I was highly skeptical at first about this new technology that was supposed to dramatically make my life easier. Ever since I graduated college, I’ve had a passion for reading almost anything. (Funny that it took so long, eh?) But, most of all, I love jumping head first into a big fat book. Makes no difference to me whether it is a historical novel, biography or even a well written and fast moving work of fiction. So, I wondered how an 8 ½ x 11 inch cold plastic tablet could ever take the joy of turning real paper pages in a hard-covered book. Or, having the ability to look back (or even forward) a few chapters to make sure that I truly understood the facts that so nicely set a particular story up.
The truth is that it can’t completely replace those small, yet important bits of fulfillment that avid book readers experience. But, what I have found is something far more gratifying in completely different ways. Of course, it took some flexibility on my part (mostly in my mind) to psychologically become at peace and in tune with the reality that the Kindle should not be viewed as a book replacement, but instead as a true reading device which can make my life more productive, efficient and yes… even fun.
You see, I use my Kindle as a tool to do something I’ve never really been able to experience before. Much like the way I watch television (which by the way, my wife despises,) the Kindle allows me to read any one of three to four books, daily newspapers (not just a few stories, but the entire paper,) blogs and key magazines interchangeably. So, when I’m on a three hour plane ride, my typical Kindle experience includes reading a few chapters of all of these completely different books, while going back and forth between today’s New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week and a couple of blogs. Since, my wireless function automatically downloads the latest news that I’ve signed up for, it all automatically comes with me on those trips in the sky.
What’s better about it? Well, that’s easy. Think about how bulky my briefcase would be if I had to carry all those books and periodicals. I’m so glad to be rid of that. And, the interesting reality for me is that although I might have brought that many things to read on my past trips, I typically never opened more than one newspaper and one book because it was simply too laborious a task to keep switching back and forth. Here’s where the magic of the Kindle comes to play. This small tablet has it all and allows the Kindle to snuggly fit right into my briefcase
So, now the Kindle 2 has been launched by Jeff Bezos. That’s good. Because there are a few bad features on the original that needed to be fixed. I’d say the most annoying one is that buttons that turn each page go along the entire right hand side of the device (where you actually hold on to the Kindle to read, just like one would do with a book.) This, unfortunately, has led to me accidently turning many pages without actually wanting to. Not that big a deal, (I just turn right back.) But, it’s certainly a function that needed to be fixed. And, from what I hear, it the second incarnation of Kindle does just that and much more.
For those who are wondering whether it makes sense to become a Kindle user, I would say yes. Just don’t think about it as a book replacement. There will always be times when you want to bring one special book on vacation, or just lay down on a lazy Sunday afternoon to turn many real pages of your favorite novel. But, what one book can’t do is provide an easy to use ability to read many different things as often as you’d like. Some might think I have ADD. Others would just agree with me that it’s fun to be able to consume disparate pieces of knowledge/information constantly. Regardless, the Kindle leverages the newest technologies to make life better. And, that’s just fine for me.