Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reading Toys. (kindle talk.)

Dana graciously lent me the kindle that we bought for the store to see what all the fuss was about...."know thine enemy" and so on...I took the device home intent on giving it a real chance...and the following is exactly what happened.

I downloaded a few magazines with diet and exercise tips (don't judge me)....and I began reading Dexter Filkin's "The Forever War." On the train home I began with the magazine and was disappointed with the grainy black and white images...It was nice to have no little white subscription cards falling everywhere...but the images were a B-.

As I progressed onto book-readin' I found myself feeling oddly claustrophobic. There was something disorienting about not really knowing, or feeling where I was in the book. The gradual transition from East to West of the page-girth was something I only really missed when I didn't have it.

On the subway I felt self conscious, in the way I always do when I'm holding something expensive...which is infrequent. This is a larger class issue I'm tentatively broaching here....but it still warrants unpacking. Holding the thin, delicate sleekness of a device out of my price range made me feel uncomfortable. I felt like I was an easy target for theft, or gravity. God forbid the train stops short and I huck the thing... If my book gets stolen, that's heart breaking too....but less economically devastating. If the train stops short and I drop my book, the most I can loose is my page.

Then there was the problem of moisture. I had to be chronically aware of that. No bath reading. No post- shower handling. No beverages near by. This may sound paranoid...but it is absolutely not when one has invested serious cash into a toy. This delicacy limited my intimacy with the text.

There were some cool things about the reader. I like the idea of not accruing crap-tons of magazines, but getting to read the articles I want without the detritus of advertising. I think If the screen were larger a la Ipad...reading newspapers, and email would be great.

The kindle, for me is just silly. It is a one trick pony. If I'm going to have to be hyper vigilant with something, it better be serving more than one function for me...such as email, word processing, picture storage, and e-reading/music downloadin' capabilities. If you must sell your soul...make it for the best possible model. Amazon's audacity is pretty righteous, when you consider the fact that you don't have a choice where you can purchase your books from on the Kindle. breathtaking really.
Now, I must come clean. there was an accident. It involved me. It involved the kindle. It involved gravity. It slipped out of my hand...and fell 10" onto my linoleum floor....(I was already crouching over my purse, I'm not that short)... I picked it up sure nothing was wrong, (as it was such a modest fall...)but no. The screen was bifurcated, torn asunder mid- image of a page holding- gryphon, and chapter 3 of "The Forever War." You may be asking yourself, "maybe she's one of those people who just can't have nice things?" I offer you this... I have managed to keep my Ipod alive through 2 marathons and 4 years of training, including many a public spill of both myself and the device. I am not a careless lady, I took meticulous care of the kindle. There was simply a moment of humanity that caused the thing to leap.

I am going to contact Amazon (as it is still under warranty,) and I am going to hope they do the right and noble thing, and replace the kindle.

I am going to email Dana, and throw myself on her mercy.

I will update more on my progress next week. With the installment I shall call...what do you do when your kindle stops working? hint: (Go back to your bookshelves and beg forgiveness)

say a prayer, light a candle (not your kindle)

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