The Supreme Insult to Me From Jeff Bezos
* The built-in dictionary is lousy. Theoretically, if you find a word you don’t know, you can click on the line and the definition appears. However, here is a line:
“... daring, that they were gambling va banque ...”
The definitions you get: dar-ing, gam-ble and VA (“abbr. in the UK, Order of Victoria and Albert”). In short, it doesn’t speak French.
* If somehow you lose your place and get somewhere else in the book, it’s a nightmare getting back on track. Don’t even think about looking up something in the index or bibliography (if this Kindle book has them) and expect to find your place in the text any time soon.
* The page-turning bars are huge, running almost the length of the machine. I find myself inadvertently pushing them by mistake all the time. You have to hold the thing with great care.
* It’s virtually impossible to read the Kindle using the protective cover, which is simply ill-fitting.
* The in-built “Kindle User’s Guide” is wordy, filled with self-congratulatory prose and not much help in teaching you to navigate the system.
Kindle: The Bottom Line
* I’ll keep the thing. It’s okay for light fiction, say for our planned six-day cruise to the Bahamas over Labor Day.
* If you are a serious reader or a student going into annotated texts, Kindle is primitive, deeply flawed and frustrating.
* Being accused of potentially stiffing Amazon for $9.99 does not set well with me. I think Jeff Bezos is a weasel.
Update on a Prior Story
The June 10, 2008 issue of this cranky e-zine discussed the clownish ads by the DeVito/Verdi New York agency for Boston’s Legal Sea Foods restaurant chain on the sides of MBTA trolleys. The story generated a lot of response from readers. In the June 12 edition of The Boston Globe, Erik Jacobs wrote a story titled, “Legal Sea Food chief offers MBTA operators a sort of fishy apology”: