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Old 02-28-2009, 09:06 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Got my Kindle

The Kindle 2 arrived on Wednesday, a day early. Figured out how to use it (not too difficult so long as you do everything Amazon wants you to do; of course, I wanted to do something else, so need to download the PDF manual — but I haven’t done that yet).

Some observations:

It is easy to read, and I have only used the default type size. The book I am reading has several typos (apostrophe errors, in particular). And some very odd spacing — two spaces between words at some points. The text is unjustified (thank God!) so there is no reason to mess with the spacing, and I am (predictably) annoyed by it.

It is easier to visit Amazon to browse for books by computer, then use the teeny, tiny keys on the Kindle to search for and buy.

They advertise that most books cost $10; some cost less; and some cost more (one I considered cost $15). They claim to have 240,000 titles, but many relatively current titles are from the NY Times bestseller list, and most of my favorites never make that.

Of mysteries, only one of Sara Paretsky’s books was listed (an old one I had read), but all of Sue Grafton’s. Of course I prefer Paretsky, but I will consider getting a Grafton as soon as I figure out which letter (R, S, ?) I read last.

Out of curiosity rather than high expectations, I searched on typography and cooking. The type-related books were mostly technical (lots were about TeX); the cookbooks were old or really, really silly.

I did find some free books at Gutenberg Project that appealed to me, and downloaded a few to my computer, but until I get that PDF manual, do not know how to get them into the Kindle. Viewed “Free Books” at the Kindle store, and bought (for a buck) the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe.

The oddest thing is that I feel reluctant to buy Kindle books. I will probably get used to it.

One problem is that you cannot pass a Kindle book along to someone else, as I often do with real books. I understand the author and publisher concerns, but a book — especially light fiction — is not software. This affects my decision as to what to buy, however.

I bought it a leather cover. Protects the Kindle and makes it more pleasant to handle and more book-like when reading. Unless I fold the front cover back, however, it makes the PREV key harder to reach.

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