Kindle and Coldplay

As mentioned in the last post (hey, I’m updating enough to rememebr the last post! Awesome!), I broke down and bought a Kindle. Yes, I went with Kindle instead of Nook because I do 90% of my book buying through Amazon, and it seemed odd to get something that would be parallel to that instead of just hooking myself right up to the Matrix.

It arrived yesterday, and I spent a good four hours just playing with it. I set up collections (which my friend assures me turned me into an Advanced Kindle User automatically), I figured out how to work with PDFs that have print too tiny to see (turn it sideways and the print is legible), and I listened to an automated woman’s voice read Underdogs to me (very, very, very bizarre. I was spontaneously laughing my tuches off).

So yes. I have caved and become one of the minions. But am I? A minion? Or am I still a minority? To be honest, I haven’t seen a whole lot of these things around in real life. Maybe that’s just because I never go out. It still seems like using a Kindle in public will open you up to all kinds of “advertisement” conversations.

RYAN: “Hey, Col, what’s that wacky thing you have there?”

COLIN: “This is a Kindle! From Amazon!”

RYAN: “I heard those things are complicated. And expensive!”

COLIN: “Not at all! And they hold thousands of books!”

RYAN: “Thousands? Tell me more, including features and perks and where I can purchase one of my very own.”

After years of refusing to jump into the water, I have waded in. Then I reached an underwater cliff and fell into the deep. It’s an amazing little device, and it’s like magic for a reader. All these books (I have around 40 stored on it right now, and that’s just PDFs and files I had lying around) at the touch of a button. Not only that, it is far too easy to just jump on Amazon’s Kindle store and buy more.

Last night, my experiment was buying a Lee Child short story (Kindle exclusive, so I couldn’t read it before) and reading it start to finish. The page turns were simple, the story was easy to follow, the observable delay was no worse than flipping a page or moving your eye from the bottom of one page to the top of the next. I don’t particularly like the flashing between pages, which sometimes looks like the entire thing is about to seize and die, but I can get used to that.

Another experiment I played with was during a repeat of Conan. His guest was Steve Martin, and he was there to promote a book. While they were talking about it, I got to the Kindle store, found the book, downloaded a sample, and started reading it as they were talking. Conan was showing tidbits, and I was scrolling through the actual thing. It’s like living in a bookstore, only without the walking around and the crick in your neck you get from turning your head sideways to read spines.

I went with the Kindle Keyboard, by the way. It ended up being a much cheaper option, and the side-keys that turn pages are extremely convenient to the way I’ve ended up holding the device when I read. I can turn a page just by tensing my thumb a little. I can read one-handed, freeing the other for juggling and writing quantum physics equations.

So I have a brand new toy, and it’s full of books. How did I resist this long?

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