The Last Lecture on a Kindle

June 18, 2008

If you are an avid reader, you might want to try a kindle. You may be like me and love the written page. You may even say “There is no way I will ever convert to an electronic book.” For me the move was much easier – I am what they call an early adopter. I love technology. To me the kindle solves many problems for a person who devours books. The largest problem is in our bedroom the floor has stacks of books and my night stand looks more like a library designed by a person with ADD. The kindle does a great job of changing atoms to electrons. It was incredibly easy to download a book. This is a very straight forward intuitive device. It is easy on the eyes, but not on the wallet. Although, given my love of books, it will not take long to make up for the cost of the device because the books all sell for about $10 with no shipping charges. If you are ecologically minded, changing your reading habit to that of electrons will sure save a lot of trees. Over all I am very satisfied with my new tool/toy/instrument/educational device.

I just finished my first “book” on the Kindle on a flight back from North Carolina (another big benefit, I no longer have to decide which book to bring on the trip with me – I get to bring them all). The book was the The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a professor from Carnegie Mellon University who is dying of cancer. It was a very appropriate book given that he spent his life teaching others about technology, he even spent time on a sabbatical fulfilling his dream of becoming an Imagineer at Disney.

The video below is his actual last lecture he gave at the University. It is a time honored tradition that a professor who is leaving the school has an opportunity to give his parting words. What makes this one so meaningful is that his leaving is not about retirement, it is about leaving his family and the world he loves behind. It is both touching and practical. He provides us advice on what he has learned in his 47 years rotating around the sun and what it means to him to live a “good life.” It is a message to his children, one of which is only 18 months old and will likely not remember him at all. This was his legacy that he could leave his family. The book is a sequel to the last lecture and the things he wanted to include and did not have time for given the constraints around his speech. In some ways I am reminded of the book Tuesdays with Morrie. Although this is not as much about dying as it is about living. A short read with a couple really good reminders of what is important.

The Last lecture is about one and a quarter hours and it will be worth your time and elevate the life you’re living by watching it. So far well over two million people have watched it.

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