Jetwhine Editor Kindled; Escapes Unharmed

By Robert Mark on May 1st, 2008

I had a call from one of my graduate school professors a few weeks ago who wanted to know how my book was doing. You remember that book McGraw Hill published last summer … a Professional Pilot Career Guide? The book is a dandy volume for anyone struggling with the tough career questions that will help them decide whether a cockpit career is for them. I’m told the book looks and reads great. Of course the marketing help from McGraw Hill has been pretty dismal so when I heard about a new delivery method for my book I was all ears.

Have you been Kindled my professor asks? Little did I know that I had indeed been Kindled without my knowledge. So perhaps McGraw Hill isn’t as bad as I thought … but I think the jury is still out on that one.Kindle

The Kindle is Amazon’s new electronic book reader. The design offers a bright screen that makes the text appear as if it was actually printed on paper. In fact, Amazon calls the product inside the machine electronic paper. The kindle weighs in at about half a pound and is capable of holding as many as 200 books, although obviously there is only one volume I can think of that should come installed.

The Kindle is wireless so adding new books is a snap. And with only 115,000 titles in the Kindle format, I’m pretty honored to be running in the same circle as some of those folks on the NY Times best seller list.

The Kindle also lets you stay in touch with your favorite blogs via an RSS feed. That means there are no more excuses for not reading your daily dose of Jetwhine.

I’m told that when you solve one problem and you often create another. That’s one of Amazon’s big problems.

The Kindle is pricey, $399 in most places which leads to the next problem. The darned things are almost impossible to find anywhere.

But if you do find one, let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’m going to try a little PR magic on the people at Amazon. Maybe they’ll let me test one for a year or so.

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One Response to “Jetwhine Editor Kindled; Escapes Unharmed”

  1. Old Sarge Says:

    I’m 61 years old and I have dyslexia pretty bad. In fact, I’m dictating this review to my wife or it would never get written. I’ve never been able to sit down and read a book before, besides technical things because I can’t read fast enough or accurately enough to keep my brain stimulated. But with the Kindle and the text to speech feature, I am reading books left and right and am thrilled beyond belief. So, if you have dyslexia, or if someone on your Christmas list does, this is the answer!

    The text to speech feature on the Kindle 2 could use some improvements. There are a lot of mispronounced words but for someone like me, who is just trying to read along with the speech, it’s quite acceptable. However, if you were vision-impaired or wanted to listen to it while you were doing something else, you might not like it. To all the publishers who have not allowed Amazon to enable the text to speech feature because you fear it might affect your Books on Tape sales, you have nothing to worry about. I have listened, over the years, to many books on tape and believe me, there is no comparison between a computer that pronounces the year “1910” as “I go” and the performance of a Frank Mueller! But, rest assured, I will never buy a Kindle book that is not text to speech enabled. I wouldn’t be able to read it.

    We live in a very rural area with spotty cell phone coverage. In fact we have no coverage on our farm. However, my Kindle is able to download books at my home.

    I find the electronic ink display wonderful. It looks very much like a book and is easy on the eyes. I’m glad it doesn’t have backlighting. If it did, it would look like a computer screen instead of a book.

    As for the Kindle’s durability, it is a sensitive instrument, just like a camera or a pair of binoculars so it should be treated with care. So far, I’ve dropped mine twice onto a stone floor from the sofa and haven’t broken it, amazingly, but that’s not adviseable!

    All in all, I love my Kindle 2.

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