Don’s Kindle: June 2010-February 2017

Don’s Kindle passed away on February 11, 2017 after accidentally falling from a countertop. He was a trusted friend and advisor, best known for telling stories on personal development, decision making, business, economics, managing finances, and of course A Song of Ice and Fire. He was a reliable friend always at Don’s side be it trains, planes, or automobiles. He was known for his helpful nature allowing Don to read with one hand. He is survived by his father, Don, his siblings iPad and iPhone Kindle apps, and his child Kindle Paperwhite. Private services will be held later this month.

OK, in all seriousness, my Kindle was a workhorse for 7 years. Most consumer electronics like a computer, smart phone and tablet, last 3 years…4 years if you’re lucky. My Kindle was a beast in the best possible way.

The first time my friend Jen saw me reading my Kindle on the train home from work she asked me, “do you love it?!” I did love my Kindle then and I still do today. I can’t say enough good things about it. The Kindle makes reading easier. One of the reasons is obvious to anyone (even to people who never use a Kindle): It can store thousands of books. It’s your portable library, traveling with you at all times. Carrying a 5 pound brick around for a month can be a major demotivater to reading (and getting through Atlas Shrugged is hard enough already).

There are also more subtle reasons to use a Kindle. For example, you can read with one hand. This comes in handy when you can’t find a seat on the el. It’s also easy to read while standing in line while going through TSA security at the airport. It’s even possible to read the Kindle while walking down the street…ok that last one is not really a benefit. I’ve tried to do that and it’s a bad idea.

Another cool feature is that Amazon stores the highlights that you’ve made (https://kindle.amazon.com/). This is huge for me since I mainly read e-books borrowed from the library. It would be a major faux pas to mark up a physical book from the library. Even if I shamelessly highlighted a library book I couldn’t take those notes with me for later reference, which is kind of the point in the first place. With the Kindle none of that matters any more. I get the benefits of buying a book even when I borrow it.

One drawback of the Kindle is that I can’t lend books I’ve read out to friends. I love the idea of sharing a book I enjoyed reading because it gives a friend and I something to talk about later. I can’t do that with the Kindle. (Supposedly there is a way to lend Kindle books, but I haven’t hacked how to do so yet.) The idea of sharing a book is great, but in reality most people are bad borrowers (who might never actually read the book in the first place). I rarely end up seeing the loaned book again, which annoys me to no end. So in a way, not being able to lend an e-book is a benefit because I can never lose the trophies in my virtual bookcase. And who am I kidding? I almost never reread my books. At best I’ll read my highlighted notes, which I now have at my digital fingertips.

A shelf from my virtual book case

So thank you again Kindle for all of your hard work making reading easier. Anyone who loves reading, especially on the go should consider buying one. It’s well worth $100 in knowledge earned and time saved from the traditional forms of reading. I’ll never go back to that again.

Thank you for reading.

Don

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