I’m halfway through my first book on the new Amazon Kindle and I must say it’s quite an interesting experience.
Being a bit of a purist when it comes to books, I’ve always thought that nothing can beat a good old paperback where you can flip through pages of text and/or images and do whatever it is people do to books such as folding the edge as a bookmark, annotating, using it as a propping tool etc.
What I like about the Kindle 3 is its nice sleek design with its interesting screen savers. It’s very light and thin, very portable and easy to carry around as it doesn’t take up much space in a bag.
My favourite features on the Kindle include the annotation function where you can highlight passages of text which is then automatically stored, and also the built-in dictionary function which allows you to view definition of words by just positioning the cursor before the beginning of the word.
However, I do have some issues with the ergonomics of the Kindle. As you need to hold it like a book, the fact that it’s very thin and bigger than the size of one’s palm (at least my palm) makes it quite tricky to have a firm grip on it with one hand without my fingers either pressing on the screen or on the keypad. Some sort of rubber band on the back of the Kindle so that I can slide my hand under the band snugly and not worry about the Kindle slipping off my hand would be nice.
Also, the back and next button on the Kindle needs a bit of getting used to. The usual mental model of right arrow = next and left arrow= back doesn’t work on the Kindle as both of the next and back buttons are located on top of each other on both sides of the Kindle.
Lastly, thanks to the touchscreen invention on mobile devices, it is natural to want to use touchscreen to navigate on the Kindle but as it’s not a touchscreen device, I have to resist the urge to poke around on the reading screen and get used to the keypad buttons which needs a bit of learning.
It’s good for text-heavy books but image-heavy books tend to struggle a bit with the Kindle layout. You can browse the internet and check your emails on it if you don’t mind the entirely black and white display.
Still, it’s a good device to have given it’s very easy to purchase books online and being able to read them almost right after the purchase. All in all, it does support the act of reading but it requires some learning and compromising.
Photo credit: Aurum3 NewTech