Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I should have done a similiar video

Sarah, the Librarian in Black, recently got a Kindle [Why I am a library traitor and love the Kindle] and this is the unveiling, with commentary on the simplicity of Amazon's packaging and instructions:

Sarah's is the latest Kindle (the 'Kindle 3'). As she points out, the only thing that might be confusing to someone who has not charged things via USB is that the USB cord and the plug are connected and the plug simple comes off for charging on a computer instead of at the wall. This was a problem for me, I must admit. I even e-mailed the company thinking I had not received a USB cord, but one of my co-workers set me straight and Amazon quickly sent something back explaining the configuration.

As a contrast, here is an unboxing for the same type of Kindle I have (2nd generation, 3G wireless--which is from AT&T, and free). The guy did a pretty decent job (although I thought he'd never take the plastic off):

Both videos obviously capture a bit of the wonder of unboxing your Kindle. :) I think the comparison is interesting--the newest Kindle (the black one of Sarah's) is smaller. The buttons are different (apparently the power switch on the new one is on the bottom, for example). The five-way button looks like it's less likely to go to the left (this is how you delete and archive content, but thankfully there's always an ask. I've never actually deleted something without meaning to. It's not so much a problem with books, which are archived, but PDFs, when deleted, are removed entirely. To be honest, I'm not sure about active content, like games.)

The device is incredibly simple, and this makes it simple to use. The newest version holds more books, has greater contrast, and a longer battery life. If you have the 3G wireless, it's usually best to turn it off when not in use so that you keep the battery longer. In the new form, that can be up to a month--even I go about two to three weeks without charging mine. Also, you don't actually have to turn off the device. Leaving it on with the screensaver going is fine. From what I can tell from advice on the web, keeping the battery somewhere in the 20% to 80% of charge is fine for the battery. I would only turn mine off if I were not going to use it for awhile, and that's not something that's come up yet. :)

Someone asked about the DX on a list yesterday for a patron with macular degneration. They were interested in how big the print can be, the brightness, etc. This is what I told the person. The DX has a 9" screen rather than a 6" screen. Like the 'Kindle 3' it has the greater contrast and battery along with the refinements of the latest generation. There is no backlighting--eInk is meant to be read just like paper and therefore if you have visual issues you may want to make sure the light you're reading by is relatively bright. The text on my Kindle 2 can go to 3/4" tall (I measured with a ruler), and I presume the DX is has at least this size. It is particularly nice for newspapers and magazines, although I have had the New York Times on the Kindle 2 and enjoyed it thoroughly. There is also the text-to-speech factor, that is available as long as the publisher allows it (I don't buy ones that don't as a general rule, and all of mine, even the free ones, have it.) My understanding is that Amazon added audible menus in the latest device as well. Don't quote me on that, but it was a move to appease those with visual issues. My mom is considering getting a wi-fi regular Kindle having seen how big the print will go, since she has similar issues.

What I forgot to tell them is that the Kindle also supports audiobooks from Audible.

Of course, the DX is much more expensive, but I really think it's a good buy for someone with visual issues, and it's a lot less expensive than an iPad.

Of course, as Sarah points out, the only real drawback of the Kindle is that it does not allow the download of library books. This does not bother me too much as a patron. I still continue to use my library to get 'real books', but as a consumer, I love my Kindle. And I must admit, I enjoy the portability and ease of reading on a Kindle, so that it is actually almost easier to read on one than an actual book. I still love the feel and smell of books, but my Kindle is fun, too. And as a librarian, I know we tend to try to jump on the latest technology, but really, this is how we wind up as repositories for obsolete technology as well. :)

Anyway, congratulations, Library in Black, on your Kindle, and I wish you good reading. You might want to check out some of the addictive games like Scrabble and Monopoly as well--they're great when waiting at a doctor's office. But primarily it is very much an e-book reader, and it does that very, very well.

No comments: