Reading Ahead: Fieldwork highlights – Peter

Reading ahead logo with space above

During the fieldwork cycle, we write quick summaries of each interview session and send these immediately to our clients so they can start to circulate stories. At this point in the process we strive to stay descriptive; our goal is just to get stories about the people we’re meeting out to the extended team (us, our direct clients, and their stakeholders).

Peter (not his real name), the first Kindle user we’ve interviewed, works in web production. When describing himself, he says,”I like gadgets.”


We met with him at his home in Vallejo. He describes doing several types of reading: instructional reading to expand his knowledge about topics of interest like photography, fiction as a “form of engagement with a piece of art,” and non-fiction as a way to vicariously experience other places and lifestyles.

Peter’s had his Kindle for a couple of years. He says when he first got it (as a gift from his partner), it “got him” buying books right away, and he used it almost exclusively for around a year.

He says serious limitations of the Kindle are that you can’t have two books open at once (if you’re using a reference book, etc.), that it is unable to “capture” the act of flipping through a book looking for a passage, and that it still doesn’t create the same quality of experience as “the whiteness of paper” and crisp black text.

When I ask Peter if he has any emotions about his Kindle, he calls it “neutral.”


The biggest frustration for Peter is that he can’t share Kindle books.

In the clip below, Peter tells the story of how this desire to share led him back to printed books:


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