Amazon weirdness…

For an organisation which built its empire on books, Amazon really doesn’t know much about those of us who consider ourselves avid readers.

For instance, they measure their Kindle battery life at half an hour’s reading a day. This enables them to claim absurdly, unrealistically, long battery life, which would be dishonest were it not for the fact that they are upfront about their half-hour stupidity.

Nobody reads for half an hour a day, I’m quite sure of it. Not unless all they read is a menu. Hell, 30 minutes a day if, say, commuting, isn’t worth carrying a book for. 15 minutes each way simply isn’t enough time to get bored.

I don’t doubt that there are people who read for such a short span, but they probably stop because their lips get tired. No serious reader, of the sort who would buy a Kindle (or, in my sad case, multiple Kindles – one of each model), does that.

Hell, I’ve seen the time, confined to a hospital bed, when I’ve read for 18 hours a day – that trashes your battery life claim, Amazon – buggerdly thing needs recharging twice a day (Paperwhite 3G). In fact I fear the day when I might be permanently confined to bed – and it’s probably coming – simply because I couldn’t afford enough books to keep me occupied and preserve my sanity.

On a normal day – most of which I spend where I am now, in front of my computer, I still read for between 2 and 6 hours in the evening (I always, ever since I was a little kid and on my then GP’s advice,** wind down every night by reading for at least a couple of hours).

**Because when I was little (3 or 4 y.o. – I could read comics at 3, fluently by 4), I’d have horrendous nightmares if I didn’t.

And then there’s the claim for the current 59 quid Kindle (though they make similar claims for them all), that it holds 1,400 books so “you can take your library with you”.  Er, no. My dead tree library runs to over 2,000 books, my Kindle maybe 1,000 more, I haven’t actually counted, but it’s a lot. To take my library with me I need a van, not a Kindle.

You see, Amazon, that’s what we readers do – we amass books and we read a lot. I bought my first Kindle because I’d run out of room for print books, most of which are boxed and stashed but I still have two six-foot by three-foot  bookcases full, plus books littering every flat surface including the floor. So I’m a bibliophile – sue me!

So, Amazon, please talk to some readers in the real world, and consider redesigning the next Kindle generation so that it has replaceable batteries in the manner of mobile phones. I think Kindles are the best e-readers there are, but do that and you truly will have a world-beater.

3 thoughts on “Amazon weirdness…

  1. I have to agree with you Ron as I myself read a lot. If left to my own devices I can read a book a day, in hospital I was reading between 2 and 3 books per day – and no, the books were not a few pages long, they were usually 350+ and, in the main, 500+. I don’t watch tv or listen to radio’s so my days spent in my hospital room consisted of me reading. I was in for 6 weeks so imagine taking that amount of books if I didn’t have a kindle? It doesn’t bear thinking about!
    I used to leave the Kindle on charge overnight, every night. I made sure that I got and extra lead and plug, and an extra-long lead as well – as it was, I used the extra-long lead every night.
    If Amazon made it so that you could change one battery as soon as it becomes low, and then put in another full powered one, whilst the first one was charging, I would be delighted. I just cannot go a day without reading, it’s impossible to even contemplate it!!! The only times that I didn’t read was when I was under the anesthetic and that couldn’t be helped.

    • You got a room for 6 weeks? How did you manage that? I had to fight to keep mine for 10 days!

      The Kindle battery might be expensive, but as you say, we’d only need one, which is how I run my phone – one in use one on charge, all the time. It works.

      Just splurged on a Galaxy Tab 3 7″. My Kindle Fire HD is OK (basically it’s a high-quality colour reader, with extras – my phone is more of a computer!), but it’s tied too tightly to Amazon, and the apps are crap, and my iPad 3 is just too heavy – I need a normal Android 7″ tablet.

      Jury’s still out on my new dressings. They’re keeping a close eye on it, changing it every other day – something has them worried, I’m pretty sure.

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