Friday, July 24, 2009

What I want

Aside from ski and cooking gear, I don't consider myself a very materialistic person, but I want want want one of these:

At least I think I do. Just look at it! It is BIG! So I could read things other than books. Like The New York Times! And Cooks Illustrated! Cooks is available to Kindle reader for FREE, and I think The New York Times is too. Whee! And can you imagine loading a pile of books, most of them for $9.99, on one and carrying it away outfitted in a little leather jacket (sold separately, of course)?

Don't get me wrong—I'm no hipster lusting after the latest electronic gizmo (hipsters don't use the word gizmo, do they?). I do not have a laptop computer, wireless, or an iThisorThat; in fact, I do not even have a cell phone. Seriously. Aside from the fact that I seem to have survived thus far without any of these devices, I am loathe to adopt anything that requires me to enter into a service contract with monthly payments. The Kindle comes with a wireless connection that does not require any other device. It's built right in, sort of like magic. And it's FREE. Well, more like it's included in the cost, which is [cough, cough] significant.

But as much as I am impressed by what I read, I am not sure. So let's break it down.

  • How cool would it be to search what you are reading? Like the first time a character is mentioned.
  • You can annotate what you are reading. Handy for making comments for the next book group meeting.
  • It comes with a dictionary! No more reading around words or guessing their meaning based on context. Do you think the dictionary would work for The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? Maybe not.
  • The cooking thing: Although I have a ridiculous collection of cookbooks, I do much of my recipe cooking from on-line sources. How great would it be to prop up the Kindle on the kitchen counter instead of running back and forth to the computer in the office or shuffling around printing pages? Recall that I have neither a laptop nor a wireless connection.
  • You could take the newspaper with you without hauling a big stack of paper. Recall that I do not own an iWhatever that allows the portability most people enjoy.
  • The Readers' Digest-style enlarged type might be a useful feature.
  • You would save a few trees.

WHY CINDY SHOULD NOT BUY A KINDLE DX (with refuting arguments)
  • It is crazy expensive. How many paperback books can you buy for nearly $500? (My MIL gave me a whole bunch of money for my birthday and I've only bought a pair of sensible shoes.)
  • It does not have color. Yet. (Is there a trade-in policy? Probably not. Who needs color?)
  • There has been a big whoopla over the fact that has the ability to delete from your machine material that you have purchased from them. No one would likely have noticed this except they deleted George Orwell's 1984 because they found out after the fact that they did not have the right to sell the version they did. It might be considered a one-off situation, but there has been some discussion over whether the "read aloud" feature violates rights agreements that do not include audio rights. It does seem like they need to iron out some of this.
  • This means I would be purchasing books from, which I have avoided doing in the name of supporting local independent booksellers. (There hardly are any more local independent booksellers, and the ones left almost never have what I want when I want it.)
  • I could break it. Could you see me having an epic crash on my motorscooter and taking it out?
  • I would miss the touch, feel, and smell of a book. (Horsefeathers! I work for a publisher and spend all day around the damn things. And besides, there are way to deal with these things.)
So what do you think? Do you have one? Should I have one????


ANFQ said...

I feel kind of the same-- I want one, and yet I don't. I like the idea of having books in an instant without leaving my house, and yet recognize that such might be dangerous.

Tonia said...

You are ahead of me, I am agonizing over getting an iPod. I have my list of pros and cons. The cons are greater but still...
I think things that can lead to less interaction are probably not the wisest thing for me. I tend to go into hermit mode easily.
I think I am going to wait on the Kindle to see if some of the glitches are ironed out before I start to consider getting one. Perhaps by then I will have decided on the iPod.

Trish said...

I'm with you! Kinda do-kinda don't.

My Pro list is short:
1) I want it!
2) So convenient!

My Cons:
1) The price thing - $500 buys a LOT of books and I'm totally a library girl anyway. And a lot of the IRL books I do buy are less than $9.99.
2) I do a lot of reading with the kids and there's no way I'd let them touch the Kindle. Well, maybe the 7 yr old but no way never nuh-uh to the 3 yr. old Master of Disaster.

I'll be staying tuned to see what you decide!

Anonymous said...

I want a Kindle also, although I doubt it would work here in France. Need to check into that. And I feel guilty about not buying books locally.
One of my favorite booksellers is in Berkeley: Serendipiity. Do you ever go there?

Jessica said...

I've been obsessing over a Kindle, too. Like you, I'm not a big tech girl, and I like to be able to hold my books. On the other hand, it would be so nice to have all of your books in one little machine. I get so tired of lugging them around all of the time! I'm making myself wait a month (it's been about 10 days since I started obsessing) and if I still think it's a great idea then I'm going to go for it. It's a lot of $$ but I go through that much $$ in books for school faster than I'd like to admit.

Trevor said...

This maven says, "no". Or at least a 'not yet'. Yes, they are cool. And the idea of zipping around town with a new device that brings you books in under a second is intoxicating, but consider this. You mention you really want it for periodicals and recipe magazines. For the same amount of money (or even less) you can have a notebook or netbook computer, print out that recipe and not have to worry about spilling on your $500 ebook reader. Plus, you can scribble your cook's nots on the printouts.

If you don't have a printer I could probably help you find one AND a netbook and still have money to spare.

The NYT? Get the Sunday subscription and with that you get a complimentary subscription to Times Reader which will run on every computer you own, including your new netbook, and the interface is even better than the NYT interface for Kindle. I swear by it. Here is the link:

If you insist on a Kindle, spring for the Kindle 2. The smaller format is much better for reading novels and I'm unconvinced the large format Kindle is good for anything other than its indended market, students.

And if you STILL want one, wait a month or two. Amazon needs to be punished for reaching into people's machines and deleting books. Seriously.

(Hey, can I use this comment on my blog? lol.)