Product testing continued over the weekend, and the Kindle continued to please.
The happiest surprise was the images that appeared unbidden on the screen. What looked like images of Audubon birds, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and Harriet Beecher Stowe. I think these must be 19th century engravings used here because they are out of copyright. But they work beautifully on this screen in black and white and grey. And there is something wonderful about this ghostly image making an apparitional appearance, suddenly just there on the screen.
The Kindle is a little funny to handle. There are buttons on both sides, so it’s hard to grasp firmly without activating functions unintentionally. I ended up taking Jerry Rice "soft hands" approach, holding it gently in both hands. (Note to self, for God sake, update your sports comparisons.) I ended up taking a Lynn Swann "soft hands" approach. Better.
The screen is great for reading. I spend some time reading in bed with the Kindle propped up against a pillow. This works well. No more having to fight the binding to keep the book open. You can turn on your side.
Whispernet is surprisingly robust, working for someone who lives as I do in a small town in Connecticut where cell service is sometimes spotty. I ordered Cymbeline and it was there waiting for me minutes later. Whispernet even delivers Gmail and that makes it a nice back up for my Sony Ericsson 810 was continues to be an almost complete frustration in this regard.
I’ve ordered more books. I ordered A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. Now this is a sale made by Kindle. Which is to say I’m not sure there is enough value in Pink to pay $35.00 or whatever the list price is. (It might be worth this and more, but at this point, without reading further, I just can’t say.) But $9.00 I will pay. $9.00 is a chance I am prepared to take. I haven’t started Stalin’s ghost by Martin Gruz Smith or Lost Light by Michael Connelly, but I am glad to have them as respite against flight delays. O’Reilly’s Radar is my only blog so far and it reads a little awkwardly on this screen.
My Cymbeline is a Folger Library edition. Everything that is usually supplied by the Folger is stripped out, word definitions, introductions, and the table of contents. I only paid $3.00 for it, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain. On the other hand, if I were the Folger Library I would be unhappy. (The culprit appears to be the digital republisher Digireads.)
I am reading Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. This works very well. The Kindle has a way of keep track of exactly where one is. Normally, a book of this size and this authority would leave me a little intimidated. But the Kindle makes it possible to to proceed by small steps and perfect increments, and in the process to dwell on each passage. I am relieved the forced march, and given the opportunity to absorb things more particularly. Maybe that’s just me, but if it isn’t the medium in this case really is shaping the message.
My big complaint: reading with a Kindle is like reading through plate glass. I can’t get at or repurpose anything I find in The Wealth of Nations. I can clip it for internal purposes. I can make a note. But I can’t move these off the Kindle into a blog posting say. I don’t mind if Amazon wants to protect value with DRM. But notes belong to me. They are value I have created for myself. There has to be some way to capture and repurpose them for my purposes.
I stand corrected. Thanks to a comment by Jared, I had another look on my Kindle. There are two My Clippings file. I only saw the mbp version, which is not readable. But there is a second that is. So the OTHER thing I like about the Kindle is the fact that it lets me transport my notes from Kindle to other media.