I have a misty brain today.  have been looking for random insights, but short of telling you how rubbish the flu of pigs was (my excuse for not blogging these past few weeks), I find my brain a rather dull, confused place to live.

So I will tell you all about my new Kindle.

Note: this post was not sponsored by Amazon!  So I won’t do any links to their website.  But you can just google Kindle and see all about it yourself.

I got a Kindle for Christmas.  It’s an electronic book, and you can cut and paste stuff from the books you buy on it, and take notes, and get instant definitions.  I now know that limpid actually means clear – since I was eight years old and reading about Anne of Green Gables’ limpid grey eyes, I have thought it meant sort of soft, and a bit droopy.  You can also listen to music on it while you read, or convert the text to speech.  And you can transfer your own files to it (Word, PDFs, that sort of thing).

Sadly, the catalogue is limited to out of copyright works and bestsellers, which are a bit too brash for my sensibilities.  But you can buy the complete works of Jane Austen for about $5, and new books for about $12.   And you can transfer the files to any of your own devices.  The way you buy books is, the Kindle has a direct wireless connection to the Amazon Kindle store.  I guess you could also buy e-books from other sellers, and free e-books from places like Project Gutenberg, but I haven’t experimented with that yet.

There are some rivals coming out in the next year or so – the Apple Tablet for about $1,000, which will have a touchscreen and colour, but will be bigger and more than three times as expensive.  I’ve heard the Sony e-book is a bit glarey – one of the nice things about the Amazon Kindle is that the screen uses electronic ink technology, like an etch-a-sketch on 21st century steroids.  It actually uses ink, and places it electronically where the letters on the screen should be.  And the screen is not reflective, to look as much as possible like a book.

Some of you might be outraged.  Not by the idea of an electronic book reader (which is really an obvious thing to move to next – they are essentially iPods for book lovers); but that I already have my Christmas present.  But my lovely husband decided I needed it for my long commute to Sydney for work (three hours a day, three days a week) as soon as possible, so I have already got it.  For Christmas day, he tells me he has bought me a “real” book as something to unwrap.  How very quaint.