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  Cup o' Joel  

Kindle for iPhone

Last night, I finished my first entire book — John Derbyshire’s “We Are Doomed,” about which more later — on Kindle for iPhone. Why? Because the book was $9.99 in its Kindle format, and roughly twice that much in paper. I needed not to spend the extra money. But it ended up a very pleasurable reading experience.

For one thing, Kindle recently updated its iPhone software so you can take notes and highlights. That’s baseline-level service, to be sure, but it really makes the reading experience on the phone that much more useful. And it offers an advantage over regular book-reading: I can easily look up every single highlight and note I took — no flipping around, trying to remember important passages — which will be useful, since I’ll be interviewing Derbyshire about the book on Saturday.

But it was also great, when I was done, to be able to slip my reading material into my pocket and move on down the road. What’s more, the Kindle app doesn’t really consume battery power too quickly.

I still don’t know if I’d want to read a novel in this format. But I’ve got a half-finished copy of Neil Sheehan’s “A Fiery Peace in a Cold War” at home that’s next on my list to finish. It’s a big, bulky book. I’m going to see if I can cheerfully return to lugging and grappling with such massive tomes. But an e-reader is looking much more attractive to me. Christmas, here I come!

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