Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, July 20, 2009

the Kindle saga, part . . . um, whatever

I have already related the lamentable tale of the loss of my Kindle. I now have an update.

I didn't buy that Kindle with my own money: there’s a very generous research budget associated with the chair I currently hold at Wheaton which I used for that purchase, and I recently learned that the college’s insurance covers the loss. Which allows me to get a replacement. So I did.

My Kindle 2 arrived a couple of weeks ago, in a much more compact package than the original had. I opened the box, pulled the clean new thing out, and . . . dropped it on my hardwood floor.

Yep. Before I had even turned it on.

The original Kindle had a rubberized back that made it easy to grip. I knew that the Kindle 2 was differently constructed — though I didn't know exactly how — but I think that at that first opening I was subconsciously handling it the way I handled its predecessor. Which, it turned out, wasn’t firmly enough.

I picked it up, plugged it in, turned it on . . . and yes, the screen was damaged. Just in the upper-right-hand corner. The wonky area is small enough that it doesn't prevent me from reading any text, though, as I quickly discovered, it keeps me from seeing my battery charge.

I looked into my options, and decided that the second-cheapest one would be to buy a two-year extended warranty for $65, which allows for one exchange of a Kindle you;ve damaged. I can do that if I’ve had the machine for less than thirty days — so it’s actually still a possibility.

But I’m not going to do it. Even though it wasn’t my money per se, I’ve now given Amazon nearly eight hundred bucks for Kindles, and that’s enough. I can use the one I have perfectly well — though, as I have noted in earlier posts, I’m not as enamored of the thing as I once was, and the DRM issues are making me increasingly itchy.

Incidentally, while the Kindle 2 is an improvement in some ways — better resolution, a more logical way of putting it to sleep and waking it, etc. — I find it more awkward to handle. I really miss the rubberized back, and would even if I hadn’t dropped the damned thing.

4 comments:

  • Michael Straight said...

    Coincidentally, I dropped a book I was reading the other day, and now I too am unable to tell how much battery life I've got left before I'm unable to continue reading it.

  • Alan Jacobs said...

    You know what ticks me off, Michael? I have THOUSANDS of books, and not one of them has a reliable battery life indicator.

  • I'm not jealous of someone having that ol' Kindle any more, now that I know those books are as ephemeral as the hardware seems to be. Poof!

  • Michael Straight said...

    You know what I love about books? I've got HUNDREDS of them, and not one of them has a reliable battery life indicator.

    That and the whole words thing. Those are good too.

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