Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amazon's Kindle App and Flying Cats

Up until this week, I had only purchased ebooks through my Nook. I don't own a Kindle, but a particularly awesome release by Chuck Wendig left me with a choice. Either read his short story collection, Irregular Creatures, on my Nook by PDF, or try out the various apps on my phone and computer.

I've had a hard time with PDFs on the Nook in the past. Every apostrophe seemingly turned into a block character, sometimes even creating page breaks. I was not impressed. Perhaps I should blame the person doing the formatting rather than the device itself, but I am petty and impatient when it comes to electronics not doing their job.

Anyway. The Amazon phone app is a lightweight and finely crafted delivery system for reading. I love synced bookmarks, so I can switch from my HTC G2 to my computers seamlessly. Across multiple OS's it worked for me. I ran it on Windows 7, Mac OSX, and Android 2.2 depending on where I happened to be at the time.

I didn't think I would enjoy reading a book on a back lit screen. I bought into the e-ink hype and thought it would hurt my eyes and be an unpleasant experience, but it worked extremely well. Especially for short stories. I still have a few concerns about novels on this format. More often than not, I am a compulsive reader who wants to finish a story in as little sittings as possible. Staring at a screen for that long might cause a few problems.

It is unfortunate for my bank account that I now have to buy an iPad or one of the many, many tablets coming out this year. I can honestly say that I will be buying books again through Amazon's Whispernet, and my choice will probably be decided by market factors more than the device itself.

One last note. If you haven't purchased Chuck Wendig's Irregular Creatures, you really should. If you are too cheap to spend 2.99 on it, then I would ask you to at least look at his blog over at Terrible Minds. This man is made of funny and pumps out excellent writing advice.

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