I had lunch with an actual reader of this blog. (It occurs to me that I could probably have lunch with all of the readers of this blog, maybe at a small table. So if you are reading this and call or send email or post a comment within 24 hours of this posting, we'll have lunch -- Dutch treat, of course, I'm still as cheap as ever.) At any rate, over lunch my reader asked if I really disliked the Kindle. And I realized that it's easy to leave the wrong impression.
So, for the record, the Kindle is a great way to read books. The instant access to Amazon is cool (Duelfer's book is now available), and the ability to read a few pages in odd places or parts of the day also allows me to read more. (It's cutting into my podcast listening a bit, but that's no big deal.) The problems have receded. I figured out how to keep the thing from losing its place, and a very good Amazon service call told me how to reboot/reset the thing to recover my lost subscription. I still worry about dropping it, but I'm planning to buy a cover. Reading the WSJ on it isn't ideal, but in fact I read more on the Kindle than I would on line. Amazon's lame DMCA view is annoying, but most readers won't care because they'll buy their books from Amazon at the fairly cheap price of $10.
In short, if you're thinking of getting something for a parent, I'm guessing that they'll have no problems. But I wouldn't start out by getting them a subscription to a newspaper. Pick some books instead.