Aug 21, 2009

WEEKLY UPDATE: Kindling the Flames of Knowledge

This week I (finally) had the joy of playing with a Kindle—Amazon's handy, little, digital book tool—to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I liked it!

Yes, it's expensive (retailing at $190 and up, as of this post, while the DX, Kindle's latest generation, goes for $489). And, yes, it has its limitations. (Just Google "Amazon Kindle" to read how unpopular the gadget is with some reviewers and consumers.) But there were some features I hadn't read about that made me smile—especially the dictionary feature.

My friend Tammy, the Kindle owner who let me play with her new toy ("I knew this was a Kealah item," she said when she saw my eyes dance as she placed it in my hands), says that she rarely has a dictionary handy enough to look up a word while she's reading. Yet she gets frustrated if she can't figure the word out from context, often feeling like she may be missing a key piece of the story. Now, with her Kindle e-book-reader, she can click on a word directly in the text and learn its meaning without even putting the 'book' down! Score one for education.

On the same day I was fondling my friend's Kindle, my fellow blogger Joe DeVito wrote in The Communication Blog a pros-and-cons post on e-books in general. What he has to say to critics may surprise you.

Say it, spell it, read it, learn it: Whether it's in traditional or digital print, whether it's shared in conversation or convocation, communication is always key. Just debating what's working and what's lacking in the digital book world equals growth and knowledge power for the future. Score one for progress, too.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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