September 23, 2012

Kindle Fire -- nothing's perfect

The bookshelf metaphor for the GUI in the Kindle Fire is a clever one, and it has the great benefit of being easily accessible to new users.

But it has a drawback, too: it doesn't really scale well. I currently have 36 books in mine, and that's the point where it begins to get unwieldy. The books can be sorted by name, by author, or in order of how recently I've read them, but it's still a matter of scrolling up and down to find a particular one.

What I really want is the ability to make my own bookshelves, and give them names. I don't know how that would fit into the GUI, but it would allow me to organize my books myself, to make them easier to find.

It's still not outrageous with 36 books, but it seems like it would be a real issue if I had a hundred or more. Considering that I've bought more than 30 in the last six months, reaching a hundred is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 06:54 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 183 words, total size 1 kb.

1 The standard Kindles let you organize books into collections, but none of the apps do. I'm surprised the Fire didn't get something better than the standard Android app.


Posted by: J Greely at September 23, 2012 08:39 PM (2XtN5)


For all I know, it does. I've never read the manual. Maybe I'll look around in it to see what I can find.

...or I could actually check the manual. (Naah; manuals are for wimps.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 23, 2012 09:28 PM (+rSRq)

3 I just went through the manual (wimp!) and saw nothing in there about creating multiple bookshelves or any other way of subdividing the library.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 23, 2012 10:39 PM (+rSRq)

4 I have 137 things (books and magazines) in the Kindle app on my Nexus 7.  The interface just plain sucks at that point.

(I snarfed down most of the Baen Free Library, which accounts for at least half of that number.  The rest came mostly from Baen and Fictionwise, all DRM-free.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 24, 2012 02:38 AM (PiXy!)

5 There is at least one app in the Amazon marketplace that will add collections to the Kindle Fire.  I can't imagine not having collections, I have around 250 books in the Kindle library on my Xoom, and even organized by author, series, etc. it's a pain to navigate.  I'd kill to be able to tag books, and then organize by tags.  "Science Fiction" "Fantasy" "Baen" "Lensman" etc

Posted by: David at September 24, 2012 09:18 AM (+yn5x)

6 I wish I could have a "Lensmen" category. The Lensmen books aren't available for the Kindle, and I want to reread them.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 24, 2012 09:57 AM (+rSRq)


Twice now I've found things which claimed to include "Masters of the Vortex", and bought them, only to discover that they only included the first chapter. (It was a published short story which he expanded to become a full book.)

Looks like this is stuff which just fell out of copyright.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 24, 2012 12:31 PM (+rSRq)

8 Yep, out of copyright.  And thus fair game for project Gutenberg.  Mobi format files can be found here.

Posted by: David at September 24, 2012 12:51 PM (+yn5x)


I didn't know about that.

The "Calibre" program is needed, but that was easy to find and install. It barfed when it tried to convert "First Lensman", but I don't care. I don't want to reread it.

And their copy of "The Vortex Blaster" is that same damned short story, first chapter, as everyone else has. Bummer. But the rest of it looks good. After my Fire finishes recharging I'll kick into Galactic Patrol.

Although I have a feeling that what they're offering is what was originally published in the magazine, and it may not be quite the same as the version I remember.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 24, 2012 02:10 PM (+rSRq)

10 I got another Kindle - scrounged the old one from wife. It's the launch hardware, so the UI is drastically different. So... My Fire is called "Basroil" and I spent a minute or two trying to remember name of Marika's ship, to keep with a theme. Gave up and called it "Akagi", since that one had an anime appearance. Helloooo, Alzimer.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 25, 2012 03:47 PM (RqRa5)

11 It's "Bentenmaru". And Chiaki's father's ship is "Barbaroosa".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 25, 2012 03:59 PM (+rSRq)

12 When I retuned from Ireland, I left my Fire ("Basroil") at an airplane. Wife bought me a new one (a HD). "Bentenmaru" it is, then. Unfortunately, Akagi's battery is dying and given that it's more than 3 years old, we might retire it.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 11, 2012 03:18 PM (RqRa5)

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