Neighbors in the Hood

For two days helicopters have been buzzing above our neighborhood, or more like north and to the west a little. When this happens, it’s usually either a police chopper or the media. It happens. But when it happens two days in a row, the denizens below begin to wonder what the fuss is.

Mystery solved. We have new neighbors, give or take a mile. And you’ve heard of them. I’ll give you one clue: single mother with 14 children.

This news comes courtesy of The Orange Country Register, Tuesday, March 10, 2009 (that’s today), page 6 of the “News” section—and noted on the cover as the first of “5 must-read stories you’ll find inside today’s paper.”

Kindle 2.0

You know I’m a big fan of the Amazon Kindle. I bought my Kindle nearly a year ago in preparation for a trip to Europe. It worked like a dream. And in those days, it was a dream. Now Amazon has released a new version, the Kindle 2.

Amazon owns the turf when it comes to portable reading devices. Downloads are easy. Storage space is incredible. The interface and hardware are simple to use. And Amazon is publishing Kindle versions of everything under the sun . . . for a much lower price than hard copy. They’ve even got my book Faith, Film, and Philosophy in a Kindle version.

With the hoopla over the Kindle 2, I’ve been getting questions about my experience and whether I still recommend the device. Yes. Unequivocally, yes. My Kindle goes where I go—or, rather, I go wherever my Kindle goes. I wouldn’t be without it. So, will I now be buying the Kindle 2?

I would be if I didn’t already have a Kindle. K2 has longer battery life, a more streamlined profile, and some additional storage space. I guess it works a little faster, too. There weren’t a lot of pre-Kindle 2 kinks to work out, so the Kindle 2 isn’t a major upgrade for previous users. The “read-to-me” feature is new, but I wouldn’t pay extra for it. Turns out, though, you don’t have to. Some may have hoped that Kindle 2 would cost less than Kindle 1. Who wouldn’t? But it could hardly be expected. Amazon has sold tons of these devices. The best evidence for that is the increase in Kindle versions of books in their massive catalog. And when you calculate how much books cost, the savings of Kindle versions, and the exotic utility of the Kindle 2, the price should be easy enough to swallow.

At the same price as the original device, Kindle 2 is still a bargain. I mean that. I carry around dozens of books, many of them reference works, and have my portable library on hand for every occasion.

My students know about my Kindle zeal, so they might be thinking they could buy a Kindle and use it in class. They’d probably be right. First, they could be reading anything, including my own publications, and I would never know it. Second, in one year, Amazon has made an amazing number of philosophy texts available in Kindle versions. And if Amazon is publishing that much stuff in technical philosophy, you can be sure they’ve got what most of the real people in the world want in a good read!

If you don’t know much about the Kindle, then start here for more information.

Later I’ll be posting more suggestions about the Kindle. Meanwhile, you may want to search my blog for other articles with tips about using the Kindle.

If you’re a Kindle user, let me know in the comments box for this post. What do you like most about having a Kindle? If you don’t have a Kindle, try to explain that to me in the comments box!

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