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A quantum leap in reading.

In December 2009, on a no-special-gift-giving day, Don presented me with Kindle 2.

Imagine a hard cover 1cm thin and weighing 289 grams (10.2 oz) and readably squeezed into it 1,500 books. That’s my Kindle, a mean machine and thing of beauty. Slim, sturdy, comfortable and delicious to handle.

Within 45 seconds I purchased my first eBook, right on the device, wireless and no computer connection. Kindle works on the phone principle – 3G. I have another 349,000 titles to choose from.

Rotation of 15cm (diagonal) screen gives landscape or portrait viewing. Six different font sizes make for effortless reading. And the 16 level grey scale and 600x800 pixel resolution in the electronics paper is glare proof and easy on the eye.

Page turns back and forth, previous page or next page on the press of a button, and Kindle remembers and bookmarks the last page read. When it is reopened next it brings up the location. Built-in dictionary and access to Wikipedia allows looking up words on the reading page. Like pencilling in, highlights, notes and comments are made on the page. Books purchased and all notations are backed up by Amazon. Speech function will read book aloud and turn pages. Don’t expect a passionate, emotional human voice, just a friendly robot.

I am a great fan of Audio Books and Kindle downloads these too.

Recharging is fast and Kindle remains charged for about four days of avid reading, with wireless turned on, or two weeks turned off.

Besides books Kindle also gives access to daily newspapers, magazine subscriptions and blogs and has a built-in PDF reader. Browse the internet, send emails, do word processing on the machine and acts as a MP3 player. Kindle apps are free for iPhone and iPod.

A huge bonus for us writers - Kindle e-books CANNOT be passed on or re-sold after they are read. There is still hope I can move out of sleeping beneath the underpass.

Will I still buy physical paper books. Yes. My reading, like the octopus, has many tentacles and will grab on to every kind of reading material available. Nothing really replaces anything. ‘Everything just splinters.’

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