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Book Corner:
Page Turners
Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio


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Since March 2011 when my vote was still bouncing around in the undecided column (Sandpiper, March 2011, KindleNook), I have become a confirmed Kindle reader, downloading books to the Kindle app on my mini-iPad in sync with Amazon’s most optimistic projections. It’s not as if I didn’t love “real” books. That’s the problem, in fact. My favorites are scattered over two continents, and what I have in Del Mar has outgrown the available shelf space.

With a Kindle book I am able to read in dim light, and to adjust the size of the font, the number of columns, and the space between the lines. I can enlarge the photos, or check Google Images for faces and places. Highlighting or annotating text requires only a tap or two on the touchscreen. There is a search tool and, on many books, the Kindle X-Ray feature with preloaded reference material. Frequently, I read about a new book on my iPad and in under 60 seconds pull up Amazon and download a free sample. I love being able to file my books in folders of my own choosing – Current, Favorites, Bad - whatever. Samples are free, of course. But on occasion I have returned a paid-for Kindle book for a full refund, an Amazon option available for seven days after purchase.

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Yet, as committed as I am to Kindle, now and then I am obliged to buy a “real” book. Years ago I read China Boy by Gus Lee, and wanted to read it again. But I no longer knew where it was, and Amazon did not list it in digital format. So I ordered China Boy in paperback and spent a week struggling to read the tiny script in poor light. I had forgotten the feel of paper, and liked it. But the unfamiliar format tripped me up. China Boy was a page-turner both figuratively and literally, and I frequently found myself tapping the corner of a literal page expecting a digital flip to the next one.



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