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I wanted to open this thread because I believe that this is an important subject.
In order to keep your attention, I will get to the point - Kindles are good for people with Asthma.
I don't have it and had no clue.
I was riding on the WashDC Metrorail commuting home last night and had a discussion with a family of tourists.  Now I know that some of you are going to say that this sounds like it belongs on the thread about demo'ing our K2s to others.  But it just starts there.
My seat mate was a young woman with her perhaps 7 year-old daughter on her lap (the train was crowded) and Dad and son were standing.  They noticed the K2 and asked about it, so of course I was off to the races and told them about its many features and how much I liked it.  The little girl said in a very happy voice something like "Oh how nice, it would be perfect for me".  Well I felt the immediate need to explain that it was not a toy (I did NOT say that).  But I did say that it was expensive - $350.00.  And that it was really only justified for heavy readers.
Well, they explained that the little girl has Asthma.  Like many children with it she limits her physical and outside activities, so she reads a lot.  AND......wait for it.......when she opens a book she almost immediately starts to cough.  Especially library books.  Wow.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  It never occured to me. 
So here is a little girl for whom this device would not be too expensive at all.  In fact when you think about it, it is cheap.  And it has the chance to change/enhance her life. 
Again I say WOW.
I just had to share this with you here at KB and to suggest that we might even get on a mission to make sure that people that have Asthma are told about this.  I am going to look into demoing mine at any official gatherings of such people/families.
What are your experiences/thoughts??

 

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That is a "Wow" Geoff. . . . .I don't have any allergies or respiratory issues so it never would have occurred to me.  But, yes, the folks who love the smell of old books probably forget that the smell is from mold, mildew, dust, etc. and could be a real problem for folks with asthma or a related issue.  Seems like maybe you made a sale!

Ann
 

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Wow.  That hadn't occurred to me either...  I guess the dust in library books could trigger an attack.  Another very good reason for Amazon to make a hard-plastic sturdy version of the Kindle just for kids!!  

Come to think of it, I wonder how many *adults* don't read because they're sensitive to dust (or whatever the trigger in books is).  
 

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Great reminder! I have pretty severe allergies and old books can cause me to have breathing problems, I even have to take a pill before I go into my favorite used bookstore! I can imagine how wonderful this device would be for someone with asthma! I will make sure to pass on the info!
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
That is a "Wow" Geoff. . . . .I don't have any allergies or respiratory issues so it never would have occurred to me. But, yes, the folks who love the smell of old books probably forget that the smell is from mold, mildew, dust, etc. and could be a real problem for folks with asthma or a related issue. Seems like maybe you made a sale!

Ann
Don't forget book mites!
 

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As a mom who raised a child with severe asthma, this story touched my heart.  It just goes to show you that when we feel like we know the circumstances of a family or a person, we really don't.  Geoff, you couldn't have known about that child's asthma, yet you took the time to talk with this family at length and perhaps enlighten them to a way of allowing their child to read without the onset of the coughing and wheezing associated with books.  Bless you for that.
 

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While there are lots of people who love "the smell" of books, there are just as many for whom "the smell" will trigger an asthma or allergy attack. This was posted a lot over on Amazon....how people were able to read again because the Kindle is non-allergenic. I didn't realize, at the time, just how widespread this problem is.

Great story, Geoff!

L
 

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I can't wait to take mine to my son's allergy appt next week to show his doctor.
I'm starting to get some children's books on mine to read with my son.

So nice of you to take the time to show them a way to help their daughter :) 
 

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I have one friend with eye problems, and she did get a kindle because of the font situation.  I have another friend with very severe problems in one eye, and cannot get her to get one, and she loves to read.

I love bookstores and libraries, but the  aroma within affects me and it is difficult for me to stay in long, even the coffee area.  I had thought about the kindle helping me keep out of those places, now I know there is a viable reason.
 

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Thank you for bringing up the variable font feature.  You know I had always (selfishly) thought of this only in relation to making it easier to read without my glasses.  I completely missed that there are those who NEED really big fonts or who need to be able to switch back and forth - for medical reasons. 
The Kindle really is a NEAT device.
 

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Definitely WOW! I too have asthma but not that severe thank god. It's true though that the Kindle opens new doors to people with disabilities/illnesses.
 

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My father would have loved the Kindle because he was allergic to the ink in newspapers but he read it every day - he had to put it in the oven first to be able to read --

and both my parents would have loved it because of the changing the size of the fonts also ..
 

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Harvey said:
Geoff, thanks for sharing that story. I'm touched.

I put it on today's blog - http://www.kboards.com/blog/2009/04/a-kindle-story-riding-the-dc-metrorail/
Harvey, that was my second thought, it would be a great blog entry! First thought was how great that Geoff took the time to talk to these people.

It would be great if there could be a "scholarship" through Amazon for Kindles so that people with special medical needs could document it and get a Kindle for a slightly reduced price....

Betsy
 

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Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that story with us. I'm sure those parents went directly home and ordered that little one a Kindle of her very own. It will surly enhance her quality of life being able to read without her allergies flaring up. I don't know why I never thought of the benefits of owning a kindle for the allergy sufferer, but it never occurred me.
 

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I have had asthma since I was a child. I still have to use an inhaler 2 times a day. I also am allergic to mold, dust and just about anything airborne. After hearing this, I started thinking about it and realized that I was getting less headaches and less breathing problems at night. Since I have to read every night before I go to sleep, I can see that this is another nice benefit of the Kindle.

Unfortunately, asthma runs in my family and 2 of my grandsons have it. One is going to be 11 in September and I have been thinking about giving him my KK and buying the K2 for myself. He is a big reader and now I have an even better reason for passing it on to him. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
 
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