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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Kindle's making me read more

Having had my Kindle for a month now I can confirm that it makes you read a lot more. That's not novelty so much as convenience. It's thin enough to carry in a jacket-pocket. This means that you can take it out, not just on trains or in normal commuting situations, but also when standing outside a shop waiting for the GLW or queueing for the Channel Tunnel. If you've done things right it's kept your place and so there's no scanning back and forth to see where you'd got up to. At the bottom of the page is a percentage reading, showing how far you've got in the book, which provides a spur all of its own. I might set the book aside at 39% but I'm more likely to wait until I've read 40%. Of course you can do the same things less scientifically with a traditional book. But I probably wouldn't.

7 comments:

  1. Does that mean you're reading in shorter bites (bytes?) rather than a longer session? I worry about dip-in/dip-out reading myself; if I can't settle down to a proper read, then I'd rather not insult the author by snatches of reading...

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  2. I find similar but via reading on my phone - for me the advantage is that it's always on me, I don't have to make a special effort to remember to carry my magic reading device.

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  3. I read on my phone too, and find the same thing. But I won't choose the same book to read for a few minutes as I would to settle down for a longer session. That's another advantage - if I'm waiting at the dentist, for instance, I'll choose something quite light that doesn't need all my attention, or to re-read something, but if I were waiting for a hospital appointment, I'd settle down to something more meaty to take my mind off the long wait.

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  4. Look no further than the humble bookmark. A cursory glance when the book is closed gives you all the info you need - nearly half way, just a few pages more etc. Flyers in record shops make great ones.

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  5. I have read 4 books in the month that I have had my Kindle. I am dipping in and out of 2 books at present to suit my mood. A biography and a thriller. I don't think that my Kindle will be a 10 minute wonder. I am looking forward to reading Keith Richard's biog and other titles on my holiday cruise in the New Year. In my case I am definitely reading more. One more thing - No one has mentioned the consistent size of typeface. This is a huge bonus for anybody like myself whose reading vision is becoming worse with age.

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  6. Similar experience here.

    I'm buying more books as well, and by having them all in one place I can usefully hop between as required and generally keep progressing through all of them. A recent flight to the US saw me jump between Great Expectations, Stewart Lee's latest biog and Brian Cox's E=mc^2 depending on how tiredness was affecting me. I wouldn't have done that with physical books.

    One comment on the % complete marker - I've found it's of limited value in the Complete Works of Charles Dickens. I've been on Great Expectations for ages and the % hasn't changed yet.

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  7. It does sound ideal for those of you who still travel and commute but is it worth it just to have something less heavy to hold in bed? And can one order willy nilly from Amazon - as I am used to - anything that grabs one?

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