My Amazon Kindle arrived this morning. OK, so what on earth (or on the Internet) is an Amazon Kindle? Thanks for asking. The Amazon Kindle is something called an “e-book reader.” It’s a device intended to store complete books, all ready for reading, replacing old-fashioned paper books with something called “E-Ink.” Unlike “real” books, e-books have changeable type (so you can make the text bigger), which is good for middle aged presbyopic eyes like mine. And, instead of schlepping 10 pounds of airplane or beach reading in your carry-on, you can carry the equivalent weight and substance in E-ink within a neat 11-ounce device.
In general, e-book readers lack the “feel” of real books, with all of their inherent “curling-up-with-it-ness” (OK, so that’s not a real word—but you have to admit it does have certain Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie wordsmith feel to it—but I digress). On the other hand, I like really long novels, and balancing a 1,000 page book on my knee with a cup of coffee in one hand, with the other occupied with keeping the book flat open is one “real-book” feature of which I am not overly fond. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited my Kindle.
And like a kid with a new toy, I tore into the box, tossing the instructions to the side as I beheld my new possession. So now that I’ve had a couple of hours to play (and read), press the buttons and otherwise familiarize myself with the Kindle, I thought it might be timely to jot down a few thoughts.
I figure that there will be tons of reviews of the Kindle in the forthcoming days. I also figure that most of those will be by techno-geeks and gadget freaks. I love my gadgets (just ask my husband and co-workers.) I’m about as geeky as a 53-year old mom can be, I suppose. However, I’m more reader than gadget freak, and more writer than techie--and have been in love with books since before I could read them. I probably spend more time and disposable income at the combination of Borders, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com than I do at Best Buy and Sharper Image (although it’s probably close). Therefore, I believe that my comments about the Kindle will be more useful to the average consumer than to the gadget aficionado. The corollary of that, I suppose, is that this review will not marvel at the technical achievements of the device, but rather focus on the practical and the fun.