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Amazon’s people say, and rightly, that there’s plenty of interactivity built into the device. But the ability to key in, locate and turn to a specific reference in a text would go far beyond just the Bible. If you’re an antiques collector, the Kindle 2 would be a great way to tote around a Kovel guide at a flea market. If you’re a tourist, the same would apply for a Fodor’s or Frommer’s.

So having good search and find is helpful, but the search function has to be “great” here. My suggestion, not that Amazon is asking: find a top publisher in each major reference category, develop a super-capable search version of a key book, and have at it. The reward might well exceed the effort and expense.

Much has been said about the new text-to-speech capabilities of the Kindle 2: Click a menu option and it will begin “reading” to you and advancing pages along the way. The sound is good enough, but in no way does it resemble an audio book. I’d rather have actor Jim Dale read a “Harry Potter” book than the Kindle 2, if I’m looking for a good dramatic reading.

I’m a fan of Amazon’s Kindle 2, and I want to be more of one. The unit is small and handy and easy to carry. The recharging system is USB-based, which is wise. Jut a few more tweaks - and someday when screen technology and battery life allow, a color screen - and we’ll be in heaven.

Now, how do I get Ann Coulter to autograph my Kindle copy of “Guilty”?

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