It's a curious experience enjoying a book on Kindle - I've had mine for a number of months
now and have read several books. Friends, acquaintances even
strangers on the train ask what I think. "How is it?" they ask
and I have to say.."excellent" and if I don't mind accepting
the invite to discuss I add "…but sometimes irritating".
I'm fortunate enough at the moment to be deep into working on a
bicentenary radio programme for the BBC about
Charles Dickens. So I'm happily enjoying Claire Tomalin's excellent new biography of
the great Victorian novelist. HOWEVER I'm now 57% through and I'm
getting an overwhelming feeling that I'm nearly finished. I
THINK that the remainder of the e-book is filled with photographs
and footnotes etc Why don't I know? Well with Kindle the one thing
I'm useless at is browsing. Once I've lost my place it can takes
ages to get back to where I was.
So whereas the hardback reader will be able to gaze at
contemporary images of Dickens as a young man, at Catherine his
wife (I'm guessing now) I won't see these until I get there. It's
bit like reading a manuscript except you can't look at any of the
other pages before you actually get there. It's great for
concentrating because there are simply no distractions.
But of course an e-book has one huge advantage. Its size. As I
write I'm travelling on a train hurtling towards Exeter for a
couple of interviews. So here is the enormous advantage - I'm
pretty laden with recording gear not to mention overnight stuff and
a change of clothes. My Kindle is safely tucked into my handbag and
as soon as I finish this - I'll bring it out and enjoy finishing
this highly recommended biography.
So yes, a Kindle is wonderful but it can be irritating. They
need to sort out an internal light. You can't read in the dark
without a torch just like an ordinary book and the speech to text
voice is worse than Stephen Hawking. But I don't think publishers
will abandon hard or paperbacks. You can't put an e-book on your
book shelf and you certainly don't get the pleasure of lending