Book Review

Kindle Review

As you may already know, I received my Kindle last Monday and I had to post about it and tell you just how thrilled I am with it.

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle (Photo credit: agirregabiria)

After MUCH deliberation and research, I decided that I wanted a Kindle Touch and as it was only available in the US at the time I was prepared to wait for it to become available here in the UK before I took the plunge into ebook reader-land.  I had had a look at a Kindle Keyboard a little while ago, and although I liked the look and the feel of it, I thought that I would prefer to have the bigger screen that the “basic” Kindle offered, but I guessed (correctly) that the Touch was only around the corner, with its bigger capacity and the return of the mp3 and the text-speech function, which is what persuaded me to wait a bit.

I am so glad I waited – the Kindle Touch is fantastic!

I didn’t want to load it up too much to start with, so I just added the books I’d bought for the Kindle app on my phone and PC first, but I wanted to really give the Kindle a run for its money and looked for something to purchase directly from Amazon to see how it worked with buying and downloading etc. I’d been guided to an item on “Newsnight” the week before where the author E L James was interviewed about her e-book trilogy. The interviewer was a bit naughty with her, and tried to make her look like some sort of pervert for writing her books, but what came across from her and what hooked me in was that she said she’d written the trilogy purely for the e-book market. It was perfect for me to try out my new e-book experience so I downloaded the first one, “Darker Shades of Grey”.

That was on Tuesday last week and from “page one” I was absolutely enthralled and hooked. It was a totally new experience for me – reading on an ebook reader – and the subject matter was…to put it delicately…a bit out of my normal radar range as well!

The story is that of two people who are polar opposites to each other who, basically, get together and figure out a way to get over their differences. The author said that she was inspired by the Twilight saga – the characters there are totally opposite and obviously have to find a middle path for them both to live in harmony.

There are quite a few similarities between the story of Edward and Bella, and that of Christian and Ana. Both couples hail from the Olympic peninsula – Edward and Bella are from Forks whereas Christian and Ana are from Seattle. Both of them have VERY different appetites – in Edward and Bella’s case that is in the food they eat and with Christian and Ana it is their sexual experience and expectations. Both couples work their way through knocking the corners off each other in order to make a compromise, and both of the male partners have a lifestyle that they have to hide from society at large.

My only complaint with Darker Shades of Grey (and the second and third in the series) is that there is far too much graphic sex. Initially, it was integral to the plot and in one or two scenes later on it was necessary because of the journey they were making, but I found myself skipping through the gratuitous scenes more and more as the trilogy wore on. Did I mention that I finished all three by Wednesday this week? That’s 7 days in total to read all three books. On a Kindle. Wow!

The story was so good and the plotting was just about predictable enough to make me keep touching that screen to “turn over” the pages, but the prose was a bit repetitive and I did get a bit irritated with the same phrases that kept cropping up. I admit that I read the third book more or less in one sitting – I went to bed at 10pm on Tuesday and I was at about 23% (you’ve gotta love the Kindle for its way of keeping track of where you are up to!) and at 2.35am on Wednesday I was done.

I have been in that situation many a time before with a tree-book in my hand, sitting up til the early hours to get it finished because I was totally immersed in it, and to find myself in the same situation with a Kindle was somewhat a surprise AND a relief. One of the biggest things that had put me off getting a Kindle before was that capability to get lost in a book and to be totally immersed in the words, so to find myself that way with a story that was a touch irritating and a lot too graphic was brilliant. I can’t wait to find out how I will be when I find myself lost in a book that isn’t so irritating and graphic!!

I was also a bit worried about straining my eyes on the screen, and that was a huge relief to find that my eyes were only as sore as they would be if I had been reading a paper book for four and a half hours. I know that I can’t use a computer screen for that long, so the e-ink technology on a Kindle is perfect as far as I’m concerned.

Apart from loading it up with some books that I have bought from Amazon, I have also got quite a few of the classics on there too which are available for no cost. I am looking forward to reading more Dickens on my Kindle!! It’s also possible to send pdf files to the device, and I have already taken advantage of that by sending myself some crochet patterns and the prayers I used for the intercessions in church on Sunday. The best thing is that I can take pdf copies of the music I will be using in Sunday School so I don’t have to cart my big thick hymn books with me as well as all the rest of my gear and my guitar when we have a singing morning. It’s also possible to have newspapers, magazines and blogs delivered to your Kindle but I’ve not really explored that yet, I just want to get to grips with books and my own content for now.

A couple of other things that I’m impressed with are the amazing graphics on the screen savers (they are impossible to tell if they are pencil drawings of photographs – brilliant!), the ease of downloading new material (dangerously easy), the simple way you can jump from one chapter to the next, the built-in dictionary (press and hold on a word and the dictionary definition pops up), the notes and highlights feature (I used that when I wanted to go back and look up some music that Christian was playing to Ana, just press and swipe and the dialogue box pops up) and the way that it’s so easy to share things from within the book and your review of it afterwards.

As far as I’m concerned now, it’s all systems go for my new reading experience and I would heartily recommend anyone who is deliberating whether to get one or not that they go ahead and take the plunge. I don’t think I will be exclusively reading on my Kindle, and tree-books are still a massive part of my reading repertoire, so don’t think that it has to be one or the other for you too.

The benefits of having one far outweigh the reservations I had about getting one and I’m so pleased I waited to get the model I wanted.

Hurrah for the Kindle!!!



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