On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What Does the Perfect Kindle Look Like?

I've had one or another Kindles (4 total) for almost three years and am still ecstatic at being able to carry *all* my books with me, either on device or quickly downloaded. I cannot imagine now not having this device -- heck, I port my Kindle from room to room, and every time I step out of the house I make sure it's in my purse. As a perpetually voracious reader since I was three, I can't help imagining what having a Kindle or Nook would have meant for me in school or college. Probably a few failed tests because my fun reading books would have been so easy to get and accessible to read.

Kindles rule! ANY Kindle is better than NO Kindle :-) (NOTE: although I don't use one, I've also heard wonderful things about the B&N NOOK). With that being said, I like to reflect on things still not quite there. The Paperwhite Kindle, as the newest generation, is pretty good but not perfect. THE PERFECT EREADER FOR ME WOULD HAVE:

* Uniform bright-white screen that is able to be read in dark room or sunlight. The Paperwhite has this, provided you get a good one. Some reviews complain of green or pink spots, uneven or shadowed lighting, and/or pixel-like bright spots, all of which are unacceptable.

* Changeable text size, easy navigation, and so forth. The Paperwhite has these, although some people may prefer buttons for navigation.

* Better categorization of books: nested folders, book organization in *the cloud,* and group book transfer capabilities from computer or cloud to Kindle. Ability to take notes on individual book listinsg for personal quick reminders of context: why you got the book, what's important in it, and so forth.

* Text to speech (TTS).This was removed from previous Kindle generations. Boo!

* Ability to respond to voice commands: "next page," "enlarge text," "search store," "increase volume," (assuming TTS is present) and so forth. This would allow blind people and those with severe arthritis or paralysis to use the device.

* Easier highlighting, marking passages, and navigating pages. This technology is developing with the x-ray but isn't there yet.
* 3G connectivity that works for an effective internet browser as well as linking to the store.

* Waterproof for the beach.


Despite these lacks, the Kindle is a dream for reading with no more carrying or storing print books. I'm just waiting for a few tweaks for the *perfect* device. Thanks, Amazon!

NOTE: Caution to Amazon to improve quality control in Paperwhite: many unhappy reviews of defective screens and poor results even with replacements.

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