Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Reading my newspapers on Kindle - Pros and Cons

I have just completed a 14-day free trial of The Guardian and The Observer in Kindle format, and after consideration I have decided to carry on with the subscription at £9.99 a month. Here's the Pros and Cons of reading my newspapers on Kindle as I see them.


I've always bought The Observer anyway. At £2.20 a copy, that's £8.80 a month for the printed copy, so for an extra £1.19 a month I'm now also getting The Guardian six days a week.

I no longer have to walk or drive down to the paper shop to buy the paper. There's something quite exciting about downloading the new issue (which takes seconds) first thing every morning.

I'm keeping more up-to-date with the news than I did before. It's especially interesting just now when The Guardian is taking the lead on the phone-hacking story.

It's easier to read than the paper version, even since the broadsheet has been replaced by the Berliner format. Quieter too. No folding and creasing, easier on the arms. Particularly, it's easier to read in bed.

With the hyperlinked contents table, it's easier to skip through and find the pieces you want to read, and to return to them. If you turn off where you have been reading you automatically go back to where you were.

You can look up words at the click of a cursor. For example, reading an article the other day about the phone hacking scandal and, specifically, who had knowledge of the 'Neville email' I read the sentence:'Crone, with all his authority as the tabloid group's most long-serving and senior consigliere, at once publicly contradicted him.' Call me ignorant, but I'd never come across consigliere. I clicked the cursor on the word and discovered it means 'an adviser, especially to a crime boss; Mafia family adviser'. Not only do I now know what a consigliere is, I'm even more appreciative of The Guardian for introducing me to such an apt term in connection with the Murdochs.

The Kindle version of the papers contains words and some pictures (in black and white) but no ads. Big plus for me.

When you have finished reading, you can either keep the issue in archive format, or you can delete it. Less messy, and I suppose environmentally cleaner.


Although the £9.99 a month is obviously good value (see above) psychologically it seems more when it's coming off your account regularly each month in one go, rather than the change that comes out of your pocket when you buy the paper over the counter.

Because I don't get out to the paper shop, maybe I exercise less, and get out of the house less. I have to remember to compensate.

I didn't normally read a daily paper before, so I'm spending more time reading newspapers, leaving less time for other important things such as reading books, writing, and talking to my wife.

I quite like the smell of newsprint and the feel of the newspaper in my hand, in the same way that I miss the feel of a book when I'm reading the Kindle version.

There is no colour in the pictures, and fewer of them. Biggest loser is The Observer Magazine (though I read little of this section myself).

You can't do a crossword or other puzzles that require pen and paper with a Kindle version of the paper.

There are no TV and radio listings. (I get the Radio Times anyway, but this will be a drawback for some.)

There are even more typos and misprints in the Kindle version of The Guardian than there are in the printed version.

Well, I see I've managed to list almost as many Cons as Pros, but I'm happy with my decision at the moment. And I can cancel any time. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. There are some really interesting comments on this posting at the Kindle users' forum.