I love real books. In my 20s I started to collect contemporary signed first editions and early editions of classics. Books are to graphic designers as buildings are to architects. They are among the few projects a designer can create that has a good chance of outliving them.
The tactile nature of a real book—the paper, the smell, and the graphic design—dust jackets, fonts, format, margins, page numbering system—all contribute to why real books rock!
At home and work we have tablets and computers that are great for consuming online content, but not great for reading long-narrative content. My iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (starting at $299 via Verizon), have apps that allow me to read books on them and they work pretty well. So while I’ve checked out Kindles belonging to friends and family members, I’ve never seen the value of owning one.
There are plenty of books, episodic programs, movies and games to enjoy. The kids edition also includes the ability to restrict content and access, so it means parents can help ensure an appropriate experience for their children.
I’m using the Kindle as an e-reader and tablet, and have to say it’s really quite cool.
Charging the Kindle took about 4 hours. It was simple to set up and easy to add email accounts, my Amazon account, and download some apps.
I own a limited slipcased edition of The Goldfinch, and hadn’t yet read it because I didn’t have a “reader copy.” So I just downloaded an electronic version for the Kindle and have started to read.
So far, the experience has been great. Having recently finished reading a 925-page, hardbound edition of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, in comparison, the Kindle is as light as a feather.
A few criticisms: I wish the brightness automatically adjusted to the ambient light; and when hitting the home button, it would be great if the “carousel,” showed the recently used apps and content in a continuous loop. Also, the camera is not the greatest, but if you stop to think about it, do you really need your e-reader to take good photos?
In terms of a good reading device and mini-tablet for an adult to share with a child, the Kindle Fire HD looks to be a great choice.
I’ve noticed commercials recently promoting the Kindle Fire HD starting at $99. Pretty hard to beat that!