Thursday, 20 May 2010
Last night I was idly thinking about Kindles and how I would actually quite like to have one. You can download books cheaply and immediately from Amazon. The screen is not backlit, and is configured to look as much like the printed page as possible. You get to carry your whole library around with you and it weighs next to nothing. However, Kindles retail at $250 and, being the kind of person who waited a couple of years until iPhones were reasonably priced despite wanting one so much I nearly died, I'm not going to cough up for an electronic pretend book just yet.
So imagine my joy and delight to discover that there is a FREE Amazon Kindle app, to download books to read on your iPhone. I tried it last night, ordering a free sample of a book I want to read.* Minutes later, I was scanning the first chapter. If I want to buy the whole book it's only $3. And it is instantly downloaded onto your phone, to the home screen of the app.
I'm sure purists out there will stamp their feet at the thought of reading on an electronic device instead of holding a book and part of me does agree. It would be sad if book covers were reduced to digital art, there's no replacement for gorgeous thick paper between your fingers, and you can't spend rainy afternoons browsing through dusty Kindle shops. And you can't read in the bath! But maybe in fifty years time we will look back in disbelief at how we used to chop down forests, use factories to treat trees, print toxic ink on to them and then ship them over from China in giant boats.
But I digress. I'm interested to see how I get on reading on the iPhone. The tininess of the screen is obviously annoying, but it's easy enough to touch the screen to turn the page and I reckon having the option there will save my life on a bus or tube journey soon. Isn't technology brilliant?
*Can anyone tell which book I'm reading from the picture?