Beatrix Potter on Kindle?
Today Holly and I were thinking about our next review. It shouldn’t be a problem because we have so many books to go through but I suggested that, at some point, we ought to look at e-books. Just to see what they look like and feel like in place of paper.
Holly was as horrified as I was when the first mention of Kindle books came out, and said there was no way she was interested in reading a book on a screen. I understood her feelings on this. I spend enough time in the day writing on one and rather like the physical relationship that holding a book involves (if that doesn’t sound too bizarre). I refused to give in to the Kindle craze but, when Holly and my husband bought me an iPad for Christmas, I decided to download a book or two to try it out.
Some kindling for the Kindle
I must admit it was better than I thought. The Kindle app on my iPad has two main advantages for me:
1. It’s easier to carry loads of books around especially when travelling.
2. When I read late at night, I don’t disturb my husband with having the bedside lamp on till gone midnight.
It didn’t feel too odd either, especially as I was able to change the screen from glaring white with black lettering to a more pleasing sepia, plus I could adjust the brightness. However there are a few things that I am not convinced about:
1. It’s difficult sometimes to have a real feeling of how far I am through a book (I know I can see the page numbers, but it’s not the same as flipping around through them).
2. I still don’t seem to have the knack of highlighting bits as I would with a pencil in my hard copies.
3. The mistakes in the Kindle books beggar belief. Has a proofreader actually been through these drafts at all to check for typos, spelling errors, formatting, etc? It seems publishers don’t give as much of a damn if you download a book as they would in a hard copy. If not, why not, especially when we are all supposed to be going down this route?
What’s your view?
When it comes to children’s books, I wonder how they can transfer from the page to the screen. For chapter books that don’t rely on illustrations, I doubt much is that different, apart from the actual experience of reading. For traditional picture or board books, is the reading experience very different? I checked out this article from the New York Times http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/the-best-childrens-books-on-the-ipad/ and think I will have a look at downloading one or two so we can for our own opinion, but I would love it if any of you out there could recommend any good children’s books you’ve come across for iPads, Kindles, etc. Nothing like word of mouth.
In the meantime, I feel rather proud of Holly’s reluctance to move to the digital world. She’s always seemed happier living a 1940s(or earlier)-style existence and rates handwriting above typing, books above iPads, iPods, etc. I know at some point she will have to learn to become more comfortable with keyboards but, for now, we’re going to keep enjoying pens and paper.