Why spend $400 on books when you can spend $400 on a device that reads books? It's a question you've asked yourself, never. But the answer is the Amazon Kindle.
I just found about this recently, because I spend most of my time playing MarioKart online and reenacting scenes from Dune at the beach. But apparently, this is an iPod for books. It combines the joy of reading off a screen with the thrill of carrying yet another gadget in your pocket you need to update every two years. Hooray!
One of the unique features of the Kindle is text-to-speech, for those of you that like to read, but hate all that "reading" business. So you can hear The Brothers Karamazov, David Copperfield and Say Cheese or Die read to you in a spirited Stephen Hawking voice. Is there an option to pick a celebrity voice? I've always wanted to hear Lolita read by Christopher Walken.
But all of these questions are moot, because the "text-to-speech" option will now only function on a per-title basis. Authors, it seems, are not too happy about their work being read by electronic voices on enormous Chiclets for yuppies. So the Author's Guild has protested, bombing Amazon with spoonerisms and indefinite articles, and Amazon has caved. (The ghost of John Updike probably put them over the edge.)
Since we are in the Future, can we just skip to the part with the flying cars and pills-for-food?