No Time to Read? Try the New Kindle Spark

I love my classic Kindle; its convenience and simplicity make it the perfect entry-level e-reader. But let’s face it — the Kindle has limitations. With my busy lifestyle, I need a device that does more than simply facilitate the reading of books. That’s why I was so excited to hear about the new Kindle Spark.

The new Kindle Spark

The Spark is the newest member of the Kindle Fire product line; like the Fire, it features a color touchscreen that provides access to books, magazines, movies, videos, games, and other apps. But the Spark has one feature that sets it apart from all other e-readers: summaries on demand. Traditional e-readers download books for you to read; the Kindle Spark downloads books, reads them, and describes them to you. The Spark can summarize any content instantly, using proprietary on-the-fly summarization technology designed by SparkNotes in partnership with Amazon.com (leaked internal documents show that Amazon chose SparkNotes over CliffsNotes because “Kindle Spark is a much better name than Kindle Cliff“).  Here are some common scenarios in which the Kindle Spark really shines:

  • You enjoy the first hundred or so pages of Atlas Shrugged, but as you read further, you find the characters increasingly difficult to relate to and the speechifying somewhat tedious. Just hit the “Summarize” button to see how the story turns out.
  • You decide to watch The Seven Samurai because you’ve heard it’s a cinematic masterpiece — but after 10-15 minutes of white subtitles against an almost-white background, you decide you just can’t take three more hours of this. Hit “Summarize”, and the Kindle Spark will instantly convert the film into a movie trailer of whatever duration you want (90 seconds if you don’t specify a length).
  • You want to keep up with your friends, but you just don’t have the time. Bring up the Facebook app, hit “summarize”, and the Kindle Spark will produce a report similar to this one:
    Photos Stories Links
    Children 3 5 0
    Pets (including Internet cats) 8 1 6
    Vacation 15 3 0
    Politics (including political comics) 0 1 4
    Comics (non-political) 0 0 6
    Non-sequiturs that may or may not be song lyrics 0 9 0
    Food 3 3 0
  • You don’t want your friends to know that you get all your news from the tabloid headlines you read while waiting in line at the supermarket. Subscribe to as many newspapers and magazines as you want, then hit “Summarize” to receive a highly-condensed version of each periodical as it’s published. A planned software upgrade will include the option to post 1-3 summaries of randomly selected articles to your blog, Facebook, or Twitter account each day. Each summary will include a reference to the original periodical (“Just saw this on The Economist today”) and a link to the original article.

At $219, the Kindle Spark isn’t exactly a stocking stuffer, but it does make a great gift for someone who loves to read but never seems to find the time to actually read anything.

Need more last-minute gift ideas? For the cat-lover on your list, consider the CatSofa or the Squeaker 3000 Robotic Toy Mouse.

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Posted in Humor
17 comments on “No Time to Read? Try the New Kindle Spark
  1. nursemyra says:

    Atlas isn’t the only one who shrugged….

  2. El Guapo says:

    I’d have thought there would be higher numbers for “Internet Cats” on the facebook summary.
    Are you sure that thing is working right?

  3. So I can use the Kindle Spark summary to say that I’ve read more books than I actually have and appear smarter? I want one.

  4. It’s a cheat sheet! Wow – who would have thought?

  5. denise:) says:

    Well, you blew it. You shouldn’t have posted this, you should have patented this idea.
    Imagine the possibilities! Text books!! You’d have made millions, bought a mansion and had an LOL cat in every room.
    Now you’ll just be stuck with us 99%’ers.

  6. But will it make me a sandwich?
    :)

  7. The “summarize” feature reminds me of those short videos with the fast-talking lady who explains the entire plot of “Lost” at the beginning of each season.

    I have an original CatChair and didn’t even know it. I should probably take it to the folks at “Antiques Roadshow” and get it appraised.

  8. Binky says:

    I need one of these to not only summarize my life, but to go on all those social network sites and blogs and things and leave comments and likes and things like that so I don’t have to waste my time doing it personally. Not including your blog (INSERT TITLE HERE), which I absolutely adore.

  9. Erica says:

    Are you sure there just isn’t an upgrade pack that I can get for my first-gen, circa 2008, $359 Kindle Pyre?

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