My beloved Kindle 3 (now called the Kindle Keyboard) developed a problem over the past six months (or maybe it was there all along and I didn’t know it). When I highlight or make notes, the screen freezes up for about two minutes. Not a big deal if I only highlight once in a while, but when reading a research book where I’m highlighting a lot, a huge problem. Two minutes is a surprisingly long time.
Silly me, I put up with it rather than contacting Amazon right away. When I finally had it happen once too often and contacted Kindle’s Customer Service, I learned that my device (determined by its serial number) has a glitch that requires it be replaced. My new Kindle will arrive next week, free of charge.
I hesitated even saying anything about it on my blog because I know there are print book lovers out there who would tell me in an instant that their books don’t freeze up on them. LOL! I know. It’s true. I thought the same thing a time or two while I was lying in bed, waiting for the screen to “unfreeze” so I could continue reading.
On the other hand, I am currently judging books for a professional writers’ organization’s contest, and I have found myself hating to have to hold the books as I read in bed because of their extra weight and also hating that I need two hands when turning pages. Also I can’t read them easily on the treadmill the way I can my Kindle. Then there is the reading light problem (I do most of my reading in bed). I’m used to the super lightweight one build into my Kindle cover. My old fashioned light that clips to the back of a book is much heavier (because of the batteries) and doesn’t work well with mass market paperbacks (too large and poor angle). This has all made the reading of these books a much less pleasant experience. Enough so that I’ve even gone so far as to price the books for the Kindle. (So far I’ve resisted spending the money since I have the print books already, but it is tempting.)
Apple’s venture into the textbook market for the iPad has had some writers carrying on a discussion about it. Is it a good thing or not? Some have said they don’t want to give up the ability to write in the margins. Actually, you already can write in the margins with the right app on the iPad. Someone brought up the resistance in the ’80s when PCs began being introduced to the work place and those who loved their IBM Selectrics were horrified. They would never want to write on a computer. A couple of others talked about their kids who weigh 100 lbs having to lug around 30 lbs of textbooks in backpacks every school day and how they have to take them to the chiropractor because of back pain.
I wrote my first two and a half books longhand on legal pads and then typed them on the Selectric (with onionskin carbon copies). When I bought my first computer (it had two 7¼” floppy drives, no hard drive, was slow as molasses, had orange type on a black screen), I didn’t believe I would ever write on it. I thought I would continue to write longhand and then enter the book into the computer later. I figured it would save me time in the editing process but not the writing. But I learned to use the computer while entering the first half of my third book, and by the time I got to the end of what I’d already written, I just kept going and haven’t stopped since.
When I got my first Kindle almost four years ago, I thought I would mostly use it to read documents on (books I read for endorsement, for instance). Even though I’m kind of a techie, I never expected the Kindle to become the primary way I read books, but that’s just what happened.
Makes me wonder what new technology we’ll be loving five years from now, ten years from now, fifteen years from now.