Sunday, April 15, 2012

(Personal) Kindle update 2

Well, there's no doubt in my mind that Kindles are brilliant for travelling! I'm still frustrated by the inability to skip back and forth in a novel, but my partner tells me he has no such trouble: I just need to learn some techniques. And, contrary to my earlier prejudice, I've found the highlighting feature to be superior to the practice of underlining in a print book: it didn't take me long to be able to do it swiftly, and then rather than having to search back through a whole book for my underlinings (or note them down as I go), I can now simply press a button and call them all up, and press again to see each one in its whole context. And as for the dictionary: no more putting the book aside to check up on the meaning of a word; just press a button and it's there right away at the bottom or top of the screen. I was in Germany and stupidly hadn't taken a German phrase book or dictionary: no problem; I could get one straight down on my Kindle for very little expense, and nothing further to carry around with me! (I did find it fiddly to use at first, but quickly got used to it.)

I'm looking at all those books on our groaning shelves - the old falling-apart paperbacks, the (not so old) hardbacks with their browning paper, all piled two-deep and higgledy-piggedly because we long ago ran out of space, so we can't even find books any more when we want them, and I'm seeing them with different eyes....

Surely not, no... My whole life has been wedded to the physicality of books and their shelves, the way they sat beside my bed on the little white bookcase my parents bought me, or on the planks and bricks I set up in my first-ever flat; the way, on my many moves, I'd pack them carefully into tea-chests before anything else...  What would I be without them?

10 comments:

Lola Stern said...

I have the same problem with switching forth and back in my kindle books and didn't find a satisfying solution yet.

Living abroad for some months, I thought that I can stick to the Kindle, but no, books have been piling up all around me. Mostly because ebooks are not that popular in the Baltics yet.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Interested that you haven't found a solution yet, Lola. Wonder if my partner is just being macho about it? And interested that ebooks haven't yet taken off in the Baltics.

nmj said...

'My whole life has been wedded to the physicality of books and their shelves...'

That's lovely, Eliz, and resonates so much. I think ebooks are a bigger change than anyone realises, it's not just the technology, it affects us all emotionally.

The not being able to flip back and forth still irks me, the note feature I am still not used to. But, for sheer convenience, Kindles rock!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Ah yes, the note thing: impossibly clunky. but I suspect it's different with the touch-screen Kindle...

Sally Zigmond said...

Indeed, the inability to flick back and forth irks me too. I also find it difficult to 'feel' the structure and shape of any book, to get a feel for the way the narrative is physically put together.

I also wish I could group my downloads into categories (fiction, history, biography etc) or by author as I do on my shelves (or at least I used to before the sheer amount and a series of house moves got too much for the system!)

Is there a way?

Having said that, I wouldn't be without my Kindle now.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Ah, interesting point re categoristion. I wonder if there is a way...

nmj said...

hey sally, yes, you can name specific 'collections' and add and remove titles.

Mathurine said...

I have yet to be converted. I'm a bit old school and still enjoy feeling the page, smelling the ink and holding it up to my face when I'm trying to hide from the hubby and get out of laundry duty. I'm sure that I'll get there eventually but I bet the old oak bookshelf in the dining room will still be stocked with all my favourite literature.

Aknen Hoito said...

Hi, I live in Finland and I really love these, I wonder when is the next update after this one..

jmcnchicago said...

I still love my physical library, and there are novels I buy in print for the sheer beauty of having them, but the Kindle has become the easiest method for reading. Plus, the sheer diversity of free books offered for the Kindle on a rotating basis is mind-blowing! Even when I narrow the selection down to contemporary fiction.