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The Problem with Kindle

April 19th, 2013

I love my Kindle.  With reservations.

It’s great for reading novels.  It’s light-weight, I can read it lying in bed, or take it to the beach or doctor’s waiting-room, and it carries within it a number of books I have yet to exceed.  I’m the kind of person who can be reading 2, 3 or even four novels at at time, and there they all are together in one neat little package, always saving my place and returning me there when I pick it up.  I can also read magazines on my Kindle, and the latest issue is always available at the touch of a button.  I love my Kindle.

But I hate the Kindle.  It is terrible.  Terrible for reading non-fiction.  Kindle non-fiction books suck big weeners.

Kindle books have no page numbers.  None at all.  (“Have you no shame, sir?”)  There is a lttle number showing the percentage of the book you are at; but with a 500-page book, to know you are at 25% tells you you are on page 125, or maybe 124, or 123, or maybe page 126, or 127, maybe 128—in other words, no page numbers.  But the TEXT will refer to PAGE NUMBERS: within the text itself (“see pp 99-103”), or in the index, or in the endnotes.

And then there are the mysterious “location numbers”.  You can choose, from a menu, to “go to” a certain ‘location’.  But who knows where those positions might be?    Admittedly, if you position the cursor in the text, the location number will pop up; make a “note” or highlight, and it will be identified by location number. But without such a reference, the location number is meaningless.

What ever happened to page numbers?  Would they really be so hard to associate with the text?

Speaking of endnotes, or footnotes:  why are they not LINKS?  How shall I find a footnote that appears at the end of a chapter (or really, the end of a page, of which there are none–pages, that is).

All in all, the Kindle is great for reading fiction.  But for non-fiction, it sucks.


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