So you know how people — like, for instance, me — have pointed out that if you lose your Kindle you lose all your Kindle books? Well, at about the time that I wrote that post Amazon released its Kindle app for the iPhone, which I dutifully downloaded, and now I’m really glad I did, because . . .
I lost my Kindle.
Yep, I left it on an airplane. I’ve never left anything on an airplane; I guess I was just waiting until I had a four-hundred-dollar reading device so I could make my first time truly special. I left it in the seat-back pocket, and though I called Southwest as soon as I got home, I haven't heard anything back from them. All I could do was deactivate the Kindle so whoever kept it can't charge books to my account.
I don't think I’m going to buy another one. In the previous couple of months I had been using it less and less, for several reasons. First, I was coming more and more to miss the look and feel of different books — I realized that many of my memories of books were linked to their appearance, to cover designs and typefaces, and I began to suspect that I was not remembering as much about the books I read on the Kindle. (That’s just a suspicion, though.) And then there’s the fact that the iPhone Kindle app does a number of things better than the Kindle itself. It turns pages faster, and while you can't highlight or annotate with it, those are really awkward functions on the Kindle anyway; and on the iPhone app it’s easier to book mark pages and to retrieve your bookmarks.
I haven't done a great deal of reading on my iPhone so far, and I haven't read for long periods of time, so I’m not prepared to agree with Ann Kirschner that “the iPhone is a Kindle killer”. Battery life is going to be a problem; and backlit screens are harder on the eyes than ink on paper or e-ink on matte screens. But I don't think I can justify going back to Amazon and forking over several hundred bucks to get another Kindle, even a new and improved one. I’m going to stick with my books, and use my iPhone as a backup for emergency reading needs.