Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My New Kindle 2 Scares me!

By Darvell Hunt

My New Kindle 2 scares me! But, to be fair, the first thing I read on it was a Stephen King story about an Amazon Kindle that was from, well, not from Hell, but certainly close to it.

The experience of reading a whole story in ebook form was a little scary to me, too—not because of the first story I read—but because I never believed reading on an electronic device would be so much like reading a paper novel. I’m a big fan of the latest and greatest electronic gadgets—heaven knows my drawers and closets at home are filled with them—but I never really imagined that an electronic reading device could ever replace a collection of papers bound together into a physical book.

I think Amazon has changed my mind on that. Honestly, it does kind of feel like I’m reading on a larger-than-life child-sized iPhone, but you know, aside from the novelty of it all, I think the device works well for what it was designed.

A new addition to my reading experience is wearing reading glasses, which has less to do with the Kindle and more about me turning into an old fart. I found I still need the glasses for my new Kindle, just like a real paper book, so these two media have more things in common than not. It seems about the only difference between them is how you turn the page!

So—could the Amazon Kindle 2 really replace paper books? Well, I’m beginning to think so. Sure, it might. Wow, did I say that?

There will always be car fans who think the best cars made were produced in the 60s, and there will always be readers who think books should be made of paper, but you know, those lines are a bit blurred for me now. I must admit that I’m surprised by how much I like my new ebook reader. I think the device has kindled (oh brother!) a new interest in reading the written word again. (Much of my reading lately has been with audio books, as I drive a lot for work. I also don’t like admitting that I need reading glasses.)

Also, being the gadget geek I am, the fact that I can log into Fandango.com to order movie tickets on my Kindle, or check the Drudge Report news or read The Onion blog—well, those things just make a great device seem even so much better.

I guess I’m sold. I just hope I can keep my wife from finding out how cool my new Kindle is. Oops, I think she reads my blog. Dang it, there goes that idea!


LexiconLuvr said...

Oh man, I guess I've been an old fart since the 8th grade then. I hate my glasses...

Don't know how I feel about the kindle yet but thanks to your post, I want to check out that Stephen King book for sure!

Scarlet Knight said...

I've heard a ton about the Kindle. It does look like the way of the future.

Would the batteries die if I feel asleep reading at night?

Darvell Hunt said...

Batteries die? Hmm. I really don't think so. There is no backlight, like most LCD computer screens. You have to use a light to read it--just like a paper book.

The display takes such low power that I really doubt it would die just because you left it on. In fact, when you turn it "off," there is always a picture saved on the LCD screen, mostly portraits of famous writers. Those pictures stay there until you turn it back "on."

There is probably a time-out period when the machine will go into sleep mode if you don't use it, but I'm not sure what that time is.


Darvell Hunt said...

After a little bit of searching on the web, I found that the Kindle 2 goes into sleep mode after ten minutes of inactivity. No dead batteries.

(You can also extend the battery life by turning off the wireless feature after downloading your books.)


Karlene said...

I love my Kindle, even if it is the first version, with the buttons that go all the way to the top so you accidentally turn the page every time you pick it up. (Who designed that flaw, anyway?)

There are some books I'll want in paper because, well, I just do. Plus it's easier to loan a book. No way am I loaning my Kindle! But for 95% of my reading, it's Kindle all the way.

And you can run the batteries down if you go too many days without plugging it in for a recharge--kind of like a cell phone. I need to plug mine in about once a week to keep it going.