Are screenplays readable on a 6″ Kindle? No.

December 22nd, 2012

A page from the Lincoln script PDF, viewed on a 6″ Kindle:
Lincoln screenplay
You may be thinking that the screen looks plenty big. If you are a mouse it is big. If you are a human, like me, it is not. You will go blind.

If you do not own a Kindle, it’s hard to gauge just how small the screen is. The width of the text on the screen is the same as a trade paperback, but the Kindle is about an inch shorter. If you want to know what it’s like to read a screenplay on a Kindle, shrink a page down to the size of a trade paperback page. Then read it.

Here is a page from the Lincoln script next to an actual screenplay page on paper.
Screenplay paper/Kindle
(the printed screenplay is the original Hitcher)
See how teeny tiny the text is on the Kindle?

Some have used a cross-platform program called Briss to crop the PDF margins, so the text will appear bigger on the Kindle screen. Personally, I don’t think it would make much difference in the reading experience. Reading in portrait mode will increase the font size, but you will only be able to see part of a single script page at a time. I don’t think that is a good solution. But if your life depended on it you could do it. Since your life doesn’t depend on it, don’t.

I suspect 9″ is the threshold for comfortable screenplay viewing on a tablet/e-reading device.