you’ll never quite keep up with it!

    I think it’s very good but sometimes if I ‘m not careful I jump a couple or more pages by mistake.

    • April 15, 2013 6:28 am

      You know what I did today? I was reading a paper book (The Falls – Joyce Carol Oates) and tried to turn the page by touching it. Oh dear – I know I tried to touch my computer screen when I started using my iPad, but trying to turn a page in a paper book by touching it is another matter!

      • April 15, 2013 7:33 am

        LOL, Bekah … It’s called having too many options! Perhaps it’s a good thing for keeping our grey matter alive … What device am I in and how do I use it? Oh, I’m with print … Now I’ll get some exercise and walk over to my dictionary. Oops, where is it? did i give it away? (No, couldn’t go that far)

    • April 15, 2013 7:28 am

      Oh yes Tom, I was joking really! I know what you mean about turning too many pages … What we need is voice activation “please turn the page”. Bed partners may not like that when they’re trying to sleep though!

  11. April 15, 2013 11:46 am

    I’m still absolutely a print girl at heart. The idea of curling up with a Kindle just doesn’t do it for me. And I find the idea of constantly being alert to stats about my reading ‘progress’ rather disconcerting. I just want to be absorbed in the story. That said, when it comes to traveling it’s a very convenient option. And as an author I support the availability of books in multiple formats. Be it digital or print, it’s the stories that count.

    • April 15, 2013 6:07 pm

      Now you’ve spoilt my demographic analysis, Irma … I had younger people, eBooks; older people, print. Except, already it hasn’t panned out that way! I am happy to curl up with a kindle, but not with an iPad. The stats are tiny font so you can ignore them, but because I can’t “see” the whole book I do like the sense of where I am. It certainly makes being a publisher a challenge these days, doesn’t it?

      • April 15, 2013 7:50 pm

        A few years back I had also assumed that younger people would be ebook lovers but interestingly research has shown that readers under 30 are not big users. The majority are aged between 40 and 70. Since I’m approaching 40 perhaps I’ll have a revelation one day soon!

        • April 15, 2013 7:57 pm

          Let us know, Irma! That is interesting though isn’t it? I wonder if it is cost of device – though you wouldn’t think so given the cost of smartphones (and their market penetration amongst the young) and the fact that you can read on them.

  12. residentjudge permalink
    April 15, 2013 12:03 pm

    I bought an I-River Story because I wanted the typewriter function at the bottom, but it probably wasn’t a good choice. It’s too clunky going from the notes function to the book and back again. I do have a tablet as well, but I haven’t read a book on it yet. The one really outstanding feature of any digitized book for me is that I read quite a lot of old texts (i.e. 1840s and 1850s) that would be absolutely impossible to access here in Australia. Even if they were available, I’d have to read them in the manuscript room of some library with my white cotton gloves on. This way I can read them just as a normal book- even eat and drink while doing so!!
    I have found myself reading the digitzed copy on one computer or the Story, and taking notes on another rather than trying to flip between the two.

    • April 15, 2013 6:12 pm

      I remember when you bought that too, RJ … it was why I bought the Kindle Keyboard (but I think you didn’t want an Amazon reader?), for the note-taking function. I’m not totally happy with the note-taking function on these Kindles but it works well-enough. The ability to access rare or hard to get stuff and the travel use are the two best things about these devices I think.

      • residentjudge permalink
        April 15, 2013 6:41 pm

        Yes, I avoided the Kindle as part of my feeble, completely meaningless protest against Big Companies. Didn’t get me far.

  13. April 15, 2013 12:14 pm

    With an e-book, I miss being able to study the cover and publication details before starting to read. This often provides useful context and is a kind of appetiser as well. My kindle defaults to p.1 and if you flip back you get long tables of contents that would never have been included in the printed version, and the b&w cover page is always a disappointment. I like the way paper books are designed so that the text is balanced on the page with generous gutters and kerned fonts. Book designers must despair at kindle versions. Perhaps this is where the technology will go next: e-readers that morph more fluidly into the downloaded book, using memory plastic and liquid design principles.

    • April 15, 2013 6:16 pm

      Oh yes, Judith, I’m also irritated by the fact that it defaults to page 1, and the presumption that we are not interested in the other information. But it’s only we librarians who want that! I know what you mean about design … though not all books do have generous gutters. I hate those books that don’t. I bet design of books on e-readers will improve. This software update includes Cover Flow, but black and white covers don’t really cut it do they!

      • April 15, 2013 7:55 pm

        Now that would definitely annoy me. I always read the imprint page and the acknowledgments first. Perhaps it’s the author and editor in me, but I always enjoy easing myself into a book this way.

        • April 15, 2013 10:23 pm

          Ah, so it’s not just we librarians then! I reckon this is something they should offer as a preference: Do you want your book to start at the cover or the story when you first click on it?

