I’ve been a Kindle owner since I bought a used first gen Kindle in 2008. Since then, I’ve owned a DX (sold), a Paperwhite (still use), and the $50 base Fire they came out with a year or so ago (also still use). In those 8 years of solid use, I’ve bought/acquired/loaded hundreds of books, mobi files, and other errata. I’ve synched across devices, created my own files, marked passages, and done all of the things that one does with a book.
Well, almost. Except for synchronizing, up to now I’ve used a Kindle like I would a book. It finally took a second attempt at reading “Gardens of the Moon“, the first book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, to utilize my Kindle fully. I’m finally using X-Ray, and it is amazing.
One of the biggest issues many people, myself included, have when tackling the Malazan books is the sheer volume of names and places to remember. Other readers have been known to keep notebooks to keep track of everything, and if that’s not your thing there are entire wikis devoted to this task.
With X-ray, I don’t need most of that. On any given page, it will display on request who the characters in the page are, what their place in the story is, and remind me of any of the salient place names. This isn’t a replacement for paying attention to the complex tapestry of the story, but it does help. This isn’t my first attempt at reading the series, and to be honest I never got much further than this volume. But this time, I can enjoy the story being told instead of trying to keep a mental catalog of who’s who.
The irony, of course, being that I love hard copy books more. But in a world bound by space and shelf constraints, a Kindle book is a godsend.