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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Pashing the Kindle

September 1st, 2011 at 11:23


It’s been a dizzyingly good day so far, and it’s not even lunch time!

First I woke up to a mad flurry of Twitter action that proved Arsenal had actually (for once) put its money where its mouth was and BOUGHT REAL PLAYERS in the eleventh hour of the transfer period. So yes, being slaughtered by Man U was good for something. We have a defensive line again, and a real grown up midfielder with experience rather than potential!

Dizzy, I tell you.

Then I hit the 70,000 word mark on my Nancy Napoleon novel. It’s not finished yet, but lurching into the final act, and oh boy. Giant monsters, bitchy goddesses and pretty boys covered in blood. I must get this novel finished while I’m still in love with it!

But the big feature of the day has been my first real chance to play with the new household toy. My honey decided what he wanted for Father’s Day was a Kindle, and he’s been happily buying & reading books on it for the last two days (father’s day came early, obviously).

Now, I was what you would call a Kindlecynic. When it comes to the Mighty Empire of Amazon, I’ve been backing away slowly, and doing my best to support the less enormous booksellers in our industry. For the most part, I succeeded in this, except for my recent Audible addiction. But I have to admit, the Kindle is pretty awesome. It’s so much lighter than the iPad, and so comfortable to read! I was finally able to get hold of Lucy March/Lani Diane Rich’s The Fortune Quilt, a book I’ve been wanting since I first started listening to back episodes of the podcast Will Write for Wine. I’ve picked up the e-book of Nick Mamatas’ Starve Better, which I have been eyeing off for weeks. I’ve also stocked up on Octavia Butler, the complete works of Mary Shelley and a bunch of other SF and urban fantasy titles – plus my wish list is growing substantially!

I was excited to see when I searched for Nicola Griffith that her Ammonite is available as a pre-order from Gollancz later this month – SF Gateway ahoy!

Oh and, ahem, worth mentioning that my first two Creature Court novels, Power and Majesty & Shattered City, are both available through the Kindle (though I assume only to Australian & NZ readers) and they are looking a bit lonely for lack of reviews. So much so that my honey took pity on me and wrote one himself, which is equal measures of embarrassing and adorable. I’m coming down on the side of adorable. I have so many fantastic reviews over at GoodReads, so it feels churlish to ask, but I would be supremely grateful if any of you with Kindle/Amazon accounts who’ve read the books could post a review up there, or cut and paste you have already written over at GoodReads. THANK YOU!

From a practical point of view I’ve noticed only a few niggles – like the books don’t disappear from the wishlist when you buy them, and the ‘books recommended for you’ are full of unavailable titles. For the most part, it’s a smooooth reading experience, and the clarity of the screen is almost scary. (John Steinbeck is staring at me right now and I can see every bristle of his moustache!)

So yes, my cynicism has been hurled under the carpet and thoroughly stomped on. Excuse me, but I’ve done my writing for the day, and there’s a skinny pretend book waiting for me to read it. Wheeee!

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5 Responses to “Pashing the Kindle”

  1. Simon Haynes Says:

    E-ink screens (Kindle) are nothing like backlit LCDs. Whenever I see people saying the iPad/iPhone etc is going to replace dedicated e-readers, I smile to myself.

    My kindle is a second-gen (white case) but we got my dad a 3rd gen. The black case makes the e-paper look a lot better, and I’m just waiting to accidentally drop mine so I can upgrade ;-)

    Very happy to see them in BigW/Woolies/Dick Smith.

  2. Celia Says:

    Hmm – I had been thinking about getting an iPad to use mostly as an e-reader, but perhaps that’s not the best idea. I’m a bit unsure about whether I’d enjoy the experience of reading on an e-reader, but so many other people seem to, and the idea of being able to carry so many books around with you is so tempting.

    While I read a lot of reviews on Amazon when looking for books, I hadn’t even thought of posting any of my Goodreads reviews over there – I will definitely do so for your books and other Aussie authors as well. Well, presuming mine was one of the fantastic reviews, anyway ;-)

  3. tansyrr Says:

    Hey Simon

    A friend of mine who has been doing the e-reader thing for many years predicted that households are not going to have a single device, but a variety of them to share amongst the family members, and I can see that. I have read a few novels on iPad and quite enjoyed the experience – and am about to immerse myself back into comics digitally entirely due that gorgeous, sexy device.

    But while the iPad is a brilliant substitute for the paper comic, it’s no substitute for the book reading experience. The Kindle is so much closer. I’m very glad that my honey considers earlyish-adoption of tech a priority, so we get to have both!

    (and he totally bought his in Big W cos they had sold out in Dick Smith)

    I think it depends a lot on people’s priorities – the iPad is brilliant because it’s not a dedicated e-reader, but can do that too. The Kindle is brilliant because it *is* a dedicated device.

  4. tansyrr Says:

    Hey Celia!

    Your best bet is to get your hands on the various devices, to try them out & figure out what is best for you. We love the iPad and it’s lovely to have as an internet device, e-reader, games hub, etc – probably apart from games & books, we use it most to watch iView and movies on!

    The Kindle however is better as a more specific e-reader (and from what I hear, other e-ink devices are similarly cool in this way) because the e-ink more closely replicates the experience of reading a book. It’s far less like having a little computer in your lap than the iPad and, cough, as I did today, you can sit and read it for long stints very comfortably. I’ve never sat and read a whole book through in a morning on the iPad, like I JUST did with the Kindle.

    On the other hand if illustrated books/apps, games & especially comics are of interest to you as well as e-reading, you might find that you prefer going with the colour, backlit screen because of the versatility!

    [thank you for the reviews, it would be MUCH appreciated - ebooks are still such a beginning market in Australia, so reviews for Aussie authors are definitely worth doing.]

  5. Sean the Blogonaut Says:

    And we claim another for the darkside :) I read Power and Majesty as an ebook and have The Shattered City to read. I thought I had done a review for P&M but its not up on amazon.

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