Today I called Amazon’s help desk in relation to a problem with my Kindle. The device had suddenly developed a strange banner at the top of the screen, and although it did not interfere with most texts, was just not right. When the helpful young man on the line looked up my records (Amazon knows everything about you, don’t be fooled), he saw I had a second generation Kindle, but reacted as if he had just learned I was still muddling through life without indoor plumbing. Long story short, since I was an “early adopter” of the Kindle way back when, at a time when the very basic device was over $200, I was no longer covered under any warranty. Needless to say, I was disappointed, having spent so much for it, and not having used it much, I felt it should have held up better. And as I told Mr. Amazon, no, I have not damaged the screen with pressure or exposed it to long periods of sunlight. Sigh. The pace of technology upgrades is so blistering, that if you buy the latest thing, you are making a mistake… Look at Apple. The early adopters are constantly feeling as if they’ve been hoodwinked, when they rush out to buy the latest and greatest, only to find a few months later the item has been upgraded and the price reduced. Amazon did offer to sell me a re-habbed Kindle Touch at a reduced rate, and assured me that all my content would transfer. Well, of course it should, I thought. I bought it. But no, not really. It’s not like buying a book, that you pick up at the store, pay for, and carry home with you. I’d like to see Amazon come to my house, rifle through my shelves, and take back some of the tomes I’ve purchased, but that is in essence exactly what they can do with content “residing in the Cloud” if, for some reason, the copy write laws change or there’s been some sort of other impropriety. Amazon giveth, and Amazon taketh away. So, what is the deal with the preponderance of e-readers, and will they ever succeed in accomplishing the death of the printed, bound book? I like my Kindle…but not for everything. I like it for satisfying my “instant gratification” itch, when I’ve heard about a book I want to just start reading–now!–not waiting to find it at the library or bookstore. I also tend to Kindle books I know I probably wont care to read again or loan to friends…what does that say about me? That I use my Kindle exclusively for “junk reading?” Right, so, what are you reading there on your Kindle?” folks ask, to which I respond, “Oh, just re-reading War and Peace. You know, I get more out of it each time…” but in reality, I am devouring some scandalously mindless bodice ripper. Who’s to know? Alas, my poor old Second Generation Kindle with its cute, tiny keypad may not be long for the world, its fires burning low behind its screen.