A Tale of Two Kindles

Marathon Girl solved our eReader dilemma a couple weeks ago when she gave me a Kindle Touch for my birthday. It was an unexpected gift since I haven’t completed about reading on the iPad in months. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with the iPad’s backlit screen. As a result I’ve been reading a lot more the last two weeks—almost double the amount of reading I did on the iPad. As for the Kindle Touch, it’s superior in every way to its keyboard predecessor except for one important thing: turning pages. The great thing about the keyboard version is that it had buttons on either side of the device that allowed me to rest my thumb and push a button when I was ready to go with the next page. With the touch version I actually have to tap the screen to turn a page and I’m starting to find that a tad annoying. I’m so tired when I get around to reading some nights that it’s a lot easier to keep my hand in one place and read instead of touching the screen and letting a small smudge develop after a night of reading. (Yeah, I know I had to swipe the screen with my iPad to turn pages but it was an iPad. It’s never had buttons to turn pages.)  It’s almost like Amazon got so caught up in the touch screen craze that they never stopped to think whether or not touching the screen or side buttons made for a better reading experience. It’s not just me that misses the button. After swapping Kindles for a night, Marathon Girl said she preferred having the buttons to turn pages too. (She hasn’t traded Kindles since then. Hmmmmmmm.)

When it comes to browsing, highlight, taking notes, buying more books or anything else I do with the touch version is miles ahead of earlier version. Though still not perfect, note taking has improved so much that I’m actually starting to read non-fiction ebooks on it. So the only suggestion I would send to Amazon (who I’m sure is reading this) is to put some page turning buttons on the next generation of the Kindle Touch. Please, please, please put those wonderful page turning buttons back on both sides of the device and let readers decide whether they want to touch the screen or push a button. That would make this wonderful reading device absolutely perfect.

As for the iPad, I’m not going to use that for reading again unless one of our Kindles breaks. The backlit screen is a much bigger annoyance than touching the screen to turn pages. The Kindle’s E Ink display makes reading a thousand times more enjoyable and I will gladly touch the screen to turn the page instead of having my eyes feel like they’re going to pop out of my head.