My Mouse Has A Small Dongle
I bought a Hewlett-Packard Mini 110 notebook last night to solve my reading problem. My Kindle account at Amazon has 38 books now, and no place to read them; I sold my first gen Kindle and have struggled to read on my iPod Touch. My intention was to wait for the Apple Tablet, but with plenty of hype and a likely list price of several hundred dollars, I debated alternatives. When Amazon offered the free Kindle for PC software this week, the decision became easier. A mini net book would serve my purpose immediately and with less cost than the Apple reader. I plunged for a HP Mini 110 last night, charged it up (reported 8+ hour battery life) and downloaded the Kindle for PC software and now, on the HP Mini's 10.1 screen, I am reading again with back-lit pleasure. Joy!
The HP Mini is only 2.5 lbs, and feels lighter, even with the battery. I think the key is that I can move it with one hand. It is also not too hot on my lap like a full sized notebook, and of course, the 8 hr battery life is "cherry"; nothing like that on a full sized laptop. The HP Mini uses Windows 7 Starter (and although I can't tell much difference from my other Vista computers, at least it's not Windows XP like prior netbooks; XP no longer "supported" by MSFT). I think, now that I have it, that the laptop type configuration is better than a tablet would be for reading. I can set this on my lap and read at ideal angle. No more bending knees to prop up the flat Kindle.
The Kindle for PC software is truly ideal, with many font sizes and easy to use. I suggest that you might download it and then select a free book—there are thousands of free titles, just look at the bestseller list for Kindle and every other book is free—and try reading on your computer. The HP Mini experience is better, of course, because I can put it on my lap and sit back and enjoy.
But the best part for reading, the part I enjoy most, is the accessory that I researched and bought at the same time: My Logitech M305 wireless mouse ($40). It has a super small dongle—not one of those 1.5 inch things hanging out from your USB port—that is tiny and can be left in place all the time. Using it, I can turn the pages of the eBook with only a flick of the scroll wheel. I can put the HP Mini, for instance, way down by my knees on my ottoman outstretched legs, adjust the font to where I can see it well, and not even touch the net book; I just sit back and flick the wheel to read page after page. Last night, I was supine and resting in bed, I had the net book on my belly, never touching it, and had the Logitech wireless mouse in my hand down by my hip and just read for half an hour comfortably, flicking the wheel to turn the pages. Manually turning pages is so "ten minutes ago".
I'm not one of the zealots for a groaning, one ton bookshelf stuffed with moldy bound paper books. My digital library is always ready for me and the pages are always fresh and clean. They don't stink. I read faster and more accurately in an eBook. My reading speed, because I don't have to fiddle with pages or how to hold the book, is at least 25% faster on an eBook. I recognize now that my mind could always read faster without losing information, it's the hands and fingers that are the rate limiting step. I love this small net book and this small dongled mouse. And of course, Amazon Kindle for PC software makes it all work perfectly. I now resume reading Trasher's Sky Blue and McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, in progress.