Japan’s Earthquake and the Kindle


I was really touched by a story about a survivor of Japan’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake. Monday morning — just after midnight — a new voice appeared in Amazon’s online discussion forum for the Kindle. “I just wanted to thank Amazon,” wrote a Virginia man named Christopher Roberts, “for including 3G in the Kindle.”

“I was in Japan during the huge 8.9 earthquake. It was an extremely scary situation – all power, land lines, and cell phone voice calls went down completely.

“The only communication with the outside world was my wife’s Kindle that had a 3G signal. I was able to slowly login in to Gmail and send an email to my family that I was okay.

“It was incredible that the only thing that worked was my Kindle. Thank you Amazon – It was definitely a life saver.”

There was a lot of bad news in the world this weekend, so it’s nice to take a moment to feel grateful for those who made it through safely.

The best thing about technology is that it connects us to other people. It can be the voice of the author who wrote an ebook, or it can be an e-mail from a friend we haven’t seen in a while. It can be an unexpected message telling us that someone survived a natural disaster, and even the story of a stranger can feel inspiring and touching.

Amazon understands this, I think, because they’ve collected together some of the most touching stories from Kindle users on their Facebook page for the Kindle. Even though I don’t know these Kindle owners, I still find their stories give me a positive feeling. It almost makes it feel like we’re all part of a movement – and each little story is one more step towards a future where ordinary anonymous individuals face their day-to-day lives with a Kindle.

For example…

“I am now a new mother, and I find myself especially grateful to be able to read my Kindle while I hold my two-month-old daughter. I can hold the Kindle and turn the pages with one hand, which I cannot do with paper books or magazines. When she is fussy and insists upon being held while she sleeps, I am not limited to watching bad daytime TV. Instead, I can hold her and read books on my Kindle!”

It’s these quiet moments that make me feel like the Kindle is slowly but surely becoming a part of our lives. And there were two more comments that seemed almost remarkable just for capturing two more honest moments of enthusiasm.

“Michigan winters suck,” wrote Arvis F, “if you are no longer a skier. There’s no getting around that. Nonetheless, with my Kindle I am making it through these cold days of limited daylight far better than in the past. Thank you for making such a fine piece of equipment.”

But my favorite comment of all came from a woman named Lauren P.

“I used to resent that my husband watched basketball in the evenings – then I got my Kindle! Now I wish basketball had double-headers!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *