Amazon showed off the new version of its e-book reader, the Kindle, to the public today. It’s slimmer and prettier and it offers at least one improvement in terms of accessibility. The Kindle 2 includes a text-to-speech function that should be of use to people with visual impairments. But it still doesn’t offer any kind of hands-free access, which means that I will continue to purchase boring old paper-based books for the foreseeable future. I’m not expecting Amazon to get into the adaptive hardware business, but how about meeting me halfway: give me the ability to download e-books from the Amazon website and read them on my computer. At a time when I can easily purchase music, movies, and TV shows from any number of vendors, it’s a bit frustrating not to have the same option for books.