Kindle’s Busted – Now What?

My Kindle has died. Well and truly died. I’ve tried every trick the internet suggested. I called Amazon, but since I’m beyond the 1 year warranty, there’s nothing they could do aside from a $20 “sorry there’s nothing we can do” credit to my account. To be fair, that’s more than they had to do, so kudos to the service rep who took my call.

So now what?

I’m not buying another Kindle. This experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the Kindle device. I’m 98% certain that reason my device is busted is that I let it go so long without charging that it didn’t have enough juice left to kick itself back on once it was dry. It goes beyond a battery that won’t hold a charge. It doesn’t even work when it’s plugged in. So very frustrating. On top of that, that “Critical Battery” message is never going to come off that screen. I understand that’s the nature of the eInk technology and not the Kindle mocking me, but it’s really hard to not think that when I see it. I want to cause it great harm.

I’m not giving up on e-readers. Despite my unfortunate luck with a bum Kindle, I’m an eReader convert. I like the convenience of the slim device. I like having oodles of books at my fingertips. I like not building up a physical library once I’m “done” with a book, but still having it, which I couldn’t get with a library card. I’m not going back to physical books any time soon.

I’m not buying a different eReader. If I was reading half as much as I wished I was, I would be deciding between buying another (cheaper) Kindle which (hopefully) doesn’t have the same problem, or looking into a Nook or something different. As it stands, I just don’t read enough currently to spend much money on and eReader. Plus, I really don’t like the idea of committing to a device with a proprietary format. Even when it lets you use other formats, it still has a preferred one that’s going to work best. What I “need” is a device that lets me access any number of different eReader libraries. It also needs to do a bunch of other fun stuff to justify its price since, as I said, I’m not reading enough.

I’m not buying and iPad…yet I live in a house where we get to play with one for a week or so at a time and everything besides eReading that the iPad brings to the table (internet at your fingertips, crazy-pretty casual games, child-distracting visualizations, etc) is well-used. It’s not difficult to imagine having a “family” iPad that I can use as an eReader. With an iPad, I won’t have to worry about choosing a specific format or library since Kindle and many other producers have an app to access their content. It has its own drawbacks, though. Until it gets a tiny bit smaller and considerably lighter it’s not practical for “on the go” eReading. However, it’s easier to justify the $600 for an iPad, given how much we use it, than a $150 eReader. I would also need $600, and I’m not interested in buying a first-generation iProduct ever. They should have a new version up and running by the time I can save up enough money though.

Until then, my unread stack of paper books will keep me plenty occupied.