Okay first the bad points. The controls are a bit chunky and you have to learn and remember lots of keystrokes to get at all the full functions you might want to use. This isn't just lack of space, some of them seem positively arbitrary. You get the hang of it in the end but it as a barrier to fully enjoying the device. Even so some are really tiresome. The one that always irks me is the lack of a visual display of the volume, so you don't know when you have it at maximum.
I reviewed my Kindle
not long after I got it. I have now been using it regularly for over a year and have got used and thought it was time for an update. Lots of things take a while before you really get the measure of them, especially technology.
The response time for a lot of actions is just a shade too slow. For me, if you notice it, it is too slow. The worst offender is the dictionary. If I am reading my Kindle within reaching distance of a real dictionary I'll use that rather than the Kindle's one.
I also find that the slow page turn is sometimes annoying. I can live with it when I am simply reading a book, but if I am trying to find a place or reading a newspaper where I want to skip articles it can be excruciating.
But none of that really detracts from the benefits of being able to travel with piles of books and documents, and to be able to listen to audio books and podcasts with a lot of control over them. I have also discovered good points that I hadn't picked up before.
I really like the one click download thing. Being able to find and get hold of a book in minutes is just so brilliant. I have also discovered foreign language dictionaries. These are a bit slow but are quite useable and I can now tackle books in foreign languages. I have only tried this in languages I am reasonably okay at. I am getting a bit too long in the tooth to plunge into a new one but I love the idea that I could if I wanted to.
I have also discovered that the Kindle is the perfect way to read newspapers in bed. I have subscribed to the Guardian. This looks cheap but it actually costs me more because I wouldn't have bought it every day. But even so, for a tenner a month I can read the Guardian more or less any time without having to carry it around with me. You can also download newspapers for free via Calibre. This is a bit more of a performance but is still an option. Which brings me to Calibre
, which opens up even more free stuff. Every Kindle owner should download it.
So all in all, I still love my Kindle.