Friday, September 17, 2010

I've been kindled.

I think most serious readers were intrigued and a little excited by the appearance of Amazon's Kindle a couple of years ago. I know I was. The whole concept just seems right for folks who like to read. Lots of books at one's fingertips all the time. "Want that new bestseller but don't have the time or inclination to head for the mall? Why not download it instead and start reading RIGHT NOW?" Variable font sizes, built-in dictionary, no monthly bills for the connectivity etc. etc. etc.

Let's not forget the geek factor. The Kindle is a gadget and a pretty cool one at that.  E-readers have been around awhile, but Kindle pulls together the best features (it seems to me) and has the influence of Amazon there to get titles into the device. Clickity, clickity, click.

But let's talk price. What did they cost when they first appeared? $300 smackers, or something? Too dang rich for my blood. And you still have to buy the books. With books available for just a single click, I'd probably be buying left and right and racking up a huge ole bill in no time. Yikes.

After a few days of drooling and dreaming, I decided it was not time for me to kindle.

So, a couple of weeks before my birthday (which is August 24th, for those of you keeping track), Keri asked me what I wanted. I hopped on Amazon and updated my wish list. I put a few books, a couple of DVDs, and some other reasonably priced things on there. And, just for fun, I added the new Kindle. Just as a joke, you know?

Of course, you know where this is going.

Afternoon of my birthday: Keri hands me a package and a stack of cards. The package was a book from my list (the very useable and useful Speaker's Guide to 40 Years of General Conference). The cards were fun and touching cards from the kids, a sweet note from Keri that reminded me of the many, many reasons I married her, and one more surprise-- a note that read "These items are back-ordered and will be delivered when available." On the card were images of a Kindle and a black leather Kindle cover. Wow! What fun!

The Kindle and cover were back-ordered because the newest Kindle, the third edition*, was just released and was in heavy demand, so I had to wait. The order page indicated that orders from the date Keri bought it were shipping around Sept 10th. I haunted the Kindle forums** on Amazon for several days until, miracle of miracles, my Kindle was delivered earlier than expected on Sept 8th. Hurray!

So... does the Kindle live up to its hype? That'll be the subject of another day's post.

*Don't call the newest Kindle the K3, though. The official term is Kindle (Latest Generation). I wonder though,...what happens when a newer generation comes out next year? Will that be the Latestest Generation?

**The main forum I paid attention to was the one that indicated when people in my shipping wave were getting their notifications and their actual shipments. A fun forum that continues to amuse is one about the extracurricular activities of electronic devices.
(BTW,The price is much closer to "right" now. Just $189 for the whole shootin' match (the one with 3G and wi-fi), and only $139 for the wi-fi only version. WAY reasonable.)


Susan said...

But seriously, it doesn't smell like a book and you can't wet your finger to turn the page and what about the bookmark business?! I don't know...too futuristic for me!

Patricia Murphy, a resident of said...

Susan's got you there Clark. You have to admit, there's nothing like opening that yard sale literary treasure and taking a big whiff to determine whether or not it lived in a basement.

Clark Draney said...

Agreed. I still love the heady smell of printer's ink-- brand new or gracefully aged.

Basement dwellers can visit my house, but they generally go on to the thrift store after I've perused them.

I've had the kindle for more than two weeks now. I'm about ready to write a review. One question, though... What should I name it (the kindle, not the review)?

Patricia Murphy, a resident of said...

Dear Clark,
Way to get us to admit to being book sniffers.