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.