A recent update to the Kindle DX answers my #1 complaint about PDF reading on the "big screen" Kindle. Now, the Kindle DX automatically crops the whitespace margins of a PDF file. By removing these "gutters," the reading experience of a portrait-formatted magazine or journal article has been significantly improved.

However, I have to share an unexpected development: for some reason, I find myself preferring the long-duration reading experience on my first-generation Kindle to the reading experience on the DX. I don't know what it is, exactly, but it seems to be the subtle influence of three things:

  • The paperback-size of the 1st-gen Kindle is just enough smaller to be unobtrusive on the coffee table
  • The page-turn button of the 1st-gen Kindle is right under my thumb, so page turns are totally unobtrusive (people complained about the look of the 1st gen Kindle -- I think it's wonderfully ergonomic)
  • The amount of text on the smaller screen is enough to be read at regular reading speed (say, 300-400 WPM) but with less actual eye movement. While it's not quite Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, it's very pleasant.

Of course, the DX is much better for technical documents, source code, and magazines, but I've found myself moving novels onto my first-gen and keeping my DX by my desk.