  14. April 15, 2013 12:45 pm

    Nothing Kindle could do would ever persuade me to own one, except for switching to epub file format and breaking all ties with Amazon. That said, I have an ereader (Sony), and my ebook to print ratio is close to 50/50. Sony shows the page number at the bottom of the screen that corresponds to the print page (if you change font size, you’re still on the same number page), along with the total number of pages. That chapter detector might come in handy though.

    • April 15, 2013 6:21 pm

      Thanks Isabella for joining in … I think the iPad iBooks software also shows the page number like that? I was intrigued about how it managed this with different font sizes but it sounds like what happens is that 3 pages in big font on your e-book would still the same “page”? I thought about the Sony at one stage but as I recollect there was a timing thing. It got into touch first didn’t it?

  15. April 15, 2013 6:43 pm

    Yes, there are many faults with the kindle. Yes, reading a real book is “the” experience. But for finding long out-ot-print classics such as Balzac’s Comedie Humaine and Hugo’s Rougon-Macquarts, Amazon and The Gutenberg collections for Kindle can’t be beat. When I was able to find ancient classics in the library the print was often so small I couldn’t read them. With the adjustable font size on kindle, this is no longer a problem. Now if could just download foreign language titles from Amazon.it, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr

    • April 15, 2013 7:07 pm

      Well said Romy … the print size on classics in particular can be a real issue can’t it. What is the issue with Amazon.de etc? Is it a rights issue? Like we Aussies have, though it’s improving I think, with contemporary Aussie books?

  16. April 16, 2013 2:19 am

    I wonder if the regular Kindle got this upgrade? I should probably turn on it’s wireless sometime to see if there are any updates. I still much prefer reading print especially if it is a thinker sort of book where I find myself flipping back to earlier pages because suddenly something I just read connects with something I read earlier and I want to go back and revisit it. Unless I happened to fortuitously make a note or something earlier, it is impossible to find. All that to say Kindle navigation stinks.

    • April 16, 2013 8:43 am

      I think it might have Stefanie, but you do have to have wireless on. I’m interested that it seems like a few people don’t leave their wireless on? Is that for security/privacy reasons? Or to save battery power? Or?

      • April 16, 2013 10:22 pm

        I leave mine off to save the battery. Also, I sometimes have library ebooks on it I am not finished with and they don’t expire from the kindle until the wifi gets turned on and Amazon disappears the book.

        • April 16, 2013 10:39 pm

          Ah, yes, Stefanie … I forgot that library reason for turning off wifi. I don’t borrow ebooks, don’t borrow books. Somehow I seem to have enough to read and tend not to go looking for more! The battery issue I handle by keeping it charged. I’m better at charging it than my phone! Probably because I use it less.

  17. April 16, 2013 7:54 am

    I have a NOOK with an internal light—pretty much like your Kindles. I use it and am grateful for it primarily because I am able to get books that I could not otherwise read. Since I have started reading Australian women writers, it has been particularly valuable. I have requested and received some books that I wanted as review copies. Spinifex and the NAU ebooks have been great. And of course, there are Gutenbergs. I have also paid a reasonable price for some ebooks that were not available in the USA as hard copy.

    But I much prefer “real books.” Besides all the reasons already given, I like to use stickies to tab sections of a book that I particularly like and good back so I can mull over them. I feel more in communication with the author if I can move around in a book that way. I also have quotes ready if I write a review. There are ways of doing that in my NOOK but they are difficult and hard to use. And they don’t always work properly. I find ebooks are fine for a quick, straightforward read, but they don’t work well for me if I have a book I want to consider and reconsider.

    • April 16, 2013 8:48 am

      Yes, I agree Marilyn, re the books you want to consider and consider. I tend to avoid those in e-books as well unless I’m desperate. I write in my books, pencil not pen. The Kindle slows note-taking and I use that, but in my books I tend also to make notes at the book, drawing ideas together, pointing to page numbers for quotes so I can find them quickly, etc. you can’t do that in the Kindle. The note has to be tied to spot in the narrative. I suppose I could find a spot in the end matter and do it there but it would be tedious going back to all the time to add to it. Not like just turning to the end of the book in a second!

  18. April 17, 2013 6:13 am

    I like the sound of those changes! I have an older, clickier Kindle, and it does annoy my wife when reading in bed. The ability to know how long you’ve got before you finish the chapter is great.

    To be honest I still prefer paper, and I’m not really sure what Amazon could do to persuade me to use my Kindle for anything other than reading while travelling. I like so many intangible things about the way real books look and feel, and the experience of reading on a device is just not the same – it’s not a treat for me the way books are. It’s an adequate substitute when the real thing is not available.

    I also like to browse in and buy from independent bookshops, not be locked into buying from a mega-corporation!

    That said, I am at least able to read ebooks quite comfortably now, which surprises me. Who knows, maybe the improvements in each new version will win me over eventually!

    • April 17, 2013 8:05 am

      Oh thanks Andrew for telling me your Kindle clicks too … I was starting to think there was something wrong with me – princess and the pea, perhaps – or my Kindle.

      I think you’ve expressed pretty perfectly where I’m at too. I miss the intangible things about books as you say – things that are difficult to define – but I don’t mind my kindle, and it has some good features. I’m getting used to it. Last year I think I only read two books on it, but I’ve already read two this year, and expect to read more. Paper will still predominate but over time I expect that wil change, slowly.

  19. chillcat permalink
    April 18, 2013 5:42 pm

    Interesting to read your views Sue but I won’t be acquiring one anytime soon. I know they must be beautiful and practical objects and you do read so much (my bookshelves are always dusty!) but I can’t let go of the wish to hold a book in my hands. Rummage through, bend pages, go back or forward, enjoy seeing the cover about the house. It is one luxury I’m not giving up. Plus when buying used Amazon copies I always feel I am saving an old hardback or library copy from certain death, like going to an R.S.P.C.A. for books!

    • chillcat permalink
      April 18, 2013 5:43 pm

      PS this is Catherine!

    • April 18, 2013 9:55 pm

      RSPCA for books … I love it! I totally understand why you won’t be getting one soon. My main reason for getting one was that as a librarian (retired but was and still am doing some contract work), I felt I wanted to “know” what they are all about. I’m glad I did but as I said I only read 2 books last year and I did buy a couple of literary journals to see how they worked. The year before I read a few. This year I’ll be travelling more so for that reason as well as the fact that the touch makes it easier to read in bed I’ll probably read more. But paper will still be the bulk. It’s easy to forget eBooks too because they aren’t under your nose gathering dust!!

  20. April 19, 2013 12:15 am

    One thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned (I might have missed it). As I said I read about equally in all formats a few more audios, a few less paper perhaps. One issue I’ve run into is that I can’t remember what format I read a book in! I’ll be sure I read it in paper but when I go to find it I can’t. I don’t think it might be in the Kindle library or in the Audio books. I’ve bought a second copy of stuff because of this and then found the book later. Fortunately the Kindle and Audio books are sortable – my bookshelf books are hard to look all through (even if two rooms of them are alphabetized) for something I read maybe 10 years ago.

    • April 19, 2013 12:24 am

      I use LibraryThing.com to avoid that very problem. (You can also use Goodreads, but I think LT lends itself better to actual cataloguing.) It’s helped me not buy a book twice on a few occasions, particularly since smart phones and mobile internet let me check it when I’m in a second hand book shop. Since working overseas, it’s also helped me keep track of which books I’ve left in Australia and which I brought with me.

      • April 19, 2013 8:06 am

        You beat me to it Tsana … I was going to say the same thing … Add another column to my FileMaker Pro database or a tag to my Library Thing one. But, Bekah, that was a great point!

      • April 19, 2013 8:08 am

        Oops, I meant to add that this is why I se Library Thing more than Good Reads, for the cataloguing functionality and the fact that I can export the data every now and then so I have an inventory on my own system.

    • April 19, 2013 8:12 am

      Thanks Bekah for this … If Amazon ever finds its way here they should take note!

  21. April 19, 2013 12:31 am

    Excellent idea if I ever have the time to enter just my paper books into it. Maybe after I downsize to move? (heh)

    • April 19, 2013 8:11 am

      You don’t keep a record, besides your blog? It WOULD take time though with Library Thing you can use a little bar code reader to enter your backlist quickly. I did that … Didn’t work for the books pre barcode … Some of which I don’t have in yet … But it got my books of the last decade or so in pretty easily.

      • April 19, 2013 10:38 am

        A blog is the only way I’ve ever been able to keep a log. I’d wanted to forever – bought notebooks and set it up, but … – I started blogging my books back in about 1998 and except for a couple years after that experience (I accidentally deleted the whole thing), I’ve kept a blog – I have the old Mac one on my computer.

        • April 19, 2013 11:01 am

          It’s certainly time consuming keeping logs. Do you have an index for your blog?

        • April 19, 2013 1:23 pm

          No index – just a search box which works pretty well. Or I can scan through the months menu at the top for the link.

        • April 19, 2013 2:40 pm

          Yes, there is the search … But I have done an author index on mine to quickly find works by an author versus every mention of an author. It all takes time though, and I haven’t done a title index.

        • April 20, 2013 12:44 am

          An author index is a good idea – i’m going to think about that. I’d like to start one anyway. Thanks – 🙂

        • April 20, 2013 8:37 am

          Oh good. I’d love it if you did one!

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