Hate/Love: Kindle Fire

I’ve been using my Kindle every day since Christmas, so I’ve got plenty more love than hate here…

Love: Carrying scores of books (and games and useful tools) in a jacket pocket. Obviously.

Hate: Losing the touch of paper and the old book smell. Kidding. KIDDING! I can’t miss what hasn’t disappeared. And I look forward to discovering what old-kindle smell turns out to be.

Love: Reading late at night by the backyard fire without A) a flashlight or patio light, or B) leaning for light so close to the fire that my eyebrows look like these.

Hate: Not being able to read while lying on my side. Why? Because turning the Kindle on its side flips the image upright on the screen. To paraphrase Robert Frost, sometimes reading on a Kindle Fire is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

Love: Reading on the stationary bike or treadmill. I just prop it in front of the mph/calorie/time elapsed display (handy!), up the font a couple of sizes so I can focus on it as I lurch through my workout, and tap the screen to turn the page. Slick. (In fact, actually slick sometimes.)

Hate: Adjusting for proper line breaks in poems. In many books, a line of poetry too wide for the screen makes the rest of the stanza, poem, or page wonky. Holding the device vertically and changing the text size to tiniest often allows the entire line to fit on the screen. And holding it horizontally nearly always does, though only a stanza or two at a time. This is easy enough to do from poem to poem but begins to feel like keeping one hand on the radio dial to adjust the tuning every time a new song comes on.

Love: Having my book quietly play Johann Bach or Steve Reich as I read.

Hate: Not being able to follow along or hold my place in the reading with my finger. That turns the page, darn it.

(Hate/Love image found among the “figure/ground” paintings at johnlangdon.net.)

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