|OT: MP, the Kindle is certainly a buggy-whip compared with what it will soon enough become, but to me it's already in the "how did we ever get along without it?" category along with email and cell phones. Maybe not quite...it appeals to a narrower audience. But almost.|
The new one (current one) has 4GB of memory, enough for 3-4,000 books. Just think of the environmental impact alone: no more responsibility for dead trees and pollution from trucks moving "stuff" that's really information and should be bits. Think of the lack of clutter. No more need to build shelves or spend a day putting books in boxes to donate to the library before you can buy more books. No more piles on the floor by the bed. Want to read during lunch? You have a large library with you that takes up the space of a scratch pad.
The people who say "but I need the feel of a book in my hands" remind me of the people who say "but I need to hear the thump of a newspaper in my driveway every morning". The same people said "I really miss elevator operators cause those floor buttons are full of germs" in 1950.
Just make sure to get one of the hinged leather covers with the hooks in the side. The physical experience of holding the Kindle in one of those is not that far off from holding a book.
The feeling of encountering a mention of some new book, making a few little clicks on your Kindle, and having that book ready to read in your infinite portable library two minutes later may not be joyous but certainly is satisfying.
No matter how many Kindles you buy, you can download any Kindle book you've ever purchased from Amazon to any or all of them simultaneously, as you prefer, at no additional cost.
And there's one feature that receives very little mention that I think is kind of sensational if you do any kind of scholarship, even casual personal research.
The Kindle lets you easily highlight passages and also make marginal notes linked to specific locations in the book--private footnotes (although you won't be making voluminous notes because of the cramped keyboard).
All the notes and highlights for each book are gathered for you automatically and transparently onto a special Amazon web server (kindle.amazon.com) whenever the Kindle's cellular radio is left on for a short period. You highlight it, it shows up by magic in the website's list of notes and highlights by you for that particular book. This feature is still primitive and I'm sure will get a lot more capable, but I find even the current state of it to be quite useful. Want to email a friend a passage from a book? Well if you highlighted it as you read it on a Kindle, then the next time you're doing email on your PC, you just cut and paste from your browser to your email client in 10 seconds, and you're done.
The Kindle is bundled with the New Oxford American Dictionary as one of its built-in books. You can download the King James Bible or any of a half-dozen other translations for 99 cents.
Relevant to the younger crowd: Amazon provides a free iPhone app that lets you read with your iPhone any Kindle book you've purchased. No cost and no effect on copies of the book resident on your Kindle(s).
I would recommend the larger--and more expensive--DX model. Same memory, but its ample dimensions, combined with the Kindle's ability to set the text on the "page" to whatever size you find comfortable, contribute to a more book-like experience.
The Kindle has a few problems, viz., price. Page-turning is still a little slow. I'm sure each successor will be a lot better like the model 2 over the model 1. But its main problem is that it's sufficiently ahead of its time to rub up against the dogged human tendency to extrapolate the status quo, so it disorients our many luddites. Ignore the luddites. Get the Kindle, plus a leather cover with spine-hooks rather than elastic corners.