Almost ready for the full size Kindle

I’ve been a big supporter of the ebooks movement, but for some reason I haven’t actually been jumping on the wagon with the band until just recently.

To start with, I had absolutely no time for reading, I wasn’t buying books, so although I flew the flag for digital novels, I wasn’t consuming them myself. Then I began to find time to read again, and now, I’m pretty much as converted as I knew I would be.

I don’t own a Kindle. Firstly, they weren’t available in this country, and then, when they were, I was mad that it was some kind of half-baked International version.

I turned my attention to the iPad and the much-heralded iBooks. Having seen the concept in action, I was instantly convinced. Unfortunately, there’s only one iPad in our household, and I don’t get to spend that much time with it. Equally, even if I did, it’s not in my name, so purchasing iBooks and suchlike isn’t ideal. Mr C doesn’t want his library cluttered up with my stuff.

So, while we ponder the possibility of becoming a multi-iPad family, I finally turned my attention to the Kindle app available on the iPod Touch. I’ve had the Touch for a while now, so I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to look sooner. I had previously enjoyed a short Doctor Who book via an app, and consumed The Men Who Stare at Goats in a similar fashion. But the Kindle app?


I downloaded a book and read the whole thing within a couple of days. I love that when my iPod ran out of battery, I just hauled out the laptop and finished the chapter on the desktop app instead. I am also particularly enamoured with the feature that lets you lock the iPod screen in place, because… I have that rotating screen problem a lot.

It’s not perfect, by any means. The screen is small, and you have to swipe a lot, particularly if you read fast. It’s convenient though, fits in your pocket, is inconspicuous. I was waiting for an appointment and had some time to spare, out comes the app.

I have got over whatever it was I had against USD when I first looked at the International Kindle, and have already filled up a wishlist of books I’d like to read next. Having a UK store is still important, I think, because there are books here that aren’t popular or available in the US. The humour section is particularly different to what I would expect. I do find the Kindle store a bit tricky to navigate, on the iPod particularly, and searching is much easier than browsing. However, there are plenty of books out there and one of them is bound to catch your attention. Prices vary, some are free, some are reasonable, some are horrendously overpriced. It’s all a matter of taste and disposable income, I suppose.

I have a book, a physical book, that I took to work to read at quiet lunchtimes, and I had a go at doing that quite recently. It felt strange. The pages kept moving around, it was quite heavy, you had to hold the book flat all the time. I think I have already transitioned to digital only. There’s no going back now!

13 thoughts on “Almost ready for the full size Kindle

  1. I’m still a paper book man, although I would like an e-reader. As someone who lives in a country where there are surprisingly few English language books on offer (considering 90% of the population are fluent in the language), an e-book store full of English books would be Five Pints.

    I got the free Stanza app for my iPod, but I have had a little trouble with it, because I need to use reading glasses for long periods of time. It is neat though 🙂

  2. Having had my iPad for a while now I agree, I love the Kindle app. The biggest problem is, you can only read books bought from Amazon. Grrrrr. I have been reading a few of Cory Doctorows creative commons books, and there is no way I can get an epub book onto the Kindle app. As it stands I have 3 ebook reader apps on the iPad. This is crazy, I only want 1, and I want to be able to load it up with the books I want!

  3. I agree with Paul about the formats – I use both the Kindle app and the Stanza app on the Touch, because I can’t read any of my non-Amazon books using the Kindle one, and while I am a big Amazon user, you can also get a lot of free ebooks directly from publishers and authors, which is great. As much as I’d like a Kindle (or even a Nook) I am holding off until the format war settles down, so I don’t get left with the wrong device.

    Just wish they’d hurry up. We may move again soon, and I’d like not to take the books!

  4. I thought I didn’t have enough time for reading too but once I bought Alastair it was amazing how much reading I manage to fit into my days.

    I’m not familiar with the Kindle app since i don’t use it on any devices, so I’m unfamiliar with not being able to read anything other than Amazon books as the combination of Kindle + Calibre software mean no ebook is beyond your grasp.

    And with the price of the Kindle dropping $70 recently, what’s not to love?

    You would be victim number 4 😉

  5. I really prefer the screen on the iPad for example not having to turn a light on in bed (and you can do a lot more with it than just reading books of course). But either way the combo of big reader and small with sync is AMAZINI!

    I’d say get an iPad… Full screen iplayer is also great. With a bit of practice I can now type pretty fast on mine and… Yeah… Anyway. Books good.

    To Amy’s point iBooks while not having a great selection it does have the ability to deal with any epubs you add manually and PDFs.

  6. Kindle also has native pdf support but maybe its the type of things I read, I have never used it

  7. Oooh, Amy. Hadn’t considered the Calibre angle. Does that convert to Kindle format? (I could go and look but am very lazy!)

    I have the iBooks app, but I have yet to find anything in the store I want. Amazon has a big advantage of having sooo much purchasing history for me, that the recommendations are pretty much spot on!

  8. It converts into heaps of different formats, the one I use that is compatible with Kindle is MOBI.

  9. Lisa I know caliber will convert to epub which is something iBooks can read, but it does many different file types.

  10. Thanks, Paul and Amy. I suppose really I should read some of the Calibre documentation and learn how to use it properly!

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