I heard about a month ago that Amazon was beta-testing their new software for the Kindle (Kindle 2.5), and waited eagerly for the wireless gift to appear on my Home screen.
It happened in Greece.
After a long day of hiking the Theran acropolis on Santorini, I picked up Mr. Linus to find strange dotted lines appearing under random passages in Justin Cronin’s The Passage with comments like “5 highlighters” or (as the book, which was already #6 on the Amazon bestseller list at the time I purchased it, grew more popular) “22 highlighters.” With mounting excitement, I realized that this was the new Popular Highlights feature, which shared the most-saved passages of the Amazon Hive Mind. Additionally, I could group my books into “Collections,” folders by genre or subgenre (it took a while for me to finally organize into Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Slipstream). But best of all was the social networking feature, which uses Kindle’s global wireless to share notes and highlights from a book straight to Facebook or Twitter. All of which meant, a tad ironically, I could share notes from the bus but only got on a computer twice the entire trip.
So in honor of Kindle 2.5, here’s a passage from The Passage I posted–one that reminded me of those 6 hours crossing the Peloponnesus on the bus when ginseng tablets didn’t exactly work the wonders they’d promised: