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

Flipback – a crime against books…

There is – god help us all – “A revolutionary new book format”. It’s called Flipback, and its pages are printed horizontally. This means it also opens horizontally, making it somewhat less easy to hold. Books aren’t the format they are by chance and the reason that, over the centuries, a different format hasn’t usurped the familiar one is simple – there is no need for it.

So, first question – other than just because they can – why did they do this? It’s so books can be the same shape as a smartphone (I’ve got news for you, guys, it’s Continue reading

Kindle and the Death of Books…

Ever since the Kindle 3 appeared – I got mine in the first tranche, so I’ve been particularly sensitive to this – the Guardian has been running articles, of varying levels of sanity, speculating on whether the Kindle – ignoring all other similar devices (yes I know the Kindle is the biggie in this market, but it’s not alone) – is going to destroy the book-publishing industry, make books obsolete, diminish reading standards (most recently, and WTF?), or any other crackpot theme they can dream up. Mainly, though, they are obsessed with the Death of Books.

Obviously, I can’t speak for Continue reading

As with Mark Twain, reports of the death of books are greatly exaggerated…

For openers, this article is a pleasant change from the Guardian’s “death of books imminent” hysteria/paranoia. (A shortened version of this post appears in the Comments there.)

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Since I bought my Kindle in the first tranche of releases last year, I’ve probably bought more print books, not fewer – quite the opposite of what I expected or wanted (I’m running out of book space).

Partly this is in rebellion against some of the 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

What I’m reading right now – part of an occasional series…

All on my Kindle. Currently I have nothing on paper to be read, which was the idea since, as I’ve said, I’m running out of book space. I’ve always read a lot but, since getting the Kindle, I seem to be reading a lot more than I have been in recent years, and the think might have been designed expressly for reading in bed.

The Mighty Dead, by William Gault, the title is from James Thomson’s The Seasons (1730). Set, oh, about now, I suppose, as it was written in the 50s, and posits the rise to power of a semi-literate US senator who successfully gets a bill pushed through banning any form of reading, writing, printing and publishing, on the grounds that it disturbed people, spread dissent and variously undermined society (and, of course, showed him in a very poor light).

The tale centres on a 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 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

Amazon Kindle – a reading aid for the disabled?

As regular readers will have noticed, I’ve ordered an Amazon Kindle, delivery due around the end of the month. I bought it for two reasons – I’m running out of space for books, and it’s becoming difficult and painful for me to hold books, particularly heavy ones, and it’s the latter that I’ve been thinking about.

My previous Kindle post is here.

The Kindle, would be useful, even valuable, to those Continue reading

I’ve gone over to the dark side – and ordered a Kindle…

Note: as happened with words like e-mail and on-line, e-book and e-reader are rapidly losing their hyphens, which is the format I’ve opted for here. Interestingly, the Word spell-checker recognises ebook, but not ereader.

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Regular readers will know that I feel that ereaders are very much a solution in search of a problem, and that many ebooks are overpriced. No way is there any justification for Continue reading