4 Things That Irritate Me About My Kindle

Yesterday I shared three things I really like about my Kindle. Overall, I’ve been super-happy with the purchase, but as I mentioned, there are a few things that I’ve found less than stellar about reading on it so far. None of these are what I would consider deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination, they really come down to preference issues and personal habits. Here’s what I mean:

1. It’s very tempting to skim, rather than read. I’ve always been a very fast reader, but I’m finding myself going way too fast. I’ve noticed a tendency to scan the text more often than dig into it. This is something that I hope will improve with time as I get acclimated, but it’s really frustrating for me. In the meantime, I am frequently reminding myself to slow down when I’m reading and will often flip back to a previous screen in order to make sure I actually absorbed the words being presented.

2. No touch screen. I’m in Canada and don’t have a valid U.S. address (or P.O. box), therefore the models available to me are extremely limited. I purchased the Kindle 4 (with the directional buttons). It works fine, but I would have much preferred a touch screen—in fact, I frequently find myself poking at the screen to get it to do something. My iPhone has trained me well… This has been happening far less frequently, but the first week was brutal.

3. Highlighting is easy enough, but typing is a pain. At this point, unless I really need to make a note, I don’t when I’m reading on the actual device. If I’m making notes, I’ll do it on my laptop. The onscreen keyboard works okay, but its not set up in the traditional QWERTY layout (again, evidence that I’ve been too well trained by my technology), so it makes for much searching around for letters using the directional pad. (This is one advantage of the Kindle Keyboard, which was out of my price range.)

4. Is there a point in marking up personal documents, though? At this point I’ve not figured out how to actually access highlights and notes from books that I didn’t purchase directly from Amazon, as well as PDFs that have been provided for me. If someone’s got some tips on how to do this, I’d really appreciate them. Thanks!

So that pretty much covers everything to this point. Like I said, nothing earth shattering, just a few things that are kind of irritating—and most of them are things I’ll learn to live with until it’s time to upgrade. :)

Question: If you have a Kindle, what’s been the one feature that you’ve most been bothered by?

  • Josh Stoll

    When you sync your Kindle to your laptop, locate the documents file within your Kindle. In their, along with all of your books, you will find a txt document called “My Clippings.” This will contain all of your highlights regardless where you purchased them. I then cut and paste each book’s highlights separately into a “Book Notes” document in Evernote.

    Hope that helps!

    • Josh Stoll

      *there

      • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

        That is hugely helpful, thanks Josh!

        • Jchalmers

          Although the clippings file is helpful, Amazon also provides a place where you can preview your clippings and notes online, so you don’t need to sync, and copying and pasting is way easier and less cluttered! Once
          you have logged in, type in the name of your book, you may need to click: “You own
          a different edition of this book”, and then it will show you all of your highlights.

          https://kindle.amazon.com/

  • http://honeyandlocusts.wordpress.com/ John Gardner

    I’ve been debating getting a Kindle for a while now, but haven’t pulled the trigger. One of my biggest concerns is that I will also be tempted to skim rather than dig in. For some reason, I just can’t seem to get into a book that I can’t mark up and flip pages. Some of my Kindled friends tell me I’ll get used to it and be fine, but I don’t know if I believe them…

  • Jeremy

    Check out a program called Calibre. It opens up a lot of functionality. calibre-ebook.com

  • Terry Enns

    I also had your same frustration with the highlight function; I often read my Kindle books on my desktop computer and like to copy and paste quotes into my sermons.  I discovered, as you did, that the highlights I’d made on my Kindle on non-Amazon purchased books didn’t show up on my desktop. 

    Those marks can also be transferred over individually to your computer. Each book on your Kindle has at least two files — the file containing the text of the book (generally the .mobi file) and the marks and highlight file (typically a .mbp file).  With your Kindle connected to your computer via the USB cable, simply drag the .mbp file into the folder where you keep your Kindle books on your computer and the next time you launch the computer Kindle program, the highlights and marks from that book will be seen.   

  • David

    The screen is too small for me — Id like
    a screen midway between 6″ and the
    9 plus kindle dx screen.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Funny, I kind of figured the screen size would bother me but I was pleasantly surprised. Since it’s about the same size as a typical paperback, it’s been pretty comfortable.

  • Holly

    I find typing on my kindle is fairly easy, but I don’t like how you are unable to easily veiw web pages…

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Yep, viewing websites is pretty awful. That said, I’m kind of glad that this is the case—I like that I’m only able to do one thing really well on the Kindle.