- No page numbers. This is bugging much more than I would have thought. While I admire the precision of knowing that i'm "37%" of the way through a book, it doesn't mean much to me yet. I also miss the ability to quickly flip through the pages to find out how far I have to go until the end of the chapter.
Related: I'm curious how to share where a quote is located in a book if you're reading on a kindle and the other person is not. How do students indicate where a reference is located on an ereader? Do they need to highlight? Which leads me to quibble #2...
- Highlighting. By default,
"popular highlights" was turned on, meaning that occasionally a page would appear with an underlined passage and a note stating "Click X to see how many people have highlighted this passage." Now, I'm the first to admit that I like highlighting, although I stopped the practice a while back in favor of noting what passages I like on the book's bookmark. But I've found this setting very distracting; it's like picking up a used textbook in a college bookstore and having trouble studying because of all of the other student's calculations scribbled in the margins.
Perhaps the useage for this would be the same as page numbers in tradtional books - when pointing people towards a passage, you would direct them to highlight X on your kindle account - but the paranoid in me isn't comfortable in sharing so much information with our corporate overlords. (This may have something to do with Barry Lynn's disturbing reportage on amazon's use of their monopolistic powers in "Killing the Competition", located in the February issue of Harper's.)
In the end, I like the experience, but can't shake the sense that i'm missing out on something. Perhaps this is cheap nostalgia, but I think it's something more. In the past, when I was done with a book, I could store it, sell it, share it with other people, etc. - it was a physical object that I controlled. I don't have that sense of ownership with the kindle books. For one, you can't realistically loan them out yet, and those that you can loan have some undue restrictions on them - and, of course, the other person has to have a kindle as well. Perhaps i'll get over this the more I use the kindle, but for now, I'm intrigued with the reading, but ambivalent on the entire experience.