Kindle for reading papers


Something I've been wondering about for a while - do people use Kindles to read academic papers? I know they support pdfs, and I've thought that they might be a good idea for loading papers onto, in case of ten or fifteen minutes being spare at some point, but does anyone do this? And if so, how do you find it, particularly in terms of showing graphs etc?


I've only once tried reading a pdf paper on a Kindle and gave up after a few pages because I got fed up with all the scrolling left-right and up and down which it entailed. Also I'm doing visual arts and found the images weren't as clear as was ideal. It probably would work for graphs but you'ld have to zoom in on them more so have yet more scrolling. However I know someone else who finds them very useful for reading papers so maybe the scrolling is something you can get used to, I was fairly new to kindles when I tried it.

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You can send pdfs to kindle and they send them back (within a day or something - its very quick), in Kindle format. I've not tried this for academic stuff, but it may well be a solution to having to scroll around a pdf.

I prefer to have my kindle as a lovely thing that I enjoy, rather than being yet another thing that has been tainted by my PhD lol I therefore prefer to read teenage vampire fiction on it and never soil it with horrible academic work :p


I'm finding the Kindle to be a bit of a god-send with regards to reading papers etc. I'm dyslexic so I have to print papers out so that I can put my coloured filters over them (the white of the computer screen makes it difficult for me to read the text for any length of time). But I'm not made of money ... With the Kindle's greyish screen, as long the size of the text on the pdf is a decent size, I can use the highlighter facility on the bits of text I need. Then when I attach the Kindle to my computer everything that I've highlighted is in My Clippings.txt. I cut & paste into a Word doc and, hey-presto, I have all the relevant bits that I need.

I also find it useful for texts that I can access via Google Books or, although if the text has been scanned the words can go a bit haywire!


It is possible. Once uploaded rotate the view so you can see more of the page and zoom to see the text and fine graph details better.
However, I only use my kindle for papers if I am REALLY limited on space in hand luggage or it is a paper I regularly refer back to (i.e. will need to read to death to understand fully ready to quote in my work).
It is not great for graphs - so best for papers you've scan-read once on the big screen and now want to read more in depth on the sofa, on the beach etc.
I like my fav papers in paper/real form as I can doodle all over in lots of colours where the colours either link themes or follow through some process in the paper. Not tried the note facility on the kindle with a pdf.
If you do a lot of travelling on public transport I would recommend the kindle for pdfs, or if you are going to a conference and want to have a copy of all the papers you've found useful in the past it is also handy.

One disadvantage of work stuff on kindle:
You need to read papers... you are distracted by that new novel you have just downloaded to the kindle.
You need to relax and sit down to read new novel on kindle..... you feel guilt because there are 15 unread papers looking at you in the main menu.


So if not Kindle, what is a good way to read papers? Once I get my next job I'd like to get something as carrying around a laptop can be a pain.

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I'd like to hear from people who have Ipads. I'm coming up against quite a major problem at the moment - after 4 years of using a laptop like an extra arm, I can't write with a pen anymore! well at least not very neatly.

I'm running seminars where I need to tkae notes of peoples presentations/performance and at the mo, I'm having to go back and write them all up - wasting valuable time.

I wonder if an ipad or something (?? suggestions please!?) would be able to let me read papers and do this kind of note writing, or is it best to just lug around a laptop?

(sorrty for crashing thread) - if people can do this on kindle I'd also like to know!


Sneaks - At conference last week my supervisor sat all day making notes on her ipad. It seemed to work well for her.


I use my Kindle a lot for reading articles - it has saved me a lot of printing costs. You send the pdfs to your email to download them and if you write "convert" in the subject line then they are much easier to read (like a book). It doesn't work with all pdfs but with most I haven't had any problems. I highlight sections on the Kindle and write brief notes - it is not easy to write notes longer than a few words though. How do you use it with Google books though?


Another Kindle tip that I discovered relatively recently is to use it with Instapaper. You can click on any webpages that you want to read (you download a link to your toolbar) and that page or article gets saved to your Instapaper account. All the articles you have saved get sent to your Kindle once a week (or more frequently if you want).


Quote From waddett:

I like my fav papers in paper/real form as I can doodle all over in lots of colours where the colours either link themes or follow through some process in the paper.

I'm the same; I know Kindles have a note function, but I find it much easier to have all my readings physically organized in binders and with written notes on them. This way I can consult them in several years and not need to worry about misplacing and organizing everything virtually.

I agree it must be handy to be able to consult all your papers anywhere, when you are on the go. However, I always carry a paper or two with me for making the most of a few spare minutes.

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ok, this thread is making me guilty - I don't think I've taken a paper anywhere, or read one for that matter in about a year!


Thats a good tip Timefortea, I am going to try it out right away.

I too have given up using my kindle for reading papers, although that was my original reason to buy it. I found it was too much hassle to email pdfs and then keep scrolling all over. Also I think my attention span is very less, and if I don't read a paper right after I find it, I probably never will. So I end up with a bunch of papers on my kindle that I don't even want to look at when I want to read a novel. So now, the only scientific paper I have on my kindle is Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA!

Since I don't travel much, I'm sticking to my laptop and getting by with minimal printing. After a lot of effort I have made a folder system that works, and Im finally able to find what I am looking for..

Ipads seem to work for a lot of people in my department though.


Thanks Sneaks and TimeForTea for explaining pdf conversion. Will give it another go.

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I find it easiest to read on Mendeley, I like the highlighting and note functions. If they had an Ipad app (not sure if they do?) then I'd be tempted to get an ipad. I'm rubbish with handwritten notes, because I live and work in about 4 different locations, so would mean dragging half a library around with me.