Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reading is Fundamental

My partner upgraded to the new Kindle Voyage, which is great and awesome and very slick. We're a reading household, so to my mind this is money well spent, in fact. I in turn received the hand-me-down Kindle Paperwhite and I've been experimenting with it over the last week or so. My go-to reading solution for the longest time has been my Nexus 7 tablet, which I bought on a whim and then it took over my life for a while, which was an unusual experience because I didn't expect to want or need it so much having lived without a tablet at all, and then getting an iPad for a while. The change from the full-size iPad to the N7 form factor sealed the deal for me, and I've never even considered a full-size tablet again. Plus, the latest generation N7 has a great screen, a beefy processor/RAM combo, and integration into the Google ecosystem which now basically acts as my adjutant brain.

The downside of an N7 (or really any tablet) is that the screen light turns out to be exactly the right wavelength to keep me up at night. This is bad, because I already have a tendency to insomnia and odd sleep patterns. So I've been trying out the Kindle Paperwhite, which deals with light differently.

I really like the low backlit functionality, and it doesn't seem to keep me from getting sleepy (so far). I also like that now that I have an actual Kindle, I have access both to the lending library from Amazon and also to the library of books that my partner has already purchased (and they get access to mine). The text highlight functionality also works very well on the Paperwhite (in a way that didn't really impress me through the Kindle App for Android), and the social media and goodreads integration is very nifty. And the e-ink resolution, which was my biggest complaint with previous Nooks and Kindles, is really good on the Paperwhite.

My biggest complaint so far is that often turning the page takes a really long time, especially if it's moving between chapter breaks. To the point that sometimes I'll get impatient, tap the page again, and then end up skipping a page which is fantastically annoying and yanks me right out of the narrative flow. The Voyage seems much snappier in comparison, but not enough for me to need an upgrade (at least, right away). I haven't done any reading on the bus, train, or outdoors, so I don't know how it handles the glare, but that won't really be an issue until later in the year.

In truth, the Paperwhite may in fact be the first e-ink single-purpose reader I actually like and will use. I'm certainly using the crap out of it right now. We'll see if that remains true in the days to come.