NEW MEDIA: Kindle for Mac vs. Simply Online

August 13th, 2010 by susan

There are only so many technology toys I can afford, most are luxuries these days. So when a friend mentioned I should read Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, I added it to my Amazon book wish list. He mentioned that’s it’s available free on Kindle and since I don’t have a Kindle, said that a free download of “Kindle for Mac” on the Amazon site would enable me to read books on my Mac. Who knew? Somehow, when I know something’s sort of a luxury item I just don’t dig any deeper because I know I’ll just feel that much worse that I won’t allow myself to have it. (Man, would I love to have gotten a job!)

Meanwhile, I found book online at the Sam Houston State University at Texas. Here’s a view of the opening page:

Of course, I can make the print larger though it’s a decent size. It’s more the full page across that’s annoying. That too I can fix. But here’s the downloaded book via Kindle:

Obviously, the font, format, etc. have all been planned specifically for the reader’s normal enjoyable and preferred reading manner. To be fair, SHSU has done a great service by offering this (and much more) for free to the internet public, but the text is planned for reading, research, and literary review rather than pleasure.

I’m getting used to the Kindle for Mac format, and I do like it, mainly because I’m on the laptop for a large part of my waking day so this gives me a great opportunity to get back into reading the literature I just don’t seem to find time for lately. The image above is also a bit misleading: while the right-hand “notes and marks” would make this application extremely useful for organizing my notes for reviews (and keep me reading in longer spurts rather than dropping the book and running for the computer), it is inactive in the Kindle for Mac program. Why? I don’t know. I’m hoping they work on this. I’m sure it’s not the make or break decision to purchase the Kindle.

More on the story itself will be posted on Spinning.

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