Bookerly: Amazon's new Kindle font

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

One of my sorta-but-not-really New Year’s Resolutions is to read books a little more. Not paper books necessarily, but book-length pieces of work. And I was doing just that on my Kindle Fire tablet a few days ago, when a notice popped up offering me a new font. Well, as a very low-key typographic geek, how could I resist?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bookerly, Amazon’s new Kindle font:

Choosing Bookerly

And here’s a sample of it in use:

Bookerly sample

It’s very nice, isn’t it? Like a lot of people, I’d assumed that Amazon had little regard for typography since the Kindle Voyage (a lovely device, which I will get around to reviewing at some point) shipped without any new typefaces to match its lovely new, Retina-style screen.

As Jason Snell put it, in his Voyage review:

Unfortunately, Amazon has invested all of this effort in improved reading technology only to find itself completely at sea when it comes to typography. The Voyage still only offers six typefaces–many of them poor choices for this context–and still force-justifies every line (with no hyphenation!), creating variable-length gaps between words just so the right margin is straight rather than ragged. A device that’s dedicated to words on a page, one with a screen this beautiful, deserves better type options.

This is a nice indication that perhaps the Kindle team do care, after all.

Rather bafflingly, though, right now this only seems available on the Fire tablets Bookerly is now available on the Fire tablets and on iOS devices, and not on the Kindle readers, the devices that would benefit the most, surely? It’s had the effect of making me slightly disappointed every time I switch back to reading on my Voyage, which is surely not the intended effect.

[UPDATE] As of August 2015, Bookerly is now on E Ink Kindles

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.