Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Latest books on the Kindle: On my iPhone

It was a running gag between Don Loeb and me last year when I bought my Kindle: it's great, he'd say. But I want to read the books on my iPhone. I laughed at him. What sane person would want to do that?

It paralleled my mocking of Don's praise for his Mac... except then I bought a Mac. And then, last week, I realized I'd read the equivalent of 1,500 printed pages on my iPhone. Don was right. Again.

I read both Song of Susannah (560 pages) and The Dark Tower (1,072 pages) entirely on the iPhone, and have read about 2/3 of Chris Anderson's Free (288 pages) on the device. Never once did I switch back to the Kindle.

What does this mean? More than anything, all it really means is that I often stole time to read instead of setting time aside to read. So instead of being uninterrupted for hours, I'd grab chunks of 15, 20, 30 minutes to read a few "pages" on the iPhone. It's not that I don't like the Kindle (I do) - it was just never handy in between baseball games, waiting for the shuttle to arrive, at breakfast, etc.

If given the choice, I'd still choose a larger-form device like the Kindle. I miss the fuller functionality of the Kindle (the iPhone app doesn't include the built-in dictionary, something I grew to enjoy using). But it's notable that even though it was in my backpack the whole time, the iPhone was always more convenient. And I ended up reading 100x more pages on the device than I ever thought I would.

Moral of the story? Listen to Don more often. (He likes his Roku, which is intriguing to me. And of course he happens to think blogging is staging a comeback. The man's a genius, I tell you.)


  1. Brenda - We don't have a feature called Blogger Recommendations, and would never send unsolicited e-mail. This is spam that someone else is sending (likely the owner of the blog) to try and drive traffic to their site; I sent you an e-mail with some suggestions about how we can try to help here.

  2. For 99 bucks, the Roku is hard to beat if you're a Netflix subscriber (and don't have a TiVo). I also have purchased a decent amount of Amazon VOD content and am looking forward to the video podcasting app.

    Regarding Kindle, I don't read enough *books* to justify a purchase at those prices. Offer a $129 version w/o Sprint EVDO and I'm in. Otherwise, the iPhone is good enough. And, as you say, perfect for spontaneous reading since you have it with you at all times.

  3. By the way, if Brenda is so worried about spam why would she post her email address? Odd.

  4. @DaveZatz - Yeah, she realized that after posting, asked me to delete the comment so her e-mail address wouldn't be visible.

    She sent me the headers; it's just a spoofed e-mail appearing to be from blogger.com when it's not.

  5. I've become a Kindle on the iTouch reader and skipped the full Kindle phases since I didn't want to carry around yet another device and figured some of my most convenient reading times are when the lights are out at night or on planes. Like you, I've well over 1000 pages into the experience, including Warren Buffet's biography, so my actions tell me that it's a very usable format for me.