Today is the first of several entries I’ll run over the course of the next few weeks that pit Josh’s (of JoshVision) girlfriend, Kendall, against my Kindle. Why? Because the two words sound similar, and the idea amused us (and was approved by both Kendall and Kindle alike). Josh will lead with a redeeming quality about Kendall, and I will counter with a related quality about my Kindle. You can vote on the better of the two on the right. Let the insanity begin.
Kendall is great at picking out presents. Three months prior to Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs and any other day that requires a gift, Kendall starts scheming and planning. And she can’t simply ask the person what they want or check a registry, no, it has to be a hand chosen—and of course sentimental—gift.
Being as I’m the object of her affections, this is a trait that works out well for me. For my most recent birthday, she gave me Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott bobbleheads. The best part is that Michael talks, so now I can sit at my desk and hear “Dinkin Flicka” and “That’s what she said!” as many times as my heart desires. If that’s not awesome, then I must seriously be mistaken on what awesome is.
This Christmas I made it known in no uncertain terms that I wanted a Wii. Little did I know that despite the Wii being out for a couple of years, it’s still tough to find, and nearly impossible to track down in December. But Kendall was willing to go to any and all lengths to find one. She called Wal-Mart daily, staked out Target, and went in Circuit City so many times that they learned her name. Finally, after what had already been an exhaustive search, she learned that Best Buy was receiving a shipment of Wiis. A small shipment. So Kendall camped outside Best Buy all night risking rape and murder at the hands of nerds and nerds’ mothers and hypothermia at the hands of a vengeful God (who despite His own divine omnipresence, couldn’t find a Wii anywhere for himself and was forced to buy one on Ebay a few days after New Year’s). All of this so that I could stay up until 3am playing Super Smash Bros, ignoring her phone calls. That’s love, my friends. Can your Kindle beat that?
Kindle is not only great at picking out presents, but it’s also fantastic at bringing those presents to me. I love to read, but a lot of what I read is based on reviews. Reviewers rarely give me what I want in a review. All I desire is a tantalizing sliver of the plot—not the whole thing, just enough of a novel idea that I’m intrigued. Then I want a few quotes from the book. Not full paragraphs, just sentences that show the author’s readable genius. Last, I want the reviewer tell me that I can’t possibly carry on with my life if I don’t read this book.
But I can’t always rely on reviews to let me know what’s good out there. I need recommendations from someone who knows me. Someone named Amazon. I can get to the Amazon.com storefront with a few quick clicks, and one more click brings up a list of recommended books based on books that I’ve purchased or put on my Wish List. Can Kendall do that? It sounds like she can identify things that you’ve told her you like, but can she extrapolate that data using a complex algorithm and tell you that you might be interested in reading A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons? I didn’t think so.
That’s just the start of it. Say you’re sitting on your couch with Kendall by your side, and you tell her that you’re interested in reading Nam Le’s new short story collection, The Boat. If I told that to the Kindle and offered it a small pittance of $9.99 (two gallons of gas), I’d have The Boat in my hands within 30 seconds. Can Kendall do that? When you asked her for the Wii, you had to wait all night while she waited in line at Best Buy before you had your prize. All night! By that time the Wii was probably obsolete. But 30 seconds…30 seconds was all it took for my Kindle to race across the Internets to retrieve my book.
Good try, but Kindle is the clear choice for Round 1.