Alas, we can’t always say nice things about Amazon. The more we learn about the latest Kindle update, the less we like it, and scores of Slashdotter agreed with our complaint that you’d made the Helvetica font too thin for easy reading by people with contrast issues. Many would say that Helvetica is the least of evils, among what these Amazon customers would regard as your anorexic fonts. Back on TeleRead itself, a Kindle fan named Mary tells how she owns two Paperwhites and one Voyage but stopped updating after the update ruined the view on one of the Paperwhites.
“All of the fonts,” Mary writes in our comments area, “are much lighter in weight than previously.” She asks why your designers “think it is cool to display print so light that you can barely read it.” Also, Mary wants the ability to control font weight—which your competition over at Kobo has. She is highly displeased, too, with your limited font-size options.
Jeff, I know you normally don’t reveal Amazon’s plans. But you should commit now to an immediate fix of the latest update, as well as the addition later on of an ability either to switch all-text boldface on or control font weights (and if you can do something about the font sizes, that would help as well). Don’t let your young font designers, or whoever the culprits are, force your older customers to suffer e-books that are illegible to them. No, not everyone has those problems. But if Kobo acknowledges that some people do, why can’t Amazon show the same sensitivity? Would that be simply good business?
I am sending a copy of this post to email@example.com as well as your PR people. I’d be very grateful for a quick answer. If I don’t get one, I intend, as an advocate for my fellow e-book lovers, to alert the mass media, the AARP, disability advocates and a congress member or two about the outrageous ageism evident in your designers’ font choices. You are just begging for new provisions in disability laws to specifically cover e-book readers.
At the same time I’ll continue writing about the many positives of both your company and your products.
Thanks and best wishes,