Kindle Fire HDX
I wouldn’t say that I consciously resisted buying an e-reader, but I certainly didn’t rush into it either. However, I found a good reason for buying one last week and opted for the Kindle Fire HDX. I won’t bore you with the exact specifications, because you can get those anywhere, but I will say that it is about the size of a European paperback, a fifth of the thickness and about a fifth of the weight.
The first thing that became obvious to me as a big man with chubby digits was that typing or hitting anything accurately was going to be a problem, and so it has been. I saw a man using a stencil on YouTube and wonder why one wasn’t bundled with every unit. Buying one separately is a nuisance and a lot more expensive. If hitting the right letter with a huge forefinger is difficult, then placing the cursor in the middle or a word that you have misspelled or predictive text has mucked up for you is even worse.
Having said that the Kindle is not meant to be a writing device, but it is very handy for it to double as one when you’ve missed the bus and fancy writing an article about it there and then while you’re waiting for the next one. I find that very useful turning out an article on the spur of the moment, and a way around the problems is to write it in Word via an App, email it to yourself, and then process it for mistakes. That works very well.
I don’t find it particularly useful to have my emails follow me wherever I go, but I imagine that many would. It is useful for me to use a special email address though and have its contents put in the document folder automatically for perusal later and I use the feature every day. I send articles to my Kindle all day for reading in the evening.
I have loaded a few novels onto my Kindle for entertainment, but I like the opportunity that it gives me to do research. The device has Internet capability, but where I live I am rarely in range, so being able to send stuff to it is great. I send a lot of old books from the Guttenberg library to it. History books, books of fairy tales and mythology – things that I just would not be able to get where I live. It saves me a great deal of time, since it means I can work when I wouldn’t have my laptop.
However, the best reason I found for buying one was that it means that I can carry huge books around with me, bought at a fraction of the cost of the print editions and always have them at my fingertips. I just bought the Writers Handbook, and at 834 pages that would never have left my office, but now it goes everywhere with me, thanks to my Kindle Fire HDX.
by +Owen Jones
Podcast: Kindle Fire HDX