The fire has gone out of my Kindle. Its death was announced by random horizontal and vertical lines across the screen, with sections of the screen that would not refresh.
The same thing happened to my wife nearly a year ago. At the time, her Kindle was still under warranty, so Amazon promptly sent her a new one. I have no such luck.
Since it is no longer under warranty, I figured I'd open up the back and see what it had going on inside. That big white brick is the battery. No wonder it got such nice battery life. It looks like it is upside down, but in fact I am holding the device right side up. The positioning is odd. If they were to move it toward the bottom, the Kindle would be less top heavy, and would "feel" lighter to the reader. Perhaps this is different in the new models.
I've enjoyed my Kindle plenty, and the new models are even nicer. So, I am happily buying another. But when you consider the cost of replacing the hardware every few years, Kindles do not make book reading less expensive. They just make it more convenient.