Amazon annpunced the new version of the Kindle ebook reader yesterday, cleverly called Kindle 2. A lot of people are buzzing about it pro and con but I thought I’d mention something from my own perspective as a person with diabetes who has vision problems.
I was diagnosed with diaabetes in September and started treatment. When I was diagnosed, my blood sugar level was 383. (The normal rnnge is 80 – 100, so 383 isn’t good.) I started treatment and then it turned out that I’ve had dibetes for years but that iot had gone undiagnosed. I found this out because I started having vision problems in October and they got pretty severe; overbright ‘flaring’ many morning, swimming vision, seeing spot, inability to focus at all on small text like on a cell phone or much of what’s on a computer screen.
All of this had made reading really difficult and I love to read. Basically, I really can’t read regular print books at this point. I have a couple of books laying around unread because I just can’t focus and even with reading glasses, the swimming vision thing makes it very hard.
But big text is fine. When I’m on the internet, I blow the text up huge and I can read comfortably. So…enter the Kindle 2.
For one thing, I could make the text size of any book as large as I need. I love that. But the other thing that’s perfect is the ‘text to speech’ feature that actually reads to you, if you want. And it’s implemented in a smart way…you can read a book with your eyes, switch seamlessly to text-to-speech mode and back to reading without losing your place. The Kindle bookmarks as it goes. Audiobooks have saved my sanity so I love the idea of this dual mode.
So, now I really want a Kindle 2. I know it’s still not the device it will be; color would be nice and I don’t like DRM. But for right now, it’s the best ebook reader on the planet with a huge library available right now, including magazines and best sellers. I just had an eye exam and with my blood sugar down to the low 100s nowe, I’m hoping that my eye problems will reverse. But in the meantime, it’d be nice to read again.