Some thoughts about reading, writing, and Kindles…

“Most of us read novels most intensely at two stages of life. First in early adolescence – when one lives with one’s nose in a book. Secondly in late life, when one has time to “get round” to the books one has always promised oneself.”

Or so John Sutherland at the Guardian fondly believes.  You might spot a much shorter version of this post as a comment from me broadly agreeing with that idea. I don’t – it was just for the sake of argument – the conventional novel format has never appealed to me in the slightest, and certainly not in my teens. I much prefer “genre” books – thrillers, police procedurals, s-f, fantasy, horror in the past (but mostly grown out of that – gratuitous violence, even if it is fictional, has little appeal), travel, cooking, baking, bread-making, the outdoors (those last books mostly given away now I’m housebound – they just made me miserable, harking back to a lost past), humour, birding – the list goes on.

True, I did attempt the so-called “worthy” novels I was expected to read when young, and Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

Your new Kindle Paperwhite (and the wi-fi password glitch)…

I have a shiny, new Kindle Paperwhite.  For Kindle newbies, the quick start guide shows where to plug in the USB power lead (in the USB port – oh, wow!). And, er, that’s it.

Turn it on,** though, and no matter how computer and Kindle literate you might be, you are forced to go through a familiarisation routine. And I do mean forced – there is no Thanks very much, I’m Continue reading

Your e-reader is spying on you – sort of…

That, at least, is what the Guardian is trying to convince people of, ramping up fear of their e-readers, especially the Kindle which, frankly, is despicable. Not least because the information gathered is so trivial that it’s not remotely worth worrying about.

My Kindle isn’t telling anyone anything particularly useful or marketable –  what value is there in knowing that I tend to read a particular author’s books in one session, for example (which isn’t recorded accurately anyway, as every time Continue reading

Life with Kindle, two months on…

My Kindle, I think it’s fair to say, has inserted itself into my life as deeply and securely as, say, my PC.

Already, since I’ve owned the Kindle a mere 2 months, I feel as if I’ve had it forever, so familiar has it become. And as I think I’ve said elsewhere, it’s perfect for reading in bed. But, unlike books, just don’t drop the bugger! I haven’t, so far, but it is something of an Achilles heel.

Despite one of the posters in the Kindle’s reviews on Amazon claiming that’s it’s so complicated his review needs a video for clarity – which is Continue reading

Kindle filing cock-up?

While, on the whole, I’m very happy with my Kindle, in one respect it’s quite bizarre – it can’t recognise alphabetical order.

It’s one of the most basic functions – arranging the contents from A-Z, by author – and you wouldn’t think it would be hard to get wrong, but they have.

I initially thought it was a fault, and if it didn’t take at least 4 weeks to get a replacement, I’d have sent it back, but I didn’t and, having had more time to fiddle with it, I’ve come to the conclusion that it might well be deliberate.

The first page runs from Bierce to Dick, and Dick is smartly followed by Continue reading

More Kindle musings…

A quote in the Guardian, about the Kindle and ereaders in particular, from Kate Pool, deputy general secretary of the Royal Society of Authors, “It is not that I am a Luddite… I want to be sure I am not buying the wrong thing. I don’t want to be left with a Betamax when everyone else is watching VHS.”

I rather doubt that will happen.

The VHS – Betamax thing was a farce. Betamax was technically Continue reading

Ebook pricing…

. . . leaves a lot to be desired.

I’ve complained before about the cost of some ebooks, most recently here and further research impresses me not at all. This, for example, is Waterstone’s take on the subject:-

All prices of eBooks are set by the publishers, but as a general guideline they should be around the same price as a hardback or cheaper. At Waterstones.com we are making every effort to offer our customers good value on all eBooks, therefore you will often find reductions from the RRP on our site.

I know I’ve said this, but it bears repeating  – ebooks have no Continue reading

Ebook intro…

In preparation for getting my Kindle, and because I hate delaying gratification, I spent a few hours downloading ebooks yesterday. It is, I have to say, a hugely time-consuming process. However, as I have no shortage of time, that’s not a problem.

First step was installing Amazon’s Kindle for PC software, to stash downloads from the Amazon Kindle Store (as it turned out, I didn’t have to – Amazon would have archived them – oh well).

So, over the course of the late afternoon-early evening, I downloaded Continue reading