Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (A Kindle Experiment)

Despite having never read an e-book I have been quite vocal in my preference for the dead tree variety. As luck would have it, I won a Kindle Keyboard 3G from Lexus in a random drawing. (Thanks Lexus!) So now I can challenge my untested preference.

Dickens is a favorite author and A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books. And with it being Christmas, what better choice for a first e-book than A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol also has the advantage of being free (along with many other classics) from Amazon's Kindle store. This appealed to my sense of frugality.

Although I've seen many movie versions of Carol, I had no idea the book was as short as it is. I was able to finish it in only a few hours spread over a couple days. Prior to starting Carol I was surprised to see it referred to as an essay on mortality. But if you think about it, death is central to many of Carol's characters. You may never look at Tiny Tim the same way again.

As for the Kindle itself, setup and linking to my Amazon account were easy. Downloading Carol (and several other free classics) was easy although I'll need more experience to easily search for and find specific books. Once I got the font size bumped up a notch, reading was not a problem. However, the reverse video flashing that occurs every time you change a page is annoying. My biggest problem with the Kindle was its form factor - it's heavier than a paperback, very thin, and very smooth and gripping it was an issue. As sad as it sounds, my thumbs got tired. There's no really good place to hold the Kindle on the front.

Overall, the experience wasn't that bad. I'll have to try a few more books to decide whether the Kindle can be a regular part of my reading arsenal (along with books and audio books). The real sign of victory will be when I start paying for e-books.

Oh, and A Christmas Carol was just as enjoyable as I expected.

I received no compensation for this review.

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