The Kindle and the criminally inclined

I recently treated myself to a shiny new Kindle – half gleefully and half guiltily due to the size of the initial outlay (although with the added justification of helping to keep the beleagured British economy afloat). While not completely convinced of the merits of owning one, I felt it was the right time to give an e-reader a go, especially as previous generations of Kindle buyers have so considerately helped to iron out the early technological and design flaws. 

I’ve had the Kindle for a week now, and am gradually learning to appreciate its benefits. As a crime reader, I consume a huge amount of books, and one big plus is that the Kindle will help keep my bookshelves from collapsing in the too-near future. I’m also finding reading on it a pleasant and user-friendly experience (especially as one can customise the appearance of the type to suit one’s aging eyes). But best of all, I’ve been able to widen the scope of my reading through opportunistic scavenging for bargain crime. Gems have come my way through the Kindle Daily Deal, while others are simply waiting to be found in the course of browsing. There’s some very good stuff out there that costs very little, and because they’re so reasonably priced, I’m willing to take a flyer on novels I might not otherwise try – which is no doubt the idea. In any case, it’s having the effect of allowing me to broaden my horizons and to fill in the gaps for good authors I’ve missed to date. So far I’ve snapped up low cost (or even free) crime from the US, Norway, Iceland and the UK, and now have a nice range of different types of novels stored on the Kindle to suit different types of crime-reading mood.  

One of my bargains...

That’s not to say that I’ll ever give up the wondrous paper book. I’ll continue to buy crime in indie and charity bookshops, as I’ll always love the feel of a book in my hand, especially when having a nice hot bath at the end of a long working day. That’s one advantage the Kindle will never have – and that’s quite OK by me.

15 thoughts on “The Kindle and the criminally inclined

    • Mine is the Kindle 3 and the screen seems very good in terms of resolution and so on. When I first tried it, I was a bit disconcerted by the little flash as you turn the page, but I became used to that very quickly and don’t even see it any more.

      While weighing up purchase options, I was made aware that there’s a new touch-screen Kindle out (in the States at least), and even though I’m used to that technology, I decided to stick with the tried and tested classic. It’s an odd fusion of cutting edge technology with a slight retro feel (buttons!), but I quite like that. It’s fun watching my son having a go. He *always* tries to touch the screen at first – the automatic reaction of the younger generation…

  1. All good reasons, I agree. Although I have found that books tend to lurk on the Kindle, unremembered! When I first got mine I did a deal with myself that I’d read what I downloaded and not have a queue. My compliance is a bit sporadic but I am now having a Kindle reading burst to get back to square 0, having realised that I have 3 books downloaded in Sept and ignored subsequently. Two down, one to go, then I can download my next bargain!

    • Thanks, Maxine. I’ll watch out for the ‘lurking’ syndrome. Although I have to say that I like having a mini-library of unread books waiting for me. I have 10 at the moment: I’m not sure what the upper-limit should be to prevent things spiralling out of control! I have a feeling that you’re much more disciplined than me 🙂

      • I think Kerrie once wrote that her Kindle backlog is in the hundreds! I am not really disciplined, but I have so many impulse buys and impulse “yes” to offers of review books, as well as trying to support my local library…’s more to stop myself going even more insane than anything else.

      • I know what you mean – it’s easy to be overwhelmed, especially when reviewing books in a genre that has such a high production rate. But knowing that Kerrie may have hundreds waiting for her provides me with a welcome bit of leeway!

  2. Gee, well, I have a gaggle of books lurking on my dining room table, 3 stacks of them, waiting to be read. I still am a Luddite about a Kindle, however, I’m home nearly all of the time so a Kindle isn’t needed, unless I were desperate to have a particular book right NOW and I couldn’t live without it. But so far I’ve been able to wait it out for books. (Also, I’d be terrified of busting the budget if I could just purchase ebooks at will. The credit card would definitely have to go to a neighbor’s for a sentence to be determined.)

    • I can confirm that the temptation to purchase books on Kindle is high, Kathy, especially as they use a ‘one-click’ buying system. Even though I’m only spending a small amount at a time it will all add up…

  3. I am very satisfied with my Kindle 3. I mainly use it for US bargains – and new crime writers I want to support. I am afraid I have 30 books or so waiting for me, but my great excuse is that my uncle destroyed my struggle for control when he gave me 50 paper books. Well, in ten years time, perhaps… if only all those great authors would stop writing new books for a couple of years 😀

    • 30 sounds like a very reasonable and rounded number – plenty of choice but not *too* overwhelming. Yes, there’s so much good writing out there. But a nice problem for us crime lovers to have 🙂

  4. Oh dear – I have just counted and even discounting free/ out of copyright classics etc I have 23 unreads on my Kindle (and, yes, they do include a couple I had forgotten were there). In my defence, most were bought at too-good-to-miss promotional prices – it is hard to say no to 99p…

  5. Yes, well my Kindle queue is somewhere about 250 so I am never ever lost for something to read. Mine is a Kindle2 that i have had over 2 years now and it and I are great friends

  6. Good to see so many people embracing the Kindle. I was quite sceptical about using them but in the end bought one for my husband – carting round Stephen King on the train is no joke! He then lent it to me while he did NaNoWriMo. The advantage was I read a book only available on the Kindle, but I really didn’t enjoy the experience. Making it touch screen would be a great improvement – moving from a phone or SatNav to a Kindle, the temptation is to try touch. I also found that it just didn’t have the feeling of being immersed in the book in the same way that holding & reading a conventional book does.

    • Thanks, suzigun. My son says the same about touch-screen. Once you’ve used that kind of technology anything else seems rather counter-intuitive. But I quite like the futuristic / retro feel of the Kindle myself.

      I’ve found the reading experience to be fine, and have still been able to ‘lose myself’ in the book, but do also continue to like the ‘feel’ of the book in my hands. I’m quite happily alternating between the two.

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