Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Friday, October 2, 2009

Traveling with a Kindle

Breaking News: It looks like the U.K. will finally be getting the Kindle. The Register Hardware website posted this story yesterday.

I gave my Kindle its real first travel test on a recent trip to the U.K. The Kindle (or Ken Doll as my wife insists on referring to it), loaded with 5 books, fit nicely into my backpack, taking nearly no room. I did take one softcover book for "just in case" situations. We were on a night flight and the LED clip-on I purchased along with the Kindle worked well - no problems reading, eyestrain, annoying fellow passengers.

I charged it once, just to top off the batteries before the flight home. It can handle British current, all I needed was a plug adapter.

During the trip Declan Burke posted that Crime Always Pays (in Kindle format only), his sequel to The Big O, was available on Amazon. I couldn't use Kindle's built-in wireless but I had my laptop and access to wifi and it took a couple of minutes to download the book and copy it to the Kindle.

There was one unsettling moment, though. I was reading Crime Always Pays and the Kindle appeared to reset itself, leaving me with only the dictionary. I turned it off and on but that fixed nothing. It was good that I had packed Bill James' The Lolita Man. I turned Kindle on two days later and all the content had reappeared. Amazon has no explanation, one of those things.

I was pleased with the Kindle for long trips (unsettling moment notwithstanding) and appreciate the convenience and its slim profile in my backpack. I will still carry one softcover on trips.