Ease of use isn’t something I normally think about while writing book reviews. I should. If a book doesn’t have proper chapter headings and a table of contents, you can’t scroll through the chapters. This isn’t normally a problem, but what if you’re on Chapter 10 and decide to reread Chapter 3 …Without ‘em, you must go back to the first page, scroll through it, and waste your precious kindle battery skimming for Chapter 3. Let’s say after re-reading it, you want to skip back to Chapter 10…I hope you bookmarked it. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the next hour scrolling, skimming, and cursing the idiot who decided the book didn’t need the most basic amenity–a table of contents.
Some will argue this is Kindle’s downside. It’s not. If the book is properly formatted, you won’t have problems. However, if the file creator took shortcuts and/or flat-out flunked HTML 101, go find the Kindle charger because you’re screwed.
On Saturday, I learned the book I was reading had previously lost its battle with the e-book formatting gremlins. (Either that or the publisher was lazy. Take your pick.)
In response, I’ve tweaked my book review template.
If I can’t scroll to the next chapter with the navigation button…4 out of 5 ease-of-use stars.
If you didn’t use a symbol for scene breaks and one of lands on the next page (on my kindle, not yours) without a big gap at the bottom of the previous page…3 out of 5 ease-of-use stars.
A two or one is possible, but you’d have to do something egregious like center and italicize the entire book. Of course, then I won’t finish reading your book, much less review it.
What formatting problems will make you put down an e-book? Should ease-of-use be weighted less than grammar?