Reading on a Kindle : I Miss The Weight of Pages Transferring From Right to Left

Wed 23 January 2008

I'm now reading Dan Simmons' The Terror on my Kindle. He's a very competent writer, and perhaps it's his very slow, very claustrophobic build-up (which he'd d*** well better pay off) that makes it so noticeable, but I have to say that I'm very aware of a certain "running on a treadmill" sensation when reading on the Kindle.

I turn pages, click click click, and the story progresses, but the only token of my progress is a bar at the bottom (the same length for all material, no matter the word count) that occasionally deigns to darken another pip. Like the animated plane on the in-flight display, this is almost worse than no indicator at all ("We still aren't past Nebraska?" Wait for it... wait for it ... tick it moves a single pixel...).

Especially with thrillers, the book-reading experience includes the sensation of the story moving from right-hand to left. It includes the canny appraisal of the upper-right corner, when the remaining pages become individualized -- "An hour more, then! I can miss the sleep!" The force of will to read every clause as the thumb holds down only the last 3 pages...