Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How I Hold a Kindle

I think about things. I think about what I'd like in a new Kindle. I wouldn't like a touch screen. I wouldn't like the keyboard area removed; I like having it to hold onto. Basically, the only features I want are ones that make me as unconscious of the e-reader as possible.

For instance, I would like page turn buttons that don't curve back, but are flat or curve forward, to make them easy to catch with the thumb. 

One of the best things about the form factor of an e-reader is that you can read with one hand. But from the Kindle design, I wonder if anyone else reads their Kindle one-handed. I'd LOVE to have a page-turn button at the center of the bottom area.

A page-turn button right where my thumb is would be sweeeet.

Instead, when I read a naked Kindle, I end up holding it like this: 
Anyone else hold a Kindle this way?

It's a weird hand contortion and it kind of makes my hand cramp. The pinky has to curl underneath to keep the Kindle from twisting when the page-turn button is pressed.

I had one of those unlighted official Kindle covers that caused the thing to short out. It took a month for the paint to wear off the prongs. Once it did, the Kindle reset itself constantly. Anyway, because I had a month of using the Kindle before getting a $35 credit for a new case, I knew what I wanted: a more comfortable way to hold my Kindle.

So I bought a Marware case:
Looks like a normal case
But it's got this sweet holding strap in the back.
The elastic strap holds your fingers, so you don't have to hold your pinky in a weird position in order to keep the Kindle from rotating when the page-turn button is pressed.  But I don't like the suede-ish innards. It grabs dirt. And the finger holder strap isn't near enough the edge for me.

I admit, I'm being picky. But unlike with a paper book, you end up holding the same item for hundreds or thousands of hours. So the little flaws become apparent. And I'm crazy.

Cheapo case.
So I ordered a cheapo zipper case off ebay. It cost $6, and that included shipping from Hong Kong! And yet, I love it.

You see, the zipper can be reversed, creating an adjustable holding slot. And the case seems to have been designed for the Kindle 2, because it's too big. You can see how there's extra space on the side and at the top. This is actually an advantage. The extra vertical space makes it easier to access the power switch. The extra horizontal space creates a gap that makes a comfortable place for my thumb to rest.

Palming method
But then I thought of another method that I have yet to put to use. If you can palm a basketball, you can comfortably palm the kindle. Then you have the choice of pressing the page-turn button on either side, with your index finger or your thumb.

Some people call it knowing what you want
Other people call it being finicky
Some people call it just plain nuts
Other people call it O-C-D!

But I'm krazy! I'm krazy! I'm krazy for my Kindle!
If I were a hobo, I'd carry it in a bindle!

Psychomancer just got its first review ever over at Novel Opinion. Check it out!


  1. Unfortunately, there's no good way to hold a nook. The placement of the page-turn buttons, combined with the hefty weight makes it nearly impossible to hold one-handed. I can manage it for awhile but inevitably end up with a weird cramp in my palm just below my thumb. I really wish barnes and noble would put out a lighter unit with physical page-turn buttons.

    I love that Chewie is in the background of all these pics!

  2. Did you notice how he gets more and more annoyed the closer I get?

    Those ridges on the new nook are physical page turn buttons. I was wrong when I told you otherwise. From what I understand, though, they're very hard to depress. You should try one out at B&N and tell me what you think.

  3. I did notice. He looks confused.
    Are they really? That's great news! Now I'm excited to go look at one!

  4. Ahhh, cute dog.

    (There's my image as a creepy horror writer blown, eh)

  5. If it helps, there's just a tiny bit of evil deep down in his sweet soul.

  6. I hold mine sideways with both hands! Safety first. IDK makes me feel like I'm holding a book more.


  7. For 2-handed reading, I think I liked my official kindle case best. It was sturdy.

    You read it sideways, huh? Never heard of anyone taking advantage of that feature before. iiiintereeesting

    Doesn't it make it hard to hit the page turn buttons? What's your method?

  8. Tried out the 2nd gen Nook today and definitely want to buy one. I'm amazed by how small and light it is. The models in the pics must have tiny hands because it's even smaller than I expected.

    I was excited to see that it lets you assign the upper and lower buttons to either page forward or back. The original Nook forces you to use the lower buttons to page forward even though your thumb naturally rests over the upper right button. It's something that has always bothered me!

    The best part is that my wedding anniversary is on the 21st so I don't feel guilty about ordering one :)

  9. What I wouldn't give to be able to assign buttons on the kindle. I actually looked that up when I first bought it, wanting to turn the "y" into a page turn button.

    I'll be happy to get to test yours out. And I'm going to rub my greasy fingers all over your screen (my fingers aren't actually very greasy anymore, but when my hair was long, they were like articulated sausage links because I touched my hair so much)