Dear the Kindle,

I bought an eReader from your Amazon site just over a month ago and until last week I was very happy with my purchase. I found the e-ink screen soothing to my eyes compared to reading off a computer or mobile screen.  Plus, being an impatient man only having to wait a minute or two for a book rather than several days was a massive contributing factor to forking over the cash.

However, I’ve recently had quite a serious issue with my Kindle and it has completely ruined my enjoyment, and not to mention purpose, of the eReader.  Please allow me to explain.

There I was, at home in my study, fifth night in a row trying to get past the forty fourth page of Brian Cox’s ‘Why Does E=MC2?’ My mind kept getting distracted by things slightly less complicated. Cox would crap on about the train thought experiment again and my mind would wander; stress equations on hydroelectric dams, repackaging electrical gadgets back in their boxes so there’s no lumps or random plastic bags sticking out, Syria, anything which required less mental agility than Cox’s book to understand.

In the end I admitted defeat and with a grand theatrical sigh tilted my head back, letting the slim Kindle rest on my elegantly muscled thighs. The concept of the human soul, programming a Linux kernel, Basque, I continued to wind down with easier to digest concepts until my mind was back to a restful state.

I picked the Kindle back up again, banishing Cox’s book from the screen, blowing a raspberry at the foppish haired physicist. I started fiddling with the reader’s menu and settings, flipping through the options and controls at random, living like the on-the-edge wild badass I am.

After five minutes of clicking I came across a screen I hadn’t seen before. There was only one thing on it, just a single line that said ‘Old School.’

Here’s a picture of the Kindle next to a newspaper with today’s date on it, in case you don’t believe me.

Well, as I said before I’m a badass, so I decided to click it. The next thing I know a sound like white static filled the air and something connected with my delicately proportioned nose.

I’m not sure how many hours passed before I woke up, but the light outside was fading. Dazed, I looked around at the ominous shadows surrounding me. I tried to sit up and found that it was a struggle to move. In full mental control of myself I started screaming and flapping my hands, to little effect. After several minutes of machismo squealing and squirming I managed to free myself from the floor.

Valiantly I scrabbled into the corner of the room, trying to catch my breath. In the gloaming I could see a strange mound in the middle of my study, a dark looming shadow that inferred the sort of infinite terror that only a human imagination could muster. Very carefully I stood up, sprinted, hands in full flap, past the mound and slapped the light on.

It turned out the malevolent mound in the middle of the room was a large pile of books, books that I recognised, books that had previously been on my Kindle. Lying astride dead-tree mountain was the eReader, a low fizzling noise coming from the gadget as it cooled down.

Now I live in a modest modern flat, where modern means the designers didn’t even acknowledge the concept of storage space, let alone make any provisions for it. But, all because I pushed one little button I was back to where I had been just a month before, buried in a tomb of tomes.

I reached over to the eReader, stumbling and slipping over small hillocks of Tom Sharpe, Carl Sagan and Douglas Adams. I grabbed the Kindle, surprised at how warm the screen was, and with trepidation I clicked away on the D-Pad, navigating to the library list. To my horror there was nothing there, everything that had been stored inside the gizmo now littered my floor. Even the musty paper smell had re-emerged, filling the room with the whiff of pretentious pseudo-intelligence, much like this sentence.

I had to get rid of the books at the local charity shop, again, and re-download my collection. But before I did so I decided to test this ‘Old School’ setting once more, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I have attached a photo of said test to visibly demonstrate the issues I’ve had.

Kindle Book 'splosion 1

Please get back to me and explain why exactly you decided including such a feature in your software was a good idea.

Much Love,
Neville Haley


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