The Kindle has died, long live the Kindle!
Saturday night, I tucked myself into bed, intending to read a library e-book on my trusty Kindle, as is often my custom.
And I switched it on– to find half the screen transformed into some kind of modern art. A bit of poking and prodding, and calling customer service the following morning, confirmed it… my Kindle had shuffled off this mortal (inanimate, electronic) coil. Alas, sweet Kindle, I knew you well…
(It is possibly worth noting that Sunday marked the celebration of National Book Lover’s Day. I haven’t decided if that makes for ironic timing.)
I was by no means an early adopter of the Kindle and the e-reader phenomenon. Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I’ve had this Kindle since the summer of 2011. And that I selected it after a lot of researching, thinking out loud and dithering.
Having read hundreds of books on my Kindle, across many train rides, lunch breaks, genres, and even two continents, I can say that the 3rd Generation model really earned its keep with me. I put it through quite a workout of library books, e-galleys and a few classics, as well as assorted other titles. Never did finish the complete Sherlock Holmes…Not sure how many books I read on it in total, though when it died, I think it had 100 or so titles stashed away, all of which I, mercifully have backed up elsewhere.
Fortunately, the purchase of a second/replacement Kindle was much more streamlined than my initial months of research and dithering. In part by my desire to have a device as similar as possible to the one I mourn… I do like tablets and think they’re tremendously useful resources for reading and learning (I wrote a book to that effect— shameless plug!) but, for my own reading preference, I’d rather read on a matte e-ink screen than a glossy, potentially glare-y tablet touchscreen. So a dedicated reader was the way to go for me, rather than using a Kindle/reader app on something like an iPad or another tablet device.
I wish they still made the same model so I could have a true/exact replacement of my late, lamented gadget. But that’s not the way tech works, I realize.
I had my eye on both the Basic/Starter Kindle model, since all I wanted it to do was be an e-reader, and the fancier Kindle Paperwhite, which seemed like close kin to what I was familiar with. I wasn’t sure about the navigation or the backlight, though. Knowing how important it is to get the hands-on experience of tech before I adopt it, I decided to head to a store where I could try various models out.
And as I was coming home from work on the subway, I happened to jostle elbows with a gent reading on his Kindle Paperwhite. Fortuitous! He seemed to not be grumpy about his day, so I chanced to ask him my lingering questions about the device experience. He was kind enough to show me how it works. Thank you, Subway Guy!
(This just goes to show how important it is to get hands-on experience before a tech purchase. Even a brief demonstration can make all the difference.)
Having learned a little about how controlling the gizmo works without the buttons I’m familiar with, and that yes, you can dim the backlight so that it’s basically the same as my late lamented device… I placed my order.
I wish upgrades didn’t always mean substantial interface changes… and I wish tech devices were built to last even longer. But I got some very good years, and good books, out of my trusty Kindle. So I really can’t complain.
And soon, I will have my new device in hand, my library backed up… and I can go back to promising myself that I’ll read Dickens in digital form, and finish the Complete Sherlock Holmes stories… eventually.
Meanwhile… I really should read some of my stacks of paper books.