Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Learning to Read my Kindle

Kindle E-ReaderMy mom, who is very technosavvy, gave my father a Kindle for Christmas.  For those who haven’t encountered one yet, a Kindle is a wireless reading device developed by Amazon.  They took 3 years to work out the kinks and get just what they wanted, and it’s really slick.  But my dad is not as much of a techie as Mom is, and she got annoyed with it, too, so they ended up giving it to me as an early birthday present.

I am a happy camper, being something of a geekette at heart.  And the Kindle was on my Amazon Wishlist as soon as it was announced, though I never expected anyone who actually give me one.  As a librarian, I’ve been following developments with e-book readers which parallels the famous VHS/BetaMax or BlueRay/HD DVD battles in other technology arenas.

This little Kindle is a winner in my book.  The non-glare screen is clear and easy to read, with adjustable font size, logical navigation buttons, and a tiny little keyboard at the bottom.  There’s also this kind of funky navigation wheel and an option to search for text, add highlights and comments, and look words up in a stored dictionary.

There’s a built in wireless feature that lets the Kindle connect to a network without a computer, special accounts or monthly billing.  Using this wireless connection, the Kindle can download new books (up to 180! – that will last a nice long trip) or access subscription newspapers such as the NY Times or Washington Post.

Right now I have only managed to read the instruction manual.  But hey, it’s a good place to start.  My parents loaded two books, including the very long Pillars of the Earth, and today I downloaded a sample of something else to see how that downloading worked. Fast, very fast.

We’re talking in my work place about a switch from focus on format to focus on content. Really, what matters here is what I’m reading and ultimately I don’t really care if it’s in a book with a cover or an e-book with screen and buttons.  As long as it’s easy to hold and navigate, it sure is a lot more convenient to have one little device hold everything I might want to read for a while all in one place.  I can take it with me on a plane or to the beach, read (and synch) it on the train or sitting in a hotel room, giving me content at my fingertips.

I like it.  The future is charging up in my living room.  Pillars of the Earth awaits.