|My Kindle and Winter Reading|
Through the Kindle store I can download free Books. Free Kindle editions, however, can lend less than satisfying reading experience. The free Confessions of Augustine is not the most readable translation while my Complete Works of Shakespeare has no table of contents, leaving me only to search the text or scroll through to find the play, scene or sonnet that I am looking for. I did, however, download a free ESV from Crossway and it is completely indexed and easy to navigate. It also automatically marks the place that I last read.
It is nice to have a lightless, paper-like screen on the Kindle. It is easier on the eyes and makes me feel less like I am on the computer and more like I am just reading a book. For some reason this feels like a morally superior thing to reading on the computer or on the iPad.
With the Kindle it is easy to focus on one thing. Last night I saw a program on PBS about multitasking. Computers, iPhones, iPads and the out of control growth of technology have created a generation of multitaskers. I am on the cusp of this generation and while I still remember a time when it was easy for me to sit and read a book for a few hours, I can no longer do this without easily being distracted by an e-mail, a text message or something that I wanted to write on someone's facebook wall. If I put the phone and the laptop away and just sit with my Kindle I am able to more easily focus on what I am reading. The Kindle is a much less fractured experience than the other electronic devices that I own.
Articles, Articles, Articles! As a librarian I swim in journal articles and I frequently feel guilty about my impact on the environment due to excessive printing. One of the reasons that I wanted a Kindle was to load my articles on it for later reading rather than printing. PDF files can be difficult to read on the Kindle, however, as they usually require you to zoom or adjust the font size but maybe this will become easier as I get better at using my Kindle.
I have been playing with my Uncle's iPad quite a bit over the break and it is obviously very different from the Kindle. The iPad is essentially a hand held computer that does everything and anything. The iPad is a cross between a MacBook Pro and an iPhone that is really amazing and offers so much more than an eReader. When I use my Uncle's iPad I find myself switching back and forth between apps and tasks so quickly that I can't stay focused. This device definitely contributes to the type of multitasking that is discussed in the latest Frontline series entitled Digital Nation. With the iPad I can easily stream films on netflix, tweet something or read the economist with a magazine-like experience. It is fun and the iPad is an incredibly useful, interactive, colorful and powerful toy but it has the potential to be super distracting and draw me into activities other than reading. I like my Kindle.