More E-Reading Rumination

So I’ve had my Kindle (4th Generation, Non-Touch) for a little while now.  Within two hours of receiving the thing I nearly bricked it with a botched installation of Duokan 2012. Fortunately I was able to repair things after some extensive forum reading and downloading a lot of software tools.

I’m fine with the hardware; the use of the “5-way Controller” (I have no idea what that means, unless they count what is essentially the “enter” key as a direction) doesn’t bother me at all since, ideally, it should be used very little.  Many reviews stressed how unpleasant it was to write notes without the use of touchscreen, but in all the time I used my touchscreen-enabled PRS 350 the only time I made a note was when I made just to be able to say I’d done so.  Maybe there are people out there with a compulsive need to write in the margins of their books, but I can’t imagine that’s very common.  I don’t know anybody who does that besides college students reading textbooks.  I keep the wifi turned off to conserve battery power (although I suppose doing so denies me all of those wonderful Special Offers, which I have to say are nowhere near as invasive as some would insist) and the otherwise bare-bones functionality of the device suits me well.  Some people, in reviews, have complained about the lack of a built-in web browser and the lack of 3G connectivity … I think these people are mistaking an e-reader for a tablet computer or smartphone.

I don’t like the interface much, though.  I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoyed the bookshelf-like display offered by the Sony Reader, where the book covers were displayed.  This was an attractive way of displaying what was on the device.  Using the stock Kindle software, not only was there no option to display the covers for your books but when I started reading them it wouldn’t even show the cover as the first page.

I know, this is an exceedingly minor thing to complain about.  I’ll be spending 99% of my time on this device reading, and not staring at my collection of book covers.  If I do spend a majority of time looking at book covers I’d be using it wrong.

So how’s the reading experience?

Fine.  I don’t really know how it could be screwed up.  I read, I click the next page button, and I continue reading.

And how come this thing has built in options to link my activity to a social network, meaning Facebook or Twitter, but there isn’t an option to tie it to Amazon’s own social network, Shelfari?  And hey, Shelfari is totally based around the “bookshelf” view that Amazon has reserved only for its Fire device. 

How come it’s so much trouble to get these books sorted by author?!

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