Published 10 February 2009 · Main Posts Kindle 2.0 Jeff Sparrow As far as I know the Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader thingo, isn’t actually available in Australia. But in the US, the second generation Kindle has just been launched. Here’s its features: Version 2 is sleeker, 25% thinner, Bezos said, than the size of the #1 bestselling phone (probably an iPhone, but of course, Bezos doesn’t name a product from his rival, Apple.) Its buttons are less obtrusive and more easily manageable – removing the Fisher Price See-and-Spell feeling of the original. It offers improved graphics and more storage – up to 1500 books, Bezos says. And the battery – which seemed weak in the old version – will reportedly hold its charge for two weeks. The biggest advance, without doubt, however was the audio feature. Apparently now, “when you’re cooking in the kitchen,” as Bezos said, you can push a button and have the book that you were just reading read itself to you. Which would, I guess, be kinda cool. But all the technological wizardry can’t hide the most depressing part of the story — ‘the average American reader, according to many studies, reads between two and six books a year’. No gadget, no matter how sleek, will turn non-readers into readers. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.