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Kindle reviews I

Although I regularly use and appreciate my Kindle, there is a serious down-side that seems to have escaped you thus far.  That is the dreadful transcription quality of Kindle books.  I assume that the book scripts are rendered into electronic form by optical character readers (OCRs) but clearly if this is so then the quality of these OCRs is not of the best and it is also very apparent that no-one has bothered to proof-read the results.

You will find this out for yourself as you get into buying Kindle books from Amazon.  Mainly this is no more than an annoyance although the rare typo of a printed version becomes much more common place.  Sometimes however it is much more.  The worst example that I have come across was in a Kindle copy of Joyce's Ulysses, where an already difficult read is rendered into gibberish.  A complaint to Amazon received an immediate response that such complaints are taken seriously, but with no real evidence that this is actually happening.

I still use my Kindle and will continue to do so for its obvious benefits in light reading.  But for serious reading the device is ham-strung by the clear limitations of its software and, for the present, is a non-starter.  A little on-line searching shows that Amazon have been aware of these transcriptions problems for quite a while.  The impression gained is that they are doing very well in the market without needing to raise their game.  Also I have read on-line that it is not Amazon's fault but that of the publishers.  I do not accept this since it is Amazon who are content to sell this garbage.



Your article inspired me to rush to Amazon and buy a Kindle, entirely new to me, and await it with trepidation. Being far less expert than almost anyone else, besides being sans grandchildren nearby, am anxious in case it outwits me - not difficult. When it arrives, and if I win, will send you the experiences of a very inexpert oldie! 



No doubt you're already aware of this site, but just in case it has escaped you, there are some 36,000 free books for your Kindle at

(How many of them anyone in their right mind would want to read is quite another matter!)



I, too, am a recent convert to Kindle, although I will not give up books altogether.  I think you will find that, if you consult your Kindle Users Guide, you can in fact 'lend' downloaded books to other Kindle users for 2 weeks.

Another 'plus' I have discovered is that you can transfer documents and PDFs from your computer to your Kindle.  I have found this very useful as I belong to a choir and can listen to my rehearsal CD on my iPod and read the words on my Kindle..................IN BED!



I just love the idea of Arts and Crafts Kindle covers. Crochet certainly, patchwork perhaps, tapestry, embroidery, shell covered as souvenirs of seaside holidays, maybe a trifle uncomfortable to hold. But we must not tell Kirstie Allsopp as she will have a series on Channel 4 as fast as blink.

My husband has suggested more specialised ideas. Camouflage for the army – but they may be mislaid. Stainless steel for inmates of HMPs, to match the lavatories (I apologise for his sense of humour). Tartan for the SNP – this should be popular these days and of course there is a wide choice of clan tartan so they would do well in the souvenir shops in Edinburgh.

I suggest sludge green waxed for bored fishermen or resting huntsman and waterproof for readers in the bath. But I think my very best idea, saved for the last, is Swarovski crystal covers for the bling loving ‘celebs’. They probably do not read, but they could be photographed carrying it prominently as they arrive at an airport.


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