In Praise of Kindle

Before my literary pals lynch me for advocating anything from Amazon’s evil empire, let the record show that I buy books, cards, gifts, lunch, and even carry-on luggage from my local indie bookstore.

But, when it comes to bookish analysis, I’ve discovered that my iPad’s Kindle app better fills my cavernous “how’d they do that?” need than traditional tree-based books.

Here’s my approach— your mileage may vary:

Within the Kindle app I highlight key text in blueorange, pink, or yellow (which doesn’t show up on white.) Then, I finger-type comments like “cool phrase” or “the protagonist’s inner conflict is revealed!” Later, in “My Notebook,” I review the color-coded entries for just the right quote to make my scholarly point. This highlighted peek into the future is from the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: “Two dour-faced men met them at the door holding Kalashnikovs, one three weeks from killing the other in an argument that would begin over driving directions.”

Kindle’s X-ray offers character bios and Wikipedia definitions filtered by page, chapter or for the entire book. Touch a word to see every place it appears in the text. Along side, a sweet timeline displays where and how often the words appear in the text.

With a gentle nudge, definitions and web links appear for archaic or obscure terms. Most recently, I used the search function to find the key scene where Willie Stark in All the King’s Men turned down a beer in favor of orange pop (Nehi, I hope.)

Still, like Jean-Luc Picard, I gotta have a real book for lounging on the beach or curling up in front of the fire; but for literary analysis, I’m an e-convert.

3 thoughts on “In Praise of Kindle

  1. You are so remarkably advanced! Wow.

    Attached is a piece I picked up from the NY Times this week.

    Have a great holiday.



  2. So much easier than logging around highlighters and post-a-notes. Not to mention the note pads and Thesaurus. Of course, it won’t annoy my seat mate in SWA nearly as much… But I may have to convert. Thank you so much.

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