Tuesday, February 22, 2011

HARDWARE: A Kindle Reader Has The Right To Change His Mind

I remember waaaaay back to the dawn of my eReader age (it was 11 months ago), I pooh-poohed the Kindle due to a lack of page numbers. I looked at the Sony PRS-300 before giving it to Dawna. Seemed IT had page numbers. The Kobo's I gave my Mom and AJ had page numbers (although I thought they were footnote numbers first). Later, after trying the Kobo for about six weeks, I discovered I wasn't enamoured of the occasionally text-obscuring page numbers on the Kobo.

But still, when I finally got my Kindle3, I admit I thought it was a negative. I didn't cotton to locations and percentages read all that much. So imagine my delight when Amazon officially announced the release of version 3.1 of the firmware for the Kindle3 which, amongst other things, finally gave page numbers to Kindle readers. Well, keep imagining, because it doesn't give me cause to do the upgrade at all. I'm perfectly happy with locations and percentages, thank you very much.

The realization I had left page numbers behind was a book I described as a quick read. And, indeed, it was. Well-written, a real page-turner, I read it in one night. And still had time to get in a decent amount of sleep. Only later did I discover that the book was 420 pages long!!! The fact is, that I probably DO read about 10-20 percent faster on my Kindle than with a book in either hand. Page turns, while more numerous, occur at the blink of the eye, rather than requiring me to reach out and physically turn the page. So, while I read paper books at a pretty consistent 50 pages per hour, I guestimate I'm doing 60 equivalent pages on the Kindle. Maybe more.

Amazon's update does more of course. It has more social features (Do I strike you as 'socially-inclined'?) and I don't annotate OR need page numbers for research purposes. A better handling of magazines and newspapers is lost on me because I don't read THOSE on a Kindle. Too small, too non-coloured, etc. So this update doesn't offer me anything to pant over. Realistically, I wouldn't HATE page numbers, but I no longer need them. Besides, I never talk over specific page numbers with anybody anyways. My 'Book Club' mainly consists of Patrick. And he LISTENS to the books. We gab about chapters if we talk specific parts of the books, if at all. Nope, this update is not for me.

Plus, there is the tiny itsy bitsy issue with Amazon's latest update fouling up the jailbreaking process. It won't stop already jailbroken Kindles and their existing add-ons, like the screen saver extension I have on mine. But it stops the current methodology for jailbreaking. Until the miracle workers who write the jailbreaking code create a workaround for the Amazon workaround, I think letting everything sit as is, is the best policy. Later, who knows, maybe I make the upgrade because it truly doesn't offer any negatives and even a slight positive is still a positive.

Until then, I have changed my mind. I don't want page numbers.

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