Kindle and Facebook

I’m old enough to be a bit tardy adapting to these newfangled technologies, but not so old as to dismiss them completely.

I got a Kindle for Kristmas, and I have three comments about using it.

1) It’s annoying not to be able to synch the viewing area to the page number of the physical book. What page am I on? This is apparently a common complaint, and while I can understand some of the technical difficulties in implementing the mapping, I would think this could be worked.

2) I am reading on my Kindle Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, a physical book I’ve meant to finish for years now. Aside from the page number issue, I have to note that *most* of the figures and table in the physical book do not translate into the Kindle version.

3) My major aesthetic complaint about Kindle is that it reduces every book into the same kind of display. Physical books have character; they use different fonts, line spacing, margin decorations, and so on, and all of those disappear in Kindle. Reading on a Kindle is like reading manuscripts — rather bare, and basic. It does lose something.

Meanwhile Facebook — I created a page there in 2007, and have since then received 30 or 40 friends requests, despite not having filled out anything on my Facebook page. This past weekend I decided to come up to speed. I posted a face pic, have been spending time adding favorites music and books and so on, and have responded, or at least considered, the many friend requests that I’ve received. I haven’t entirely figured it all out. I’m not sure why I get so many friend requests from folks I’ve never even heard of, and I’m reluctant to accept friend requests from people I know of, but not actually know (i.e., if I saw them at a science fiction convention, I would have to introduce myself). I suspect there is a sort of competition among people to accumulate as many friends as possible, and perhaps that explains some of those requests.

BTW I loved the Facebook movie — The Social Network. Despite being unlikeable and dishonorable in various ways, the Mark Zuckerberg character was a guy who was really smart and completely unapologetic about it, and I admired that. Something about it recalled my own self at that age, and friends I had, and the decisions we made and paths we’ve taken since then.

One Response to Kindle and Facebook

  1. I love my Kindle 3, Mark, but for me the crappy full justification was a big turn-off. There’s a fix here:

    (Note: not all books support toggling justification off; I always get the free sample to check before I buy a book.)