It’s Not A Toy

Kindle 5 with Russian text

A few days ago one of my uncles told my mother he had some sort of writing device. Tech and fashion goes to my cousins and brother, and if they don’t fix the tech problem then I’m the last resort…not that I excel in it. However, all things books, and all things words are directed to me. So Uncle John, we’ll call him that, brought this ‘device’ a day later.

Standing beneath the flourescent light of a lamppost I didn’t know what to the think of the ultra lightweight, plastic thing I was holding in my hand. It looked like a small tablet, and felt very much like a toy. To add to this toy effect the screen displayed a grayscale image which stayed on the screen despite my pressing all the buttons I could find. I turned the black squarish-rectangle over in my hand again and again as I walked away from the post and it’s light. I touched the screen. It did not have the slippery feel of a touchscreen, and it didn’t react to my swipping, tapping, or pressing.

I handed the toy to my mother. I was convinced it was a toy, a plaything for toddlers who had not yet learned to interact with their own today (technology). She hooked it up to the car charger with a spare cord….the light came on. She said: “It’s not a toy.” And she charged it.

My little brother, a wizard at the destruction of devices and solutions to their problems (some of them) found and pressed the only button I hadn’t seen, or touched. It turned the toy on.

The black, thin, lightweight plaything with no backlight is actually a 5th generation Kindle according to the Amazon help page. You may be thinking that I really disdain this creation, but I actually don’t. I quite like it.

You read correctly. I quite like the toy-light e-reader.

I like to think of myself as being quite adaptable, even to the strange. And I find this to be one of those things that is beautiful in its strangeness. How light it is, the lack of a backlight. Those oddities make it perfect. The lack of heaviness makes it easy to hold for long period and when you’re reading a mighty long book, it’s….perfect? Yes. For sometime I have been wish that my tablet didn’t have the backlight which wearied my eyes after sometime. Oddly this problem was only an issue for me when reading for leisure. Nonetheless…problem solved.

Does this mean I’ll be spending money on books? Not quite, and neither do you. I’ve got 700+ ebooks 12 of which I’ve emailed to the Kindle. That’s another fabulous feauture. If I’ve got a book on another device, all I need to do is email it to my Kindle’s email address and it will be downloaded unto the Kindle when it received a wifi connection. I like it.

However, there is a problem I would like to address.

Communication, no matter where or when, is always key. Since Amazon wasted time to design, create, and market this baby I would’ve thought they would have ensure the registration process was a breeze. They didn’t because, it wasn’t.

There were three option for registering the device: with an existing Amazon account using the device; with an existing Amazon account using a computer; and by creating a new account using the device. I tried all three multiple times. (Beware. I might be a little daft.) I tried registering with an existing Amazon account using the device, but apparently I forgot my password. I went to the url given for the computer, and still haven’t found where I should register. I tried creating an account using the device and kept getting and error message.

I tried the Amazon account using device several times more. And was told each time that my password didn’t match. I signed into Amazon on real device and got on. So I returned to the Kindle with the same password, and again recieved the same message. At this point I open my Inbox (for something I don’t remember at the moment) where I find a few messages from Amazon. Apparently, registering with an existing Amazon account using the device is a two-step process. However, you will never find this out on your Kindle. Amazon thinks it’s wise to tell you this in an email which you will not be notified of on your Kindle. Note also that according to them email the code is only valid for ten miuntes after you receive it.

A simple note ON THE KINDLE telling me to look in my Inbox for a code would have made life so much easier. It would have saved me a lot of time. I mean how difficult would it be to have that message displayed where the error message is when my correct password is entered. Since I’ve done a little programming, I know it’s not that difficult.

If I wasn’t so taken by it’s other features I would let it sit there. But I really like the other features that I mentioned, and it reads .mobi so I’m cool. In fact I’m so cool with it I’ve just finished read Ken Follet’s The Man From St. Petersburg.

What are your thoughts on ebook readers, and what book or books have you read recently?


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