Monday, June 21, 2010

reading the new way

It's only been about four months since I downloaded the (free) Kindle app onto my iPod touch. In that time reading on this handy little device has found a very secure place in my reading habits. Here are some reasons I love this new way of reading:

1. Adjustable font size
Whenever I tell people I read on this 2 1/2  x 4 1/2 inch gadget with its 2 x 3 inch display, they ask: Isn't it hard to see? My answer: Not at all.

Unlike when you read other materials on the iPod and need to adjust the tiny font size with a finger motion on the touch screen, the Kindle program comes with five pre-set font sizes. You can choose the size that's comfortable and never worry about it after that.

2. Backlit
I can read in bed - and with the lights out! However, it is hard to read  on a backlit display in bright sunlight.

3. Highlightable and Notable
I stumbled across the highlight and notation function quite by accident. During the reading of my first Kindle book, I noticed once in a while as I was "turning a page" (done by sweeping a finger across the screen to the left to go forward, to the right to go backward), a symbol. Under my swooping finger appeared what looked like a magnifying glass. When I lifted my finger from the screen the word from under the glass remained selected with dots - handles - attached. I discovered I could then touch those handles, stretching the selection to cover many words and choose to "Note" or "Highlight".

If I chose "Note" the keyboard appeared and I could type and save some text to identify the spot. If I chose "Highlight" the selected text turned yellow as if I had used a highlighter on it.

 You can later find the spots marked this way in 'bookmarks' (appears as a book icon in a toolbar when you touch the bottom of the screen). 

4. Easy to save my spot
Dog-ear the page by touching the right upper corner of the screen. (Un-dog-ear it by touching it again.) The program also 'remembers' the farthest place you have read or paged to in the book.

5. Many books with me all the time
I love never being without a book. I can tuck this virtual library into a tiny pocket of my smallest handbag. My little iPod book collection has helped me pass the time while waiting in restaurants, at the doctor's office, whenever I have a minute to read. It includes writings by Andrew Murray, George Muller, G. K. Chesterton, Charles Spurgeon, and ten classic children's novels.

No, my little reading device doesn't smell like a book, or feel like a book. But I have grown quite fond of it anyway.

(First published 06-12-10 on Inscribe Writers Online)


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