No, not the use of books as kindling. We're not quite there yet.
I have this Kindle gadget I bought after Christmas and have read this and this and this and this and am currently reading this. So far, no recharge. The battery still shows half charge. So my initial worry that I might run out of battery before finishing a book is definitely unfounded. Recharging just means plugging it in to USB and since most of my work involves computers all day, that's no hardship.
The screen... isn't. It's not a TV or computer screen. You will never play games on this. The refresh rate... there isn't one. It uses power to change but once changed it can stay changed forever with no further power. So leaving the thing on 'sleep' which puts up a picture, or on 'off' which gives a blank screen, makes no difference at all. If the book is a Kindle book you can change the text size. It will show PDF files but if they are not sized for the screen, it's not good. You can zoom in bit by bit but unlike actual Kindle files, PDF files won't reformat to cope with magnification.
The good part - many books are free, especially old classics like Sherlock Holmes or Dracula or Frankenstein and many many others. Books are in general much cheaper than buying paper versions. No postage, and the book arrives in a minute or less. No hoping to catch the postman.
There is also the matter of space and weight. Unlike bookshelves, no matter how many books you put into this thing it doesn't get heavier or bigger. If you lose it, Amazon can remotely disable it. All the books you bought can be re-downloaded from the Amazon site when you get a replacement.
The bad part - if all books ever go over to this format, one solar flare will erase all human history. Politicians will be delighted because in their stupidity, they believe that they can erase historical lessons by pretending they never happened. It never works, it just means that the same junk happens all over again.
A potentially sinister aspect is that the files could be remotely altered, so a real-life Winston Smith can change those newspapers you downloaded and kept even while you're reading them. Well, unless you burn them to CD and only read them with the Kindle wireless turned off. Winston can always be thwarted.
So what's next for my pocket library?
If you want a good book, ask a librarian. If he's called Conan, argue not, just do it or he'll speak Latin at you until you bring him a shrubbery. Conan's brother has books available on Kindle too. Soon, so will I.
Bottom line - I like this gadget. I can carry a whole lot of books around with me in this little machine and with a battery life measured in weeks, I don't have to be too concerned about recharging. For me, it won't completely replace paper books but when it comes to travelling, it's a lot easier than carrying a selection of weighty tomes around. The low prices of electronic books and the instant delivery mean I'm more willing to take a risk on one I might have left on a shelf.
If you already have an iPhone or similar gadgetry, you can download a free Kindle program for it and get a lot of the classic books for free. I don't have an iPhone and don't want one - I don't even want a camera in my phone but even the cheap ones have those now - and the screen might be a little on the small side for old eyes to read for long. The Kindle screen is paperback book sized, which is just right.
So, a successful gadget purchase, I think.