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Old 02-01-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
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As Good As It Gets....?

So, being a life-long wearer of glasses, and afflicted with light sensitivity and migraines, I have done most of my e-reading on devices with eInk screens. The only time I read on a tablet was for books with maps, photos, illustrations, etc., and for magazines. But reading on a tablet after 10 pm was sure to generate a migraine. Also, the dictionary/translation/Wikipedia integration on the Paperwhite fitted my reading habits the best - I read mainly 18th, 19th, and early 20th century 'classics' and poetry from all ages. Hence I have to look up or translate a lot of words & phrases - which the PW allowed me to do without leaving my page. I fumed at the storage limits on the PW - I have a lot of "Complete Works of ..." collections that are huge - but I enjoy jumping from one work to another and want to have them on the device, not in the cloud.

Then I got a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" with its marvelous screen (reduced glare & ability to customize light levels) and superb Kindle reading app (that incorporates dictionary/translation/Wikipedia look-up) -- and experienced a transforming tablet reading episode ... [cue violins]

Last weekend, I was reading the NYT BR on my HDX - and was intrigued by the review of "The Ghost of the Mary Celeste" -- which discussed the long literary fascination with this event, with authors offering possible scenarios/explanations. The reviewer mentioned that Conan Doyle had penned a short story early in his career that offered an explanation for the abandoned ship. This made my remember that Conan Doyle had written scads of short stories (mysteries, sci fi, adventure, etc.) before creating Sherlock Holmes. So I opened "The Complete Works of Conan Doyle" and read 'F. Habakuk Jephson's Statement' and several other early short stories. Conan Doyle used a Scottish setting in many of these stories, and I was frequently looking up dialect words as I read. Then I encountered a word (pringled) that was not in the dictionary.

I had gifted myself with an online subscription to the OED this past year (they had an Xmas sale) - so I opened the OED to look up 'pringle' -- those familiar with the OED recall that after defining the word, the OED lists the first appearance of a word with a snippet from the book/magazine/etc., and then lists its usage through the years with further literary appearances. Imagine my glee when I discovered that the first attribution listed in the OED for 'pringle' was the line in the short story that I was currently reading! It was a full-circle reading experience -- from the present to the source back to the present.

And all done on one device. I find that my reading is shifting away from the Paperwhite to the HDX -- it's not perfect, but the worlds it opens up on one device is phenomenal.

I'm sure other readers have had similar experiences with other brands of tablets. I'm not ready yet for ebooks with built-in hyperlinks to videos, etc. linked to the text, but I do greatly appreciate having the ability to explore what I'm reading -- immediately -- and without having to use other devices.
I've been reading since I was 4 or thereabouts -- if I had had this capability as a child -- I just can't imagine it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
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Yes, we may not have flying cars, but some of the stuff we do have is almost magical.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
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Then I got a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" with its marvelous screen (reduced glare & ability to customize light levels) and superb Kindle reading app (that incorporates dictionary/translation/Wikipedia look-up) -- and experienced a transforming tablet reading episode ... [cue violins]
So, no migraines or other issues from reading on the HDX 8.9?
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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I don't think the reading experience can get better, it's just going to get more distracting after this last years literation of readers. Especially on tablets like the Kindle Fire.

I like being able to look up words too, but I mostly like the easy to use search, the ability to go to an index and click the numbers to goto a page, and to find where certain things happen.

Plus the customization.

The danger that will come is when X-Ray gets so advanced that it just becomes a built-in SparkNotes/CliffNotes.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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Yes, we may not have flying cars, but some of the stuff we do have is almost magical.
Flying cars are on the horizon.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/flying-car2.htm

But I don't think we'll see them filling the skies.
The next big milestone I expect to see, and a lot sooner than anybody expects, is a warp drive.

Things are pretty good but they can still get better.
For reading, too.

(As good as current readers and tablets are, I'd like to see tablets lose half the weight and double battery life and the readers gain good saturated color. Both are doable.)

Still, today is pretty good:

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7fNE/2014-hon...intage-trouble

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Old 02-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #6
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So, no migraines or other issues from reading on the HDX 8.9?
No migraines - even if I read/watch movies late at night - the screen glare is vastly reduced from the HD screen - and I usually have the Kindle reading app set on the sepia background.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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Yes, we may not have flying cars, but some of the stuff we do have is almost magical.
Indeed! I can still remember those nights spent reading under the bed covers with my trusty flashlight - and pretending to join in with the adventures in 'Treasure Island' in my head.

Now - when I read a Henry James novel that mentions foreign locations, works of art, buildings, historical figures, obscure words, etc. - I can immediately look them up or even view them - and then return to the page with the images or information fresh in my mind - and continue reading. That's magical - and allows me to more fully enter into works written well before my frame of reference.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #8
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For me the real magical change in my lifetime has been the internet. It would've blown my mind when I was younger the extent to which I just assume I'll be able to look up any random bit of information.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:58 PM   #9
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The one reason for me to not read on a tablet is because I can't stand the screen. They reflect too much, and are not bright enough on a bright day. Sometimes, even the e-reader screen reflects too much.

I actually don't know if there are any reading apps that can use a dictionary as well as the Kindle can. I don't look up words too often, but I like the feature if I need it; not all e-readers are as good with that as the Kindle is.

If the tablet and the e-reader get combined into one device that has all of the advantages of both (and a battery life of about 3-5 days) then I'd certainly like to have it, if it has a 4:3 screen.

The one thing I don't want to have on such a device is the ability for others to call or text me (I have a phone for that, which I sometimes turn off on purpose), and I don't want it to *require* an online connection to function, because I'm often in places that don't have an internet connection, or not a reliable one.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:03 AM   #10
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I have a lot of "Complete Works of ..." collections that are huge...
So you're a Delphi Classics fan as well? I have 23 books of them

The only thing I hate is that they sometimes have errors in the HTML TOC's: either a text that should be a link isn't, or there is no link at all.

Still, they're good collections, certainly for the price
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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So you're a Delphi Classics fan as well? I have 23 books of them

The only thing I hate is that they sometimes have errors in the HTML TOC's: either a text that should be a link isn't, or there is no link at all.

Still, they're good collections, certainly for the price
Yes - they do have their faults, but for the price, they are unbeatable. And the illustrations display magnificently on the HDX - esp. the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit water colors, and in some of the volumes, the Dore engravings.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:18 AM   #12
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For me the problem with all-singing all-dancing ereaders is distraction. I know that I'll surf the net rather than read; watch videos etc rather than continue with the novel I've begun. This is one reason I've shunned newer ereaders.

I appreciate that others may like this capacity, but in looking up words, I use an electronic dictionary - takes a few seconds and keeps me off the web. I'd rather imagine the places depicted in the novel than know exactly what they look like. The pictures in my head are what I want them to be.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
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I appreciate that others may like this capacity, but in looking up words, I use an electronic dictionary - takes a few seconds and keeps me off the web. I'd rather imagine the places depicted in the novel than know exactly what they look like. The pictures in my head are what I want them to be.
It's worth pointing out that many modern eInk devices - especially the Kindle and the modern Sony devices - have very good dictionaries built-in, so no need to go online to look up words. Nothing along the lines of the proper OED, of course, but still fine simply to find the meaning of a word you're unfamiliar with.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:50 AM   #14
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It's worth pointing out that many modern eInk devices - especially the Kindle and the modern Sony devices - have very good dictionaries built-in, so no need to go online to look up words. Nothing along the lines of the proper OED, of course, but still fine simply to find the meaning of a word you're unfamiliar with.
The builtin Kobo dictionary is quite serviceable as well. Not as good as the Chambers I used on my Cybook Gen3 and Kindle DX, but it does the job.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 AM   #15
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Very true - I've been using the Chambers dictionary for some time on my eInk devices -- it has quite comprehensive coverage of older words and Scottish/Irish dialect words. Adding the OED was a fortuitous combination of acquiring the HDX and the OED Xmas sale - I really enjoy browsing the literary examples in the definitions - with the occasional 'light bulb' moment of "I've read that one!"
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