Monday, March 15, 2010

A Report on the Kindle2

The Dealio: I am a bonafide book lover: I love the way books feel, love their heft and promise. Even love their smell. However, for Christmas, the next generation got me a Kindle2. Oh, they were very stealth about it, pretending to do research about getting one for Prendie and all, but, to my surprise, there, under the tree on the big day: a Kindle2.
Now, as fate would have it, one of my coworkers and I had been doing some studying about the newest version of Kindle. Books are way cheaper on Kindle, and take less than 30 seconds to wing their way to your personal mechanical read. There are some great new features, now, too : smaller, lighter, and- get this! just perfect for those long hours commuting back and forth to sites to teach where radio reception is hit and miss- text to voice enablement, in male and female voices which really do not sound at all like Stephen Hawking's rig. One more nudge in that direction came from Stephen King (or 'Uncle Stevie' as he prefers to be called in his column in EW mag). He was given a 'fully loaded' Kindle2 by the manufacturers and asked to critique it. I am sure Uncle Stevie went through the whole peregrination about 'You do know that I am a writer? Of books?' and so on. In the end, he came down on the side of the Kindle2 not really replacing your standard, garden-variety book/mag/newspaper- but of being really, really useful in certain situations where space and convenience are an issue. I agree. However, there was the issue of that price tag: still a bit too steep to justify spending on myself. I figured, as BoSox fans everywhere are wont to say, 'Maybe next year.'
However, as a gift....different story entirely.
Since getting this gift, I have ordered and read many books, sometimes using the text-to-voice feature, sometimes, just reading in the trad sense, in a non-trad format. I had jury duty last week and this was so bonus for that sitch. As it was, I had to go through the metal detector 3 times, take off my belt, shoes and miraculous medals, suffer people pawing through my purse and looking askance at my lip gloss/blush combo. But nary a peep about my Kindle2.

The Grading Session: 4.99 pengies out of 5. The little deduction actually is for the owner: I recently discovered Kindle-enabled blogs on everything from book recommendations to celebrity gossip (I's a weakness of mine but so refreshing. No apologies). But, other than that, I have really not taken advantage of all the features, including audio downloads and so on. To me, it's sort of like a really entertaining cell phone (I use my cell for one thing only: calling in at the end of the night's class to let Prendie know I am heading home, and from whence. I never have it on. I never text-don't know how. I have no photo capacity. I can't even program a new numbers into it. And I state these things with the pride of true accomplishments. For I have seen the dark side of cell phone/blackberry addiction. I have see it in my classes and it is a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad thing). I am not allowing the thaang to bust free and realise its true potential.
But,as Bob Wiley might say, 'Baby steps, baby steps.' There is hope for me to expand and really unleash the full power of the Kindle2 at my fingertips.
Until then, I must say, to those who were inspired to give this to me: Thanks! Great job! I love my Kindle2 and am moving forward into the techno age.
Just not very quickly.

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