Saturday, May 1, 2010

Final Verdict on Kindle: Thumbs Down

When I was living out of the country I had a very hard time getting English language books for a decent price. When a friend of mine wanted to upgrade her Kindle she offered to sell her first generation version to me. I couldn't even tell it was used and she gave me a great deal. Yay for totally awesome friends that love new gadgets! It was awesome to get easy access to books with a decent price. So while I was out of the country and pretty much had no alternative it was a great thing. Now that I'm back in the States it's become apparent that the Kindle is not for me.

Machine-related reasons: I miss having a book when I'm done. I don't mind reading on a Kindle (in fact, I actually like being able to change the font size, the ease of taking notes while I read and the dictionary) but when I'm finished with the book I feel sort of cheated. If I loved it, I can't share it with anyone; if I hated it, I can't get anything out of it like a trade-in or a re-sale. It's also become apparent to me that I prefer the library. I rarely buy books before I have read them. I want to know I'm going to re-read them again before I commit to a long-term relationship.

Amazon-related reason: They have no fucking repair service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The scrolly-thing on my Kindle is jacked and there's no way to fix it. I call Amazon and here are my options: Upgrade to the current generation for $250 or trade-in for another first generation for $99. I shit you not! These are my only options on a less than 3 years old device that I already paid a lot for even before I started buying books! What the fuck? Are these people a bunch of ignorant jizzwads? What kind of business plan is that? Ok, actually, pretty damn good but it's certainly not a way to endear yourself to a customer that was dubious to start with. And seriously, Amazon, do you really think that I'm dumb enough to call about your broken shit and then calmly hand over more money for more of your shit that doesn't have a repair service? Grrr! Grrr!

So the lesson here is that if I'm out of the country with no other access to books then I like the Kindle. If I'm home with much better and more reliable options then I'm gonna have to use those.

Also, my camera broke. This is related only in the sense that my electronics are letting me down simultaneously (sgwordy croons lovingly to her rock-steady computer) and it's made me grumpy. Who fixes cameras?

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