I started a blog about how technology, instead of assisting elderly people and opening up their lives, is in many cases only serving to isolate them even further. (To see the blog click on “TECHNOLOGY GAP” in the TAG CLOUD).
The Kindle is a classic example of the blind spot the young 20/20 vision techie savi have about older people. Yet the grey market is huge and the older generation are avid readers of books.
I bought my wife a kindle for Christmas and ever since she has been glued to it. It goes with her everywhere. Indeed, she sees more of it than she does of me :-). The good news is that I no longer have to build shelves I am not tripping up over piles of books everywhere I go. No cables either; the battery lasts forever. When we go on holiday, we can take one less suitcase – only 3 or 4 now :-(. The Kindle’s small size means it can be taken anywhere – and there is the grumble.
Small may be beautiful and it’s one of the key selling points of the Kindle but need it be quite so small? The Kindle makes small print look like the bottom line of an optician’s eye chart. I know you can enlarge the print size, but who wants to read a book half a line at a time?
If you overcome these obstacles and finish your first book, you come to the next big hurdle – ordering your next book. Apart from a degree in computer literacy, you also need a microscope to see the keyboard on your kindle as well as baby sized fingers to type on it. If you are lucky enough to succeed you can save yourself a fortune in the cost of buying new books as well as the convenience of sitting in bed to do it.
The Kindle has been a great commercial success from Amazon and there is no question it is a fantastic innovation in the book market. It’s lightness and portability and the cheap access to a world of books would be of colossal benefit to housebound older people. The barrier is the age unfriendly technology. We need a bigger grannie size Kindle.