Welcoming Kindle – at Last
Being one of the last holdouts when it comes to digital readers, I can’t proclaim that acquiring a Kindle Fire 11 recently puts me on life’s technological cutting edge. In my case, the reason was utilitarian: a magazine I used to write for (and still read) went all-digital after its July issue.
I tried poking around the first e-edition on my laptop, which confirmed my suspicions: This doesn’t work. Never one to leap with technology, I asked a couple friends for feedback.
One recommended a particular brand and told me to see so-and-so at an electronics store. I walked in and over to the pads area, where I heard a couple saying “thank you” to a salesman.
Though poised to ask for guidance, I never had the opportunity. The salesman turned around and walked away. Neither he nor anyone else in the store greeted me or asked if I needed help.
After glancing at the two pads on my own, I decided I didn’t care for either one. I walked out without a soul speaking to me.
When I mentioned this experience to a friend, he replied, “That’s the state of customer service these days: there isn’t any.”
Soon after this, I saw a friend working on his pad and asked what he had. A Kindle Fire 10; he said although it was two years old, it would be just as good as the newer version and cost less.
With the way things change so quickly, I was reluctant to buy a refurbished model. So I started checking around on Amazon.
I was on the verge of ordering one when a couple options threw me: 1) did I want an extended warranty? 2) was the extra money for a stylus worth it?
After talking to the friend with the Fire 10 and a tech consultant (known as my grandson), I decided I didn’t need either one.
Then, an email came, promoting this year’s second round of Amazon Days Oct. 10-11. I decided to wait a couple more weeks to see if I could get it cheaper. I did. Last I checked, I paid $80 less than the going rate.
As much as I like the Kindle 11 for checking email, reading magazines and cruising several sites, it has a distinct drawback. It is too small and too hard to hold when I’m on the stationery bike or treadmill at the YMCA.
Sure, there are advantages. When I read about a particular book written by a former managing editor at a magazine I used to freelance for, I checked to see if our library had a copy. The answer: no, but they did have the e-book.
I finished the e-book in small bytes at a time on my Kindle, finding the size to be similar to a book page (although truth be known, I still prefer paper). Using the Hoopla digital app I already had, I even finished a couple chapters on my phone one day at the doctor’s office.
I also prefer the Kindle to my laptop for reading the digital-only version of our city’s Monday newspaper. Indeed, I foresee the time coming when the only way newspapers will be available will be on electronic screens.
Of course, this presupposes that everyone will have a constant flow of electricity 24/7, all year round. Sure. What could go wrong?