I am, by all accounts, technically challenged. I use an old, inexpensive lap top that was a cast-off from my son. On the rare occasion that I get on the treadmill, my earplugs are plugged into a Walkman. I do have an I-Pod, also a gift from my son, but was told by someone that it was a crappy one. I have never been able to figure out how it works.
I listen to audio books on a cd player that skips if I breathe too hard. My husband got me a much wanted Wii Fit for my birthday, and after eight months, I finally figured out how to use it without his help. (You must turn the board on…da.) He also bought me satellite radio for my car, but it so much trouble to use, I took it out and now he uses it in the house. I did master my gps, sort of. Short of going through Delaware to get to my weaving teacher’s house in northwest Philadelphia, I often arrive where I am supposed to be within the same day.
Enter Kindle. Another gift from my son, this one for Christmas. It arrived yesterday. My friend, Mary was here, and we opened it together. It was as though I was born with it in my hands. I knew instinctively where to plug in the ac to charge it. My fingers went right to the ‘wake up’ button.
By the time night came, I had become one with my Kindle. It feels perfect in my hands, the size of a 5X8″ photo and about as thin. You can adjust the size of the print, so in spite of my awful, Walmart prescription glasses that never were right, I can see and read perfectly. By typing in my user name and password that I use on Amazon, I am able to order anything I want and it is magically charged to my American Express, and within minutes is downloaded into Kindle free of charge by Whispernet. Scary.
I feel more and more as though my association with Big Brother is going to be made easier for him. Did you ever read This Perfect Day by Ira Levin???? Oh my, go pronto to your used bookstore and get it. Terrifying. We are almost there, short of the genetic sameness of the people. After reading it when it first came out thirty years ago, I was convinced no one should have their children fingerprinted.
Back to Kindle. Unfortunately, I bought about thirty books in the past four months, so there isn’t too much I want to read right now that I don’t already have. HOWEVER!!!! I no longer have to go to Wawa at six o’clock in the morning to pick up a NYT before they are all taken. With a few strokes, I ordered it, delivered in the early morning to my Kindle, for $14.95 a month. A fraction of what it cost at the newsstand and no recycling. Too bad the newspaper industry is struggling right now, but I think that once they catch up with technology, they will be ok, too. I believe it is more a question of them finding a new place in our world and not that people don’t want to read the news.
I found that it is just as easy to find what I want to read on Kindle, rather than flipping through the paper. This is not the case for many. My daughter works at a big, Philadelphia medical center in a difficult and high tech unit. Her charting is all done electronically. She doesn’t mind that part; her issue is reading the chart. She feels as though trying to get the whole picture of her patient’s condition is much harder looking at the data on the screen and misses seeing flow charts and other accoutrements of the patient’s condition, such as lab results and reports from other providers, without searching for it in the computer. It is one thing to lay in bed with reading for entertainment, another in a life and death situation. By the way, she is very technically oriented. I know I hated using the computer when I was in the OR; trying to put in an order for blood to the blood bank in the middle of the night while the surgeon was screaming for instruments and anesthesia people were fighting to save a life was not a pleasant experience. Ugh. I hope I never have to do that again.
The entire Amazon catalog is available to browse and with a stroke, buy and upload within seconds any book, magazine, newspaper, music, webcast, you name it, offered. Knitting, weaving, Reiki, aromatherapy and my latest passion, history, all there for the taking. Dangerous.
Today is warm enough out to have my windows open, so I think I will be doing some yard clean up and some chores, but I will be looking forward to the time after the news tonight when I can get in my chair, turn the computer off, and pick up Kindle.