Kindle Update

Stratford upon Avon

I am about halfway into my first book on the Kindle. I’m reading James Shapiro’s discussion of the Shakespeare authorship question: Contested Will. I am happy to report that I love reading on the Kindle. The digital e-ink display is easy to read. I quickly lost myself in the book, and I even discovered a couple of advantages of reading on the Kindle as opposed to paper.

  1. When I read lying down, the book is easier to manage, and I don’t have to do that awkward shifting thing you have to do when you change sides of the book.
  2. I am not shuffling through the book as much. I am re-reading a little less. The focus is on the page at hand.
  3. I’m not trying to calculate how much I have until the end constantly. I already know.
  4. I am not flipping to the end to see what Shapiro will discuss next. I imagine the benefits of not flipping to the end will be even greater with fiction as I won’t be as tempted to ruin the ending.

Admittedly, the reason I’m not doing 2 and 4 is that they’re a little harder to do on the Kindle, though not impossible. I like knowing the percent of the book I’ve read, so there is no need to flip to the end, subtract the number of pages I’ve read, and compute the percentage.

One disadvantage is that I do like to read in the tub, and I can’t bring the Kindle into the tub.

I am finding it just as easy to disappear into a book, and so far, no problems losing my place.

As to the book, I have read about the history of the claims of Baconian and Oxfordian camps, both of which I found interesting. I am finding the book to be a fair-minded discussion of alternative theories of authorship. As Rob Hardy, an Amazon reviewer, writes, “Shapiro is never condescending.” Another reviewer notes that “this book is the most sympathetic and serious analysis of [anti-Stratfordian] views they are likely ever to receive from a legitimate scholar who does not agree with them.” Still, Shapiro is correct is that the zeal some have shown for their particular views on the authorship question borders on religion. It’s amazing to me that we live in an age when the simplest explanation is no longer the best—conspiracy and hidden agendas are favored over history. I find it intriguing too that the Oxfordians have been so successful in promoting their candidate that many folks believe that people who believe Shakespeare wrote the plays ascribed to him are the nutters.

I’m looking forward to reading Shapiro’s case for Shakespeare next. Shapiro said many expressed disappointment that he was tackling this issue in a book, but I’m glad he did.

photo credit: jlcwalker

5 thoughts on “Kindle Update

  1. Interesting! I, too, like to figure out what percentage of the book I've read and I often flip to the last pages and (sorta) spoil the ending for myself. I've been thinking about getting a kindle, but am not quite there yet because I like to pass books on to students and friends when I'm done with them. Not too many of my friends have kindles, so I wouldn't be able to share as much.

    I've been wanting to read Contested Will. I guess I'm going to have to break down and buy it!

    1. Hattie, I'm not sure if you can share books on the Kindle. I don't think you can, but I heard a little something about that possibly changing with the new software update? I'm not sure, though. Contested Will is a great read so far! I highly recommend it. I get questions from students all the time about the authorship question. Plus, I was just curious about it. The book has not disappointed so far. It's very even-handed and fair, yet explains the case for Shakespeare in terms that make it hard to understand why anyone thinks he didn't write his plays and poems.

  2. I feel silly that I never thought of this before, but yeah! It must be so much harder to flip to the end when you're reading an e-book! That, to me, is a major disadvantage. Hmmmm….so many factors to consider.

  3. 1. You could potentially read in the tub as M-edge has a waterproof cover!!!!

    2. I write down the page # of all my Kindle books in case I want to jump ahead. I can move to that "location" and then back to where I was reading. Also, sometimes I like to know what "page" I'm on for goodreads status updates.

    3. I truly LOVE the highlighting/annotating feature! I find myself missing that when reading print material. I go and print out my notes afterwards!

    4. You can have a book on up to 6 devices that are registered to the same account! Unfortunately, pubs dont like this and are starting to limit counts.

    Thanks for answering my question. I have a grant to purchase ereaders for the school library!

    1. I didn't know there were any waterproof covers. I had heard of folks putting them in plastic bags, but I wondered if they would be hard to use that way. When you talk about page numbers, how do you figure that out? Or are you talking about location. Updating Goodreads is something I miss about reading on the Kindle. I had one book that wouldn't let me read it on more than two devices. I had already put it on Kindle for Mac and my iPhone.

      I think it's great you all are getting e-readers for your library.

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