Friday, November 4, 2011

Kindle tip: use a big font

I still don't like the grey background on the Kindle, but I've found out something which helps a lot:

Use a big font. 

I've tried reading on the Kindle 4 (the new really compact one) with a text size which is two or three sizes bigger than I'd normally use on a brighter screen. That is a very big difference in size. But it does make a lot of difference in eye comfort, and I find I stick much longer with reading on the Kindle this way. 
The one caveat is that you have to be able to hold the Kindle in a way so you don't have to change the hold every time you flip the page, otherwise that becomes a bother. 

I'd like to thank Darlene, wife of Len Edgerly of The Kindle Chronicles. Len once told about how she likes to use a big font* and flip through the pages fast. (With the earlier Kindles which made audible clicks, this could bother bedroom mates, but the K4 is silent.) 

In an early show, Len interviewed Darlene when she unpacked her first Kindle, and when he saw what kind of text size she preferred, he said: "that's a font for old people". Then there was a pause where I could almost feel Darlene's eyes burning through my iPod, and then he quickly added: "that's a nice font, good choice". 

Len himself prefers to keep the font size limited, he states that he likes to keep a few sizes in reserve for as he gets older and his eyes get worse. But heck, I wouldn't let that stand in my way, for one thing there are still a couple sizes to go up from the one I'm trying now, and for another there'll surely be future advances in screen technology and in laser surgery.       :-)   And I'd guess that not stressing your eyes will not make them deteriorate faster. 

*I know I'm using "text size" and "font" interchangeably, but really traditionally, a 9-point Times is a different font than a 10-point Times, because originally they would come in different boxes, little physical lead letters to be put in boxes for printing. 

1 comment:

Will Duquette said...

Right. Times Roman is a typeface. 10 point Times Roman is a font.