Thursday, 20 May 2010

Kindle for iPhone.


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?


  1. I'd like a Kimble. Someone please invent 'The Kimble'! And is the Kindle so called because you can make kindling from your old books? By the way, I can't say 'Kindle' without making a faux-'cute' face.

    I know what that novel is because I googled it. But my guess was Moby Dick. Oh dear, back to the library!

  2. I want an iPad for reading things on :P

  3. Check out an app called Stanza too. I have that and you can access tons of books for free with it.

  4. I think I know... one of the first words of the title sounds like a rude word? ;) I'm sure I once watched the film with the OH and absolutely hated it and was calling it by the ruder title.

    If I'm wrong, you're so going to be wondering what I'm talking about!

    As for the kindle... oh I just don't know... I do like reading graphic novels on the iphone but actual books I just can't get my head round. Guess that makes me a purist!

    (Sorry ex-English Lit student rambling alert!)

  5. Can you recommend the iPhone? I've been due an upgrade for ages. I can't get on with the Blackberry, they gave me one at work and I used it once to ring my other mobile when I lost it. My friend loves his iPhone but he says it's an amazing gadget but pretty crap as a phone. I'd love to know what you think? xx

  6. Are you reading some cunt from Monte Cristo?

  7. Tom, stop upstaging my blog with your comments. They're too funny. I know you hate it but can you get on twitter please? TWITTER NEEDS YOU!

    Alice - I'm not even looking at iPads. I know I'll want one so much!

    Cheers Jessica, I'll check it out. (I also need to check out Conan O'Brien. Still no idea who he is or why he's so funny but if you like him he must be!)

    Christina - your mate is right. As a phone they're shit. I don't mind because I hate talking on the phone. For the internet, email, and all the applications they're amazing. The map saves me on a weekly basis.

    Zoe and Liz - you cracked me up.

  8. Interesting. I'm one of the stamp-my-feet-give-me-real-books type of people, but your point about trees and China and such is well-taken.

    I walked to the Apple store during my lunch break to play with an iPad today and now I'm obsessed. Seems like the perfect combo of Kindle and iPhone, no? Except the phone part - details, details.