Monday, June 6, 2011

My War and Peace Test of Kindle

I just finished reading War and Peace, by Tolstoy. I read it all using a Kindle and 1250 page clicks later, I can truly say I am impressed with Amazon's ebook reader (not to forget the story - I liked it too!).  These are my overall thoughts on the experience.

There were pluses and minus to the adventure, but on the whole I am glad I read the book in this format rather than have a overly thick paperback (or other) to have to fight for a month or two.  Using the Kindle was a truly enjoyable experience.  Not only was it easier to lay in my lap with my hands behind my head, but I could travel with it with ease, keeping my carry-on baggage weight manageable (until Kindle-time, I generally carried two or three weighty books and magazines everywhere I traveled).  On the minus side, the W+P version I read had a lot of asterisks following the innumerable French passages, which apparently were for the translations, but they were not in my version, and there was nothing to indicate that (not that I can complain, it was one of the free classics, so I struggled from time to time, but managed to get the idea of each passage without too much guessing).  I imagine this will be a similar challenge for works that have footnotes in the back of the book.  As a fix, I recommend Amazon come up with a way to bounce between bookmarks.

I've now started the next book from my pile of "waiting to be read titles" and I'm back to a trade-paperback, and while it is one-sixth the size of W+P, I must say I miss the Kindle experience.

I wish there were a way that one could prove you have (or own) the hard copy, so you could get the Kindle version for free (I'd even pay a small fee if I could be in an "Amazon club" where I could do this).  I'd switch to all-Kindle in a second.