No time to write up a proper post, as I'm about to take off for the Midwestern tundra. Lucky for me, I got on early orders for Kindle, the amazing alternative to stuffing your carry-on with enough hard-copy reading to distract you from the torture that is air travel these days, involving turbulence, lame movies and violation by the seat backs in front of you.
So I'll just crib a description from a friend of NotBillable:
To the uninitiated, the Amazon Kindle is an E-Book reader that uses E-Ink technology. To paraphrase for simplicity, and to drastically understate the capabilities of the device, you can purchase digital copies of newspapers or novels and read for days without needing to recharge the battery.Me, too. I love that it holds not only books but (a few) blogs (like boingboing) and newspapers that download in latest edition of their own accord. I love that I can remember a book I want to read and get it in seconds, wherever there's cell service. I love that a new hardcover costs less than $8. I love that the Kindle is small enough to fit in a purse so I can carry it everywhere and always have it on hand whenever I'm caught with a little downtime. So I can read the unwieldy Times even while jammed into a tiny space on the subway. Even upsize or downsize the type depending on whether or not I've got reading glasses.
The most amazing aspect of the Kindle, however, is the ability to wirelessly access the Internet to browse the web or purchase a book from Amazon’s astonishingly vast library. Ditching WiFi in favor of Sprint’s cellular (EVDO) network, or “WhisperNet” as Amazon likes to call it, the Kindle can instantly hop online free of charge almost anywhere you get cell phone reception. Want to read today’s Times or grab a copy of the book your friend just recommended? Simply fire up the Amazon store, click to purchase, and you’re digitally-dog-earing pages in seconds.
Over the past few weeks I have simply fallen in love with my Kindle.
Before you rush to get on Amazon's (months long) waiting list, though, you should read the whole post which actually is a diatribe against buying the machine which died on him in an airport and relegated him to a flight so mind-numbingly boring he was reduced to phone-videoing himself in his agonized state. (His post is click-worthy for the AV alone.)
But I say: get a backup battery. Or two.
Maybe his Kindle-bash will go viral which will work in your interest by shaving a few months off the Amazon queue.