Monday, September 14, 2009

Kindle: To catch fire; burst into flame...I'd Read That.

I’m thinking about investing in a Kindle.  Kindle is Amazon’s digital book reader.  You can download books, newspapers, blogs, magazine from anywhere you can get a cell signal for a fraction of the price of a real book. It reads like a book, it doesn't hurt your eyes like reading from a computer screen can. It sounds so cool and as I have observed on countless flights, looks cool too. And that’s the real reason I read, to look cool.
But of course I started thinking (the one thing that usually helps people usually hinders me, thinking). The Kindle would be really cool but what happens in a few years?  When I first got my Intellivision system (bastard child of the gaming industry in the late 70’s) it was the coolest thing ever, until I got my Nintendo system.  Will the same fate be true for my Kindle?  Will I invest money in books through my Kindle only for it to stop working like my beloved Intellivision?
To some people, books are things to be cherished and passed down to younger generations or friends.  That would be lost with the Kindle. 
Being stranded on a desert island with any 10,000 books (which a Kindle would hold) would be awesome!  Awesome until you run out of batteries.  Last time I checked, desert islands lack power outlets.  I guess after the Kindle runs out of batteries you could crack coconuts with it or signal a rescue plane.  If it got really bad you could hit yourself over the head with it until you pass out. 
With a real book on a desert island you could read it a couple hundred times, act it out with monkeys (and after a couple of weeks the invisible people you start to see), tear out some pages and use the paper for things you need paper for but the desert island store doesn’t carry, use pages from the real book to make a house out of paper mache or fuel for fire (good thing you packed your flint!).
So the desert island test, I think it’s obvious, the Kindle totally wins!
Another thing I would miss about real books is my fondness for throwing them.  When I’m reading a particular challenging book (i.e. Dick and Jane) I often times throw it across the room out of frustration or discuss. In theory I could still do this with a Kindle but I think it would not bounce back like a traditional book would.
I would have to be very careful while reading the Kindle near the pool. Taking it in the pool to read on a tube would just be stupid since my dogs would probably think it was a chew toy and I would eventually give in and throw it like a Frisbee for them. 
The other thing that worries me is reading a Kindle on a plane.  You have to turn off your Kindle during takeoff and landing.  A flight attendant has never asked me to stop reading a real book during a flight.  I have been asked to stop reading aloud, but never all together.
The great thing about traveling with a Kindle would be space saved.  Sometimes I bring anywhere from 1 to 5 books with me on a trip because I tend to be a fast color-er. Kindle would cut the weight of my carry on way down, something that would be very helpful to me as I sprint through airports.  I do this not because I’m late for a flight but just because I am serious about cardio and love running in indoor spaces. 
In conclusion my Kindle should be here on Tuesday.