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Me and My Kindle, Part III – The Kindle 2

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I don’t mind admitting I was getting more and more annoyed with Amazon. The long awaited announcement that my Kindle 2 had shipped arrived in my inbox on February 22. The Kindle 2 was due to be released on the 24. Surely, I thought, I’d have my new toy that day.

Silly me.

My new Kindle 2 did not arrive until February 28. In fact, if I’d not been rather religiously checking the daily tracking of my “package,” I’d not know it was at the post office. The moment I opened the rather interesting packaging of my new Kindle 2, I swear I heard the strains of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet.

The adorable little critter was nestled in a fascinating white cradle. I carefully removed and caressed it, ticked because I would not be able to get home for several hours. I wanted to play with it. The poor thing was lonely.

I took it to the beauty shop with me. (For those who simply must know, Leroy gave me a great new haircut). While Leroy was doing my hair I let it charge. While I was putting gas in the Durango, I played with it for a minute or two, but that was the end of it until this evening.

It arrived pre-registered to me with the nearly 500 books I’ve purchased already archived, waiting to be downloaded. Unfortunate (and this is my biggest complaint thus far) is the downloading process for the archive, book by book, seems to take forever. After a couple tries, my first being the new Michael Medved book, I gave up and went back to the “old fashioned” way of downloading Kindle books.

I spent the entire evening downloading my purchased books. Unfortunately, during a five-hour period, I’ve only downloaded 55 books. I suspect the problem is more on my end of things, living in the remote wasteland of Lincoln County, New Mexico, rather than Amazon’s “Whispernet” service.

Amazon says you can download a book in about a minute, but I’ve found that to be true only in certain areas. While the faster speed “Orange” areas are available in New Mexico, I must go about 120 miles or so to find them. I’m not quite sure what that means for the “reloading” process. On Monday, when I am in Las Cruces, I think I can take the “archive” section and continue downloading books at a higher speed. Until then, I’ll just soldier on, like a brave little Kindle 2 owner.

According to the instructions, you can leave the Kindle 2 on, let it sleep, and books will continue to download. We’re going to try that tonight and see what happens.

The little guy is thin, that’s for sure. It is light weight. It has the look and feel of an Apple product. Is this the iPod of e-readers?

The little scroll cubie thingie is much easier than the scroll on the Kindle 1. I like the location of the “menu” button. I like the on-off switch and the fact that the “sleep” button is part of the on-off switch. Let’s face it, the whole design makes more sense.

My mother is dealing with macular degeneration. If she were not having these problems, I don’t know if I would pay that much attention to the font sizing, which is several points larger on the Kindle 2.

Then there is the “voice.” Along with the font sizing there is the option to have any book “read” to you with either a male or female voice. You can slow it down or speed it up a little, and no, I’ve not tried it. I’ve been too busy downloading my books.

I was afraid I was going to need to completely trash my other Kindle, but no, Amazon has taken care of that, also. Who knew you could have two Kindles going at the same time, and choose which one you want to download things onto. Since I’m planning on giving the older one to my father, the whole process just might be a heck of a lot easier.

The beauty of the Kindle (1 or 2) is the fact that new and undiscovered writers get a chance for their works to see the light of day. I’m rather excited about one of those writers. Dr. Bill Davey is a friend of mine. In all fairness of disclosure, Bill, and his wife, the Reverend Jan Davey, have been friends for years. Bill is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known, an expert in Indo-European linguistics and the origins of myth and legend. I mention this because his first book, Indo-European Origins, is now available for Kindle because of a suggestion I made!  He has spent a lifetime on this study, which is detailed and well worth the read.

FYI, did you know you can get a Cole Haan Hand Stained Pebble Grain Leather Cover for your new Kindle 2? It is only $99.99. I am a big fan of Cole Haan shoes and handbags, but even for me this is going a bit far!

If I could indulge myself in my little electronic fantasy, I would like one gadget about the size of the Kindle 2 that could hold all my books, let me play online, send e-mail, and store all my photos, all my music, act like an iPod, and keep about a hundred or so movies on it. Oh, it would also act like my Blackberry and do the cell phone thing.

It’s coming, I swear it is. I’ll be the one of the first poor souls to purchase one, trust me. Right now I must be content to carry the 120G iPod, the Blackberry, the Kindle 2, and my cute little (new) Acer Aspire One all in my big Cole Haan handbag that looks more like a footlocker.

Sure, I’ve heard the rumors that the Kindle ebooks can be downloaded onto the iPod, but that’s still not helping me.  In the meantime, I'm having a heck of a lot of fun with the Kindle 2!

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About SJ Reidhead


    Since Friday evening I’ve had a terrible time downloading from Amazon’s “delivery status” cue. I finally called tech support this afternoon.

    They could not have been more helpful. We did a “refresh”. Things are coming in, slowly. Apparently everyone who received a new Kindle 2 on Thursday and Friday did the same thing I did and started downloading my previous books.

    I gather we were all like a bunch of kids at Christmas.

    The “service” is gradually clearing after the bottleneck. I’ve been able to download about 150 or so books, using the “archive” section. They are coming in faster than the “cue”. I live in an outlying area. Tomorrow I’ll be in an “Orange” zone, and we shall see what happens.

    BTW – The cats have knocked the Kindle 2 off my table, doing the bounce test on the wood floor twice last night. No problem.


  • Cory T

    Love your article. Thanks for the insight. [edited]