The Return Customer

The return customer is earned with every interaction. Amazon has earned my business every year with amazing responsiveness and promptness. I have shifted most of my shopping to Amazon purely for the convenience of not having to drive around town looking for things. The Kindle 2, shown above, was purchased with an extended warranty. Normally, wear an tear is not covered, but I felt that it should have weathered a fall from the bed to a carpeted floor. This crack was not only unpleasant to look at, but created instability in the cover and would eventually fall apart in jagged, carotid artery scything shards.

The kind fellow at Amazon has a replacement in the mail! I am now fully Amazoned.

This contrasts with the terribly shabby way I was treated at Dell a few months ago when they lost my on-line order but took my money. It took three days of calling to eventually get them to cough up my netbook.  Their awful customer service and delays in delivery brought them to the attention of the NY Times.

The Kindle 2 Price Drop

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Screen needs light to be viewed, but really approximates ink on paper

There have been many reviews of the Kindle 2, and I won’t repeat these. I had been on the brink of getting one, but was enjoying my Kindle iPhone application immensely. What pushed me into purchasing one was the recent price drop on the Kindle 2 combined with my increasing frustration with my inability to purchase Kindle books from Amazon on my iPhone without going into the full web page on Safari (and not via their wonderful Kindle app nor their very workable Amazon Store app).

I ordered mine with the leather cover which gives it the hand feel of a nice 100 page leather bound book. SNC10278The screen is incredibly readable and trumps the reading experience on iPhone. The only advantage iPhone has is that you can read your books in bed with the light out. Your progress on the book is updated for both iPhone and Kindle.

Reading on Kindle is a joy -the device, though not pretty in the way that Sony’s E-Reader is, is solid and very thin and basically unobtrusive. It’s always on Sprint data connection included in the price of the Kindle means you can buy books anywhere which I did from the golf course yesterday while waiting for people to process their golf (Wakonda had one of its interminable outings). If you are especially cruel, you can go to Barnes and Nobles, paw at a book that you might like, look it up and see if it’s available (currently 300k titles), and buy it electronically and put the real book back on the shelf.

Not carrying a hardback book is a nice convenience. Not carrying many, many books is miraculous. Particularly textbooks which when searching vascular comes back with about 74 text books, discounted for electronic format. The problem with textbooks is that you can’t carry one around for reference or just plain reading for pleasure (I know, I’m a huge geek but that is why I got a Kindle).

Is it something that everyone should get -yes if you buy a lot of books and believe that scholarship is a lifelong avocation. You can get just as much out of a library card, but you’ll have to carry physical books. You’ll likely pooh-pooh it if you’re in that “I love to fondle books” crowd, but more likely than not, you have never actually seen a Kindle.

I think this is the killer app that will make Amazon the iTunes store for books. The question is, will Amazon open up the Kindle to kindlish apps, including an MP3 player app for their very nice music department (cheaper than iTunes).