I admit it.  I had never heard of the Kindle until Oprah said it was one of her favorite things.  My friends know I’m an Oprah junkie: “Did you see what Oprah had on yesterday?”  “Did you hear what Oprah had to say about . . .”  “I really love those shows Oprah does on . . .”  Girlfriend and I have so much in common, I feel like we’re best friends and she’s talking right to me: she’s in her 50s and hey! I’m almost 40!  She’s black and I’m white (but that doesn’t matter-she likes Jen Aniston).  She has a private plane and I don’t.  Hmmm.  She’s worth millions upon millions and I’m . . . not.  But she has a Kindle and so do I!

I’m a sucker for gadgets, as seen in my quest for a smartphone.  I’ve always wanted the latest, coolest computer (ahem, yep, on the lookout for a new laptop as we speak-hey! I’ve got my reasons!), and fortunately I have a dh who is in tune with my needs and wants and is equally bad with his technology lusts.

Since the kiddos came, I simply haven’t had a chance to read.  When am I supposed to?  When they’re both talking non-stop to me in stereo so much that I can barely stand it and have to remind them that I can’t understand either of them?  I could read during the day when they’re at school, but that’s when I do my “me” stuff-my Safe Kids things, my paid work, the housework, going to the gym, errands, volunteering at their school, appointments, naps, etc.  By the time the afternoon rolls around, I just want to veg online while catching my soap.

Enter the Kindle.  I always make room for a cool new gadget and this one is neat.  It’s computer-like, so I get my techie-fix but I’m also reading, so I feel like I’m doing something smart.  One of the main reasons I like it?  Really?  It has an on-the-fly dictionary.  No kidding!  If you come across a word you don’t know in a line of text, you scroll up to that line and click.  You then have the option of looking the word up.  I kid you not, that is the greatest invention to reading E V E R!  There’s nothing worse than reading a book with a dictionary sitting next to you and having to put the book down each time you need to look a word up-the Kindle does it quickly, easily, and you don’t lose your train of thought.  That’s the key feature that sold me on this little treasure of a gadget.

It’s also very easy to read.  You can adjust the text size (great for us, um, folks with aging eyes who otherwise need reading glasses) and the text on the background of the screen is never harsh.  My eyes get red because I’m tired, not because of the screen, unlike when I work on my computer.

Turning pages is easy-just a press of a button on either side.  Though the next page button on the right side of the unit is very large and poorly positioned; I touch it quite easily unless I hold the Kindle just right.  They’ve solved that design problem with the new Kindle 2 (K2).  The Kindle is also lightweight and easy to hold in one hand, which is wonderful for parents holding a child.

The new K2 looks wonderful and of course, I want one!  It ships on February 24 and will retail for $359 on Amazon.com.  Sigh, I can’t justify getting a new K2: I just got my K1 for Christmas and it’s great, no complaints other than the next page button (and some really scary screen savers that pop up after I’ve fallen asleep reading, lol!  What can you really draw in 4 shades of gray anyway?)  The K2 will read your book to you if you need to drive or can’t otherwise read for yourself, you can upload .PDFs to it-just think of all the car seat safety studies to peruse or manuals to read and take to events!-as well as other files, it holds over 1500 books, and has a longer battery life.

Well, I’m off to read on my Kindle.  It’s the only thing that gets me to shut down my computer at night anymore since SpikeTV drastically cut back on Star Trek: Voyager, my secret nighttime indulgence.  Oops!  Secret’s out, I guess, lol!  I’m on book 4 of Twilight and I’ve got 2 other books downloaded just waiting for me.  Oh, did I mention the cheap books and easy, fast downloading?  So many nifty features to learn about.