Kindle 2

Amazon has just announced the long-awaited Kindle 2, and the first thing I did this morning was to order one:

I’m particularly looking forward to the “text to speech” capability. As I’ve mentioned before, my mother is blind, and she really misses being able to read as much as she used to. (Yes, I know that the Audible.com, RNIB and other agencies are helpful, but the majority of important books never make it to audio.) So I’m hoping that the text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 will be usable by an unsighted person. ((If not, I’ll have to bug the developers for an SDK….)) If all goes well, I’ll load up a Kindle 2 with books ((Things like recent history, nuclear proliferation, politics, and disarmament.)) and take it over to Oxford.
Meanwhile, I’m going to have to wait another 18 days to receive mine. “Thinner than an iPhone.” Be still, my beating heart. Tick, tick, tick…
UPDATE: Check out this piece by Andrew Sullivan, quoting John Siracusa at Ars Technica. Money quote:

Take all of your arguments against the inevitability of e-books and substitute the word “horse” for “book” and the word “car” for “e-book.” Here are a few examples to whet your appetite for the (really) inevitable debate in the discussion section at the end of this article.
“Books will never go away.” True! Horses have not gone away either.
“Books have advantages over e-books that will never be overcome.” True! Horses can travel over rough terrain that no car can navigate. Paved roads don’t go everywhere, nor should they.
“Books provide sensory/sentimental/sensual experiences that e-books can’t match.” True! Cars just can’t match the experience of caring for and riding a horse: the smells, the textures, the sensations, the companionship with another living being.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Did you ride a horse to work today? I didn’t. I’m sure plenty of people swore they would never ride in or operate a “horseless carriage”—and they never did! And then they died.

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