Shalanna (shalanna) wrote,

To rekindle a discussion we had earlier--Kindle/Nook stuff

I've come up with other pros/cons of the Kindle.

First off, what am I doing with my Kindle? I keep it on the nightstand. Currently, the first page of books (sorted by "most recently opened/read") lists these tomes:

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
(I recommend this highly to those fans who have read most or all of Phil's output. It is more of a metanovel than a collection of novels. I don't mean you've seen the films based on his work, because for the most part they leave way too much out and they are mostly not much like his work. Blade Runner is the most faithful to the book, yet it leaves out the entire empathy religion and makes you think that the bounty hunter might be a Nexus-6, but that's wrong in canonical novel terms. Anyway, you've got to be prepared to think Phil was either crazy or a super-spiritual mystic. Or both. I like reading him on Kindle in bits and pieces because I can highlight lots of stuff for MY CLIPPINGS.)

The Rosy Crucifixion (all three volumes)--Henry Miller
(If you think my books have too much thinkin' in them, or you say I am too detailed a writer, or you want me to leave out a lot--DON'T try to read Henry Miller! I mean it! Everything is lush and everything is detailed, but you WANT it to be, if you are in the audience for his books. They're not all dirty as one might have been led to believe, although he certainly doesn't shy away from passages of sexual content. It's astounding to me how he can segue from an insightful philosophical passage of cadenced, lyrical prose into one of his "and then I walked into this bar and this woman threw herself on me and we went into the back room and" orgy bits. I mean, these women would have had no reason to jump him--if you've SEEN him, you'd know that, ha--and so it has to be mostly in his imagination. Still, he's fascinating to read, if you can take those passages. I like reading him on Kindle in bits and pieces because I can highlight lots of stuff for MY CLIPPINGS.)

Memories, Dreams, Reflections--Carl Jung (AND a long study guide on the book)
(This is fascinating, again, although you need to have some idea WHY you are interested in Jung's past and his work. I always have felt that my characters and ideas/plots proceeded from the Muses and the collective unconscious as well as from my Girls in the Attic, so I enjoy reading this stuff. He talks about his childhood and education and teaching and all sorts of stuff. I also am a firm believer in the MBTI because it helps my people skills to know how others think (I am a prisoner of my own point of view oftentimes). It's a long book. Again with the MY CLIPPINGS file.)

Search-by-Verse King James Bible/Halley's Bible Handbook
(This is a convenience for looking things up. I find it a lot more instructive and interesting to read Scripture and helps in the old-fashioned dead tree editions. I have an interlinear New Testament that has the Greek, the KJV, and the NIV side-by-side. It's really a trip. But I do have this on the Kindle and refer to it from time to time when I'm contemplating things or doing research.)

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
(Happened to go back to this last night. It's still a masterpiece and one of my favorite novels.)

The Stand--The Expanded Edition by Stephen King
(I got this so as to disprove some of the claims made about King and his writing. I also had heard that this is his best novel. I find that he does do lots of great little vignettes of the various people, but I do a LOT of skimming past this guy croaking, the other guy getting gorily shot, and so forth. I'm only a small percentage into the book and we STILL have not nearly reached the get-together that is supposedly going to happen--it's just all about these side characters. For the record, he DOES use semicolons and he DOES do a lot of infodump/backstory. This book is just so LONG that I don't know how anyone could read through the entire thing, heh.)

A number of samples of books I might or might not buy in full

So the Kindle is good for books that you will want to highlight. It's good when you want to see what others have highlighted out of a book. It's good if you will be doing a lot of searching. If you want to jump around in a complicated and long book, it's probably pretty good--although I feel claustrophobic to only see one page at a time. I like to flip back and forth, even peeking at the ending or the beginning again sometimes. Can't do that easily on this device--you only get to see ONE PARTIAL PAGE at a time.

It's great if you think of some books as "popcorn" that you won't be rereading or keeping, because you can read 'em and then take 'em off the device or delete them. You can also get samples of books to see if you want to buy the whole book. You can pick up things free during promotions. This is all good.

You can't beat it for travel. I tried to make Hubby take it on his three-week trip because then he wouldn't have had to pack books or buy new stuff in Denver, but he WANTED to read what was available there only--tourist info and guidebooks and local color (this is all very commendable). He took copies of my books and left them around so that they might join the Free Library and spark people to investigate other stuff I've written. This is all good.

But some things aren't Kindle-friendly.

I find that I can't read mathematical books with any success. I need to have pencil/pad in hand and be working through whatever it is that the math book is saying. So that's not a big Kindle thing for me.

Art books and coffee-table books work best in dead-tree editions. They're for browsing through when your eyes are tired from staring at screens and text. They're for admiring. The resolution of the pictures is better on paper. You could look at art books on a big screen for a desktop, but you really can't appreciate them on a Kindle or Nook, IMHO.

Some things I just need to see on paper. If the Kindle allowed you to mark passages to be printed (for example, out of those math texts!), and then to print them wirelessly, that would be cool. It'll never happen, but is what I want. I like to make notes on paper, too, next to passages--but I may not want to make it a Kindle "note" and take up lots of space or let others see it.

I kind of have a privacy issue. When it's on the Kindle, they know you are reading it. They can see your notes and highlights, as can others. They might even pull the edition from your device. It's just a privacy thing, a quirk of mine.

I still have a better experience reading the Bible and commentaries or helps on paper. Your mileage will differ.

My eyes also tire earlier than yours probably do. It's a result of my past medical history plus my age. Thus I don't try to read EVERYTHING online.

I haven't forgotten what I wrote about before: that I know the Kindle format will eventually disappear, and the Kindle itself will become obsolete, and many if not most of the editions people have purchased for the Kindle will either be unconvertible or lost through entropy. The dead-tree format, if kept dry and not stained with spaghetti sauce to attract buggies, will last many more years and give service without becoming an obsolete format. I keep paper books of the books that are really important to me. This means I have two versions of some books. Others are ephemeral, popcorn reads, and I don't care if they are lost with the Kindle format.

So it goes. So be it.

Enjoy it for what it is. But I would still caution you against making it your ONLY library.
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