I confess to having a thing for new electronic gadgets and gizmos. I always have. But I’m pretty fickle about them as well. Gadgets that look cool and act cool, but are too much trouble to use, frustrate my simple mind and typically wind up cast off into a drawer, unused or, if I’m feeling particularly industrious, for sale on eBay.
And so it was with amused disdain (tempered with his usual teasing indulgence) that my husband greeted my delight at having acquired an Amazon Kindle last November. The Kindle is Amazon.com’s electronic reading device. Using something called e-Ink, it provides the user with a traditional reading experience, but without the paper. He waited (and waited) for this, too, to be cast off and up on eBay. Although I was sorely tempted (the eBay price for a Kindle topped out at around $1000 when the product was sold out on Amazon.com for months), nothing would get me to part with my Kindle. Eight months later, I'm still as enamored of it as I was back in November.
I reviewed the Kindle right out of the box when I got it, but now, after eight months of daily use, I thought it might be time to revisit the device. You know, honeymoon being over and all. So, without further ado:
Instant access to Amazon.com—Do not underestimate the importance of this feature. It makes owning the Kindle and browsing in the Amazon.com store an experience as satisfying as browsing the aisles of a brick-and-mortar Borders or Barnes and Noble. It also places the Kindle head and shoulders above the Sony Reader.
Because the Kindle is wireless, access to the Amazon.com store is always available (and free): sitting in the pediatrician’s waiting room, in the airport waiting to board your flight, sitting at the pool or lounging in bed wishing you had something good to read. You flick on the wireless switch, hit the button and you’re in the store. Browse new releases, the best seller lists (several of them), or search for your favorite author (by typing on the Kindle’s keypad) or genre. Read reviews, download a free sample chapter or two (instantly), or buy the book.