Listening to the Kindle

I’ve had a Kindle DX for a few weeks now. I’ve been using it as I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland to my daughter. I haven’t yet used the Kindle to buy any books, but I’ve stuffed it with out-of-copyright classics and academic PDFs.

It takes maybe 5-10 minutes to set up the text files, break them into
chapters, and set my text-to-speech program to generate the MP3s. 
Depending on how long the text is, it might take 20 minutes for the
MP3s to generate, but there’s always something to do while I’m waiting.

Over the past couple of years, I’d gotten rather accustomed to using Text Aloud’s file splitter utility to break a long e-text into separate chapter files, converting each chapter in to a separate MP3, and setting my voice recorder to require me to push “play” to start a new file.  I lie there in bed, with my finger over the “play” button, like a train engineer with his hand on the dead man switch. When I fall asleep, the recorder doesn’t go on to the next chapter, so when I wake up in the morning I can jump back to the previous chapter, and in between snooze alarms, fast-forward to the last part I remember.

The Kindle has a very useful text-to-speech option, and in the past few
weeks I’ve used it to listen to The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Carol,
both of which I’ve read several times the conventional way.  I’m
teaching them as light after-Thanksgiving books in two different
classes, and I’ve found that listening to a familiar text forces me to
think about it in a different way.

But when I fall asleep listening to an e-Book on the Kindle, I wake up the next morning and the Kindle has advanced chapter-by-chapter all the way to the end of the book. It only takes a few minutes to find the table of contents and figure out what was the last chapter I remember before dozing off.  It’s not a big complaint, but it is something I’d like to be able to control.