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Today, it is all about the Kindle. TechCrunch gave it a triple posting yesterday, and then again over at CrunchGear, and I can understand what all the hype is about – but I really don’t care. Perhaps it is all a little bit too ‘Minority Report’ for me, or perhaps I am more old fashioned that I thought I was – I never want one of these.

I like books. Right now I am getting through a paperback a week, and it’s not just the act of reading that gives me pleasure, but I like to own the books too. I like having books all over my apartment, on the coffee table, lining the walls and piled up on my end table. I don’t like the thought of having all my books PDF’d and stored on various hard drives and servers. I like to sit at the back of a bus on a park bench and turn the pages of my favorite novel and soak up the literature.

So far, feedback on the Amazon page (http://amazon.com/kindle) is mixed, it has a 2.5 rating after 300+ reviews, and beta testers seem to love it. $400 is a bit steep though, and the must haves of the digital age come with a hefty price tag. Add up the cost of the cellphone, mp3 player, camera and now the ebook reader, and you’d probably want to get in touch with an insurance broker.

To top it all off, I am not the only one that thinks it is as ugly as hell!  Was the design inspired by the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?

Maybe the kindle will be the next ipod (crap product, great marketing?), or perhaps it will disappear like the mini disc, time will tell.

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6 Comments

  1. Weird. I guess it makes sense… But on the other hand it doesn’t – why can’t my PDA do the same?

  2. The one thing I wont agree with you on is the “culture” of books being an obstacle to all digital e-reading. Every era of technology has its fans of its “culture”. The “feel” of books, the “charm” of radio drama. It always comes and goes, and is never a real factor in the movement of technolocial use.

  3. I agree with you on some of your statements. It is ugly for sure, $400 is a hefty price tag for a B&W screen – yes, maybe it’s easier on the eyes, but $400 can get a cheap laptop to read on.

    But I would rather buy the ebooks for ~$10, than the more $25+ hardcopy. They are more convinent when it comes to moving them and traveling with them.

    Also, I believe that you have your ‘ebook copy’ forever once you purchase it… it’s tied to your account so if you delete it, you can download it again – just like buying a hardcopy.

    If Amazon plays this well and fixes all the issues that people are complaining about, it think it can be the next iPod…

  4. Just what the world doesn’t need: Yet another proprietary ebook format. And yet more DRM. Ludicrous price. Most people, like me, resent being locked into a monopoly provider and having all choice (other than what book you want to buy) taken away.

    Sure, there are Amazon fans who will buy whatever is on offer without question, but not enough to prevent this being a monumental flop.

    I wouldn’t buy one of these for the same reason I won’t use Windows Vista. I’m sick of being dictated to by greedy monopolies.

  5. It is ugly.
    It takes six weeks to get one coz Amazon didn’t bother to set up their production right.
    It takes four weeks and counting to get a replacement power adaptor.
    It really needs a backlight for dim lighting situations.
    The scroll mouse thingie sucks.
    The keyboard sucks.
    Black and white sucks for anything other than text.
    It doesn’t have a page magnifier bit of software so some diagrams are unreadable. Changing font size (whole book) does not help.

    It is a great idea but a very amateur all around implementation. Don