OK, we know Amazon now sells more e-books than paper ones. We like the environment, green is nice, all that, so let's save some trees and transportation costs and offset our carbon footprint. So we're happy to see Santa brought us a Kindle Touch 3G. And then we used it, or tried to...
Out of the box there are no instructions. We assume it needs to be plugged in, but for how long? Turns out about two hours and a light turns green. OK, fine, let's use it. Ooh, clunky! Push a button on the screen and hmm, did it click or not? Push it again, oh wait there it goes, but did we miss a screen from my fist push? Dammit. OK, maybe coming from an iPhone I expect too much, but this feels like a manual typewriter from a bad dream.
OK, we're buying a book. $16.87 for hardcover or $12.99 for Kindle edition. Really? You don't have to print or mail the book and all I save is a lousy $3.87? And now I can't loan the book to my asshole brother or better yet, turn it in at my local second-hand book store for credit. Fine, whatever. Oh wait, we clicked the buy button but it says we didn't register, even though we did. WTF? Try to buy half a dozen times, having to go through the entire search process each time because evidently Kindle doesn't remember what you just searched for. No dice. Over to a real computer to Google the problem, mm-hmm, looks like Amazon sold a few too many and there are registration delays. A few hours later it works and we have a book.
The book looks great. At least the print does - pictures look like crap and are hard to navigate to - and even the tap to turn the page - stop swiping! - gets familiar after a chapter. No backlit screen, so we can read before bed without the backlight waking up our brain. OK, power it off. WTF? An advertisement? Seriously? Oh well, at least I can put it out of sight.
Bottom line: we really wanted to like the Kindle, and maybe we will after we get used to reading on it, but the price of e-books is bullshit and the user interface is way clunky slow. Oh yeah, and I could have gotten ten paper books for the price and not had to look at ads. If you read a lot and don't like to tote your books around, check it out, otherwise don't feel you're missing anything.