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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kindle Revisited

I've blogged a couple of times before about my Kindle, including reviewing how much I liked it. Now, nine months into my ownership, I've discovered a few drawbacks I hadn't considered or discovered back then. I still love my Kindle and it's awesome to be able to take more than 150 books everywhere I want, but there are a couple of issues.

The big one is something I discovered just in the last week or so. I'm reading a research book at the moment and fervently wishing I'd bought hard copy instead of the ebook version. The huge reason is this book has a lot of charts and graphs. These graphics were shrunk down to fit on the Kindle screen, but there is no way I know of to enlarge them. Making the font bigger makes the caption beneath the graphic larger, but that's it. The graph/chart remains exactly the same size. Which basically means I have a Kindle screen filled with shades of gray and fonts so tiny that I don't think Steve Austin and his bionic eye could read what it says.

Most of what I've been reading on the Kindle has been fiction, and while I have read a few research books, none have had the extensive graphics that this one has. It's been an eye-opener for me.

My second issue is my car. If this research book I'm reading right now was a paper copy, I would have hauled it out to my car this morning, dumped it on the passenger seat, and left it there all day. Then, after the Evil Day Job was over, I could sit in the parking lot, waiting for my engine to warm up, and read. I can't do this with my Kindle.

Reason number one--the temperature. The high yesterday was 5 degrees and it felt colder than that. I'm afraid that the cold would damage the reader if I left it sitting in my vehicle all day. I'd have the same concern if it was 95 degrees, but in the summer, I don't have to wait for my car to warm up. And no, I don't want to haul it in my tote bag up to the office. I already have that thing filled with heavy stuff, including my netbook to write on during lunch hour.

Reason number two--I'd be worried that someone would break in and steal the Kindle. My office isn't in a bad area, but you just never know. Why offer temptation? With a paper copy of this book, I could leave it on the seat and not worry about anyone wanting it that bad. And even if someone did, the book would cost maybe $20 to replace. The Kindle is still at $250.

I do like the idea of having multiple research books with me, but in this case, it's just not working out for me really well. I still love my Kindle, but if I had it to do over, I'd definitely buy this book in paper.