Trusting Your Kindle

These are books I'm talking about. It's not like I'm leaving home or anything.

I bought a Kindle about a month ago. On the advice of a friend, I decided to continue my ongoing dance of not purchasing an iPad in exchange for, instead of my iPhone, a larger reading area and the reclamation of much needed shelf space. (It's off to the attic with the tree killing paperbacks I've collected over the years: sorry books.) The smaller-than-iPad screen I can probably deal with; the Japanese have been reading books and manga off their phones for the last decade. I won't get into the weight issue either, other than to say my wrists are all the better for it. What gets me are the new pop-ups: notification after notification after, for the most part, self-gratifying notification. Try consuming a long read amongst all that shelling. And try not replying to that email, nor playing the next Scrabble move, nor liking that post. You can kind of see where I'm getting at here. I hope.

Instapaper works a treat on the device. I get an updated digest every night, there's a lot less scrolling which allows me to focus on the writing, none of the aforementioned digital mosquito bites … it just works. It feels right. From bothersome website covered in advertising that I just ignore anyway to stripped back article that makes me think in one click and a cron job. That's so good it's almost perverse.

Thing is when I started reading a novel, IQ84 if you really want to know, a couple of things happened. First off I found what I thought was a typo, a sentence ending in an em dash. I got fixated on it for a while, reread the paragraph, then reread the page. My first thought was that there was something wrong with the file, the bits; this couldn't happen in a printed book. But it can and it does, all the time. For a good couple of minutes the technology had failed me. I even emailed my aforementioned buddy to check his copy but then couldn't find the typo so just let it go. Just like I always did when I came across a hardcopy mistake. The second quirk is the progress bar - percentages instead of page numbers - which I kind of like when reading essays but again bugs me when reading a novel. Again this isn't a big deal; perhaps I'm missing the cool white flesh of the classic paperback with dog ears and oily stains and underlined sentences.

It's good to be home.