Christmas brought the long-awaited Kindle, and the early returns are positive.
Aside from the hour I spent scrambling to locate the password to the wireless network I never use, setup and registration was a breeze. The Kindle’s display is crisp and easy on the eyes, navigation is intuitive, and downloading books is as easy and fast as advertised. I’m very pleased.
One of the delightful surprises for me was the abundance of free books available from the Kindle bookstore. I spend most of my reading time trying to catch up on the world’s classic literature, and I had not realized until I gave the Kindle its test run that almost all of this literature is available for free. The rest is available for pennies. As a cash-strapped parent of two college students, I’m very appreciative. So I downloaded Fielding’s Tom Jones, several Fitzgerald novels, a couple Chesterton detective stories, and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels for $0.00. I downloaded the complete works of Dickens for $1.99. The Scrooge in me was delighted.
My only quibble concerns page numbering. Or more correctly, the lack thereof. Given the 6-inch display screen, it’s obvious that conventional page numbering will not work. And given the fact that different editions of the same book will use different page numbers, it’s probably not a big deal anyway. But it’s a little disconcerting to see a progress bar (marked off by percentages) at the bottom of the screen, and to see fairly bizarre bookmarks (I’m currently at 10,897 of 13,097 in Tom Jones, for instance) instead of page numbers. Since we’re currently three-quarters of the way through Tom Jones in my book club, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to provide the locations of specific passages I’d like to discuss. I’ll get used to it. It’s just a little odd.
But you can certainly count me as a very satisfied customer.