Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Kindle vs iPad eBook Reader - my view

I have just finished reading my second book ever on an eBook reader. Last Christmas I was given the Amazon Kindle as a gift and I read Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" (see my review here). Despite a lot of errors in the Kindle version of the book, I found the reading experience a very good one. Yesterday I finished reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" on the Apple iPad - which I had downloaded for free from the Kindle store. 

Image link to DigitalTrends.
There is no doubt that as a tablet computer, the iPad exceeds almost everything that the Kindle does. The one thing that it does not do better is the Kindle eBook reader App. While I found that Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" was formatted a bit better on the iPad, the Kindle is a far better reading experience for me. It is lighter and easier to hold while reading - but crucially the text is far clearer and the background softer to make it very comfortable and easy on the eyes. Yesterday I tried reading the iPad in the Conservatory, but the alternating rain and sunshine made it difficult to see because of the glare during bright sunshine. Now that I am about to get my Kindle back (my daughter has had it for weeks) I expect that it will be my preferred choice for reading from now on. The good thing is that when you buy a book from Amazon, you can get it on both the Kindle and iPad at no extra charge.

"Pride and Prejudice" is, to my almost certain knowledge, the only book I have ever read twice. The other book was George Orwell's "1984" which I had read in school during the 1970s, and read again in the year 1984. P&P was the main English text for the Intermediate (Junior) Certificate exam in 1975. It's an excellent story that I have also seen many times on TV and film. The English prose is difficult to follow sometimes - I wonder if people really spoke like the dialogue in the book all the time in the early 1800s? Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable to read the book again and feel the presences of two of  English literature's strongest and most favourite characters - Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. In 2003, P&P came second in the BBC's The Big Read, a national poll to find Britain's best-loved book" (Lord of the Rings was 1st).

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