Why The Kindle Doesn’t Fit The Crime

Media, Observatory, Reading & Writing

Having finally succumbed to a Kindle, and reluctantly agreeing that it’s better (if uglier) than the sleek steel Sony eReader, there remains one massive obstacle for me to overcome. It has no riffle-factor. If you read long novels which are quite complicated (try David Mitchell’s ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet’) it’s impossible to riffle back through the pages and figure out when you last met a particular character.

This is especially problematic if you’re reading crime novels – forget being able to remind yourself about the suspects…

E-Readers live very much in the present, and going backwards is liable to send you into a world of page confusion. Interestingly, recent research has revealed that schoolchildren prefer physical books, which is odd – I thought they’d be the first to dump them.

A friend bought the Kindle Fire, a fat, heavy, slow slab that gets its dimensions wrong and looks like the iPad’s ugly sister. Except that iBooks function better without a touch facility because you can hold them by the screen, as you would a book’s page, instead of gripping them at the edges.

The tech is still evolving, but I can’t help thinking we’ve a way to go. I am, however, abandoning stupid giant airport editions of books after I fell asleep and dropped one on my nose last night.

In the autumn, I’ll be producing a mass-market paperback you can slip in your pocket – more on that later.

6 comments on “Why The Kindle Doesn’t Fit The Crime”

  1. Pete says:

    try typing the character’s name and you can search for the previous mentions of it in the book!

  2. Gretta says:

    Ohhh…is this a flipback book, admin?? I love them! Took a wee bit of getting used to(san serif type, tissue-thin pages, turning bottom to top rather than right to left), and you end up using shopping receipts as bookmarks, but I think they’re great.

  3. Dan Terrell says:

    Passed the tip on to my wife, who received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. But that’s not the only reason to post.
    The New York Times for 1/27 has a lengthy article on the Hammer studios, which is quite interesting. It references their new movie with “Harry Potter”.
    It’s also on the N.Y. Times website so available to all.

  4. Dan Terrell says:

    Sorry, the film is The Woman in Black with Daniel Radclife and was posted on the Web on the 27th, but appeared in the Sunday paper of the 29th.

  5. Glenn Korbey says:

    I think the kindle is fantastic, and I refused for years to get one, but it’s great. Especially if going on holiday and taking reading material. Books weigh a lot and increase baggage costs :).
    With that in mind, any chance of releasing Roofworld on the Kindle, it’s a great book and I haven’t read it in years as my son ‘borrowed’ it 10 years ago and I haven’t seen it since!

  6. Gretta says:

    “…but it’s great. Especially if going on holiday…”

    Glenn, this may be true, unless you happen to be called C Fowler and try to read one in the desert, where swarms of flies insist on turning the pages for you. :)

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