When my husband has the perfect idea for a gift, he gets excited and can barely keep it secret. If the gift's for me, he pesters me until I guess what it is. Usually, the guessing lasts for a while, but this year, I figured out what I was getting for my March birthday by the middle of January: a Kindle, Amazon's wireless reading device.
He had a long list of reasons why a Kindle was perfect for me--less to print, less to tote around, fewer trips to the bookstore, and more room in our house for things besides books and book storage. I, on the other hand, was not nearly as certain. I had hoped for a tricycle, a new cell phone with a data plan, or a high-end firewall. An expensive e-reader wasn't on my list. I like how books smell, and I like to turn pages and take notes in the margins. And I don't like reading from computer screens. After mulling it over, I told my husband that I didn't think that I'd like the Kindle, but he convinced me to give it a try.
And he was right. I love my Kindle. I read more, especially more documents that I would have had to print before. Now, I e-mail those documents to my Kindle. (I may have saved an entire forest from destruction in the four months that I've had my Kindle.) I take more notes, too, because I can highlight and annotate text on the Kindle and transfer it directly to my computer--no re-writing or re-typing. The best part: with Kindlefeeder, I can send articles from my favorite blogs directly to my Kindle.
Turns out, I'm not the only person in the poverty law community who has a Kindle. Carol Garner at LawAccess New Mexico has a Kindle, too. She's hunted down some great resources for Kindle owners: Kindle Boards, The Kindle Warehouse, and MobileRead Forums. And John Mayer, the Executive Director of CALI, is expecting his Kindle DX any day. More broadly, the National Center for State Courts has suggested that e-readers could be great for judges, who need to read a lot and interact with their documents.