Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Goodreads and the Kindle Voyage

I love reading, although I could definitely love reading more. I don’t read as many books per year as I’d perhaps like to. I go through stages of rapidly reading book after book, but after that I could easily go for a month or two without reading another. Which I’m not happy about. I’d certainly like to make an effort to read more this year – that’s not a New Year’s Resolution, just a note to myself. At least, I’d like to try to be consistently reading books without big breaks in between.

Something that really does enable me to read more efficiently and quickly (and therefore gives me the potential to read more books overall!), however, is my Kindle. Now I know e-readers and e-books are a controversial subject among most readers, but although I do love physical books – particularly well designed books or books with especially nice covers – what I really love is the actual act of reading. Whether it’s on paper that gives of a nostalgic scent or on a well-lit e-reader screen, it’s the words and the content that count. And it just so happens that I have been using a Kindle e-reader for 4 years and I love it. That’s not to say in that time I haven’t read physical paper books as well, I certainly have, but I’ve probably read more on my Kindle than I have on paper.

Now, my Kindle Keyboard was starting to look a bit dated. So, although it functioned perfectly well, after Christmas this year (last year technically, but saying last year sounds like it was ages ago), I decided to treat myself to a new Kindle. The Kindle Voyage. It arrived in the post on Friday last week and, my god, I don’t regret splashing out a little on it because it is awesome.

That video sums it up pretty well. One feature the reviewer doesn’t mention there, which within less than a week, I absolutely love is…
  • Squeeze In that last Chapter – See at a glance how long it will take to finish a chapter or book. Time to Read is personalised based on your reading speed and is constantly updated as your speed and habits change. (Perfect when deciding if you can squeeze in another chapter before bedtime.)
My other favourite features, that weren’t applicable to my Kindle Keyboard are…
  • Read comfortably in one hand – Lighter than most paperback books, hold Kindle Voyage comfortably in one hand for long reading sessions. (Didn’t realise how much of a brick my Keyboard was until I held the Voyage!)
  • Adaptive light – When reading in the dark, the adaptive front light slowly lowers the display’s brightness over time to match the way the eye responds to darkness. (I haven’t done too much night-time reading yet but my old Kindle didn’t even have a light.)
  • Sleek yet durable design – With a magnesium back and a chemically-reinforced glass front, Kindle Voyage is both durable and sleek. (Good to know as I broke my KK by accidentally leaning on it, thankfully it was still within warranty at the time.)

Right, now we come to the other part mentioned in the title of this post. Goodreads. Goodreads is a ‘social cataloguing’ website for book readers all around the world. You create an account and list books that you’ve read, want to read and are currently reading. You can link with Facebook, Twitter etc. and add your friends to share book lists and see what others are reading. You can browse books by genre and receive recommendations for other books that you might enjoy, based on what you’ve already read and rated.

I signed up last night and stayed up well past my average bedtime inputting books that I’ve read. Obviously, there’s plenty of other books that I’ve read (a lot in childhood or my teenage-years) that haven’t made their way onto my account. They probably never will. BUT I will try to up date it as and when I read books from now on!

It’s a similar idea to Shelfari. Although Shelfari is at first glance more visually appealing, it is quite a clunky website and lacks in features. Goodreads, however, has far more useful features – recommendations, for example. Most importantly, it has a mobile app! I had a Shelfari account previously but I wasn’t very good at updating it as I finished a book. But with the mobile app version of Goodreads, this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Now all I need is syncability with Kindle…

Emma’s bookshelf: read recently 

The Dragon Keeper
Ship of Destiny
The Mad Ship
Ship of Magic
The Good, The Bad and The Furry: Life with the World's Most Melancholy Cat and Other Whiskery Friends
The Complete Maus
One Day
Pride and Prejudice
Golden Fool

Emma's favorite books »

Did anyone notice how I tried to make the title of this blog sounds like the title to a book? Liveship Traders, much? No? Okay…

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