Hi, it’s me, Jeff Bezos. I was just catching up on some summer reading with my Kindle, which is currently retailing for $359 plus shipping through Amazon. Would you believe we sold out of these little darlings in the first five and a half hours they were available?
Yes, that’s a bandage on my hand. I have a massive paper cut. But that’s not important right now. Instead, I want to tell you a little bit about myself, and about the common reading experience we all share.
As a small child, I loved books, and dreamed of a way to read them on my Etch A Sketch or calculator. And dreams, as we all know, have a way of coming true.
Now, like you, I get a lot of my reading done in the least hospitable of places. There’s the airport, the ensuing plane flight, and the subsequent crash in the middle of an ocean, followed by being marooned on a deserted oil rig.
Well, all right, that last scenario is a bit dramatic. But let’s take it as a test of the Kindle’s power. You read the Kindle at the airport, catching up on all the blogs you’re missing out on. Once on the plane, you start reading a legal thriller about a lawyer who successfully sues the pope. Sorry, gave away the ending. But now let’s get to the oil rig.
Assuming it doesn’t get wet, the Kindle could become your best friend on that oil rig—unless there are other survivors. In the likely event that those survivors turned against you—let’s say they know that you caused the accident by demanding that the pilot look at your Kindle—you would be forced to deal with them. Harshly.
The Kindle can’t help you with that particularly gruesome task—but it can help you recover from the psychological trauma of successfully sending your accusers to a watery grave. Reading, of course, is the best therapy a marooned murderer can buy.
Now, if you turn off the wireless function, you could be marooned for up to a week and still have enough battery charge for your Kindle. Not bad! And, unless you can read 125,000 books in seven days, I don’t think you’ll be getting bored. Unless trying to read in the gloomy light of the oil rig, wondering what will become of you, and what happened to your fellow passengers, is something you would consider boring.
Did I mention that your Kindle knows your name? You can’t say that about the fish you’ll be catching with your bare hands and killing with your teeth. I can’t imagine they’d be too helpful in buying books, either. And if you’re curious about any of the kinds of fish you’re eating you can look them up on Wikipedia.
But right now, of course, I’m not on an oil rig. And neither are you. But here we are, together, waiting for a doctor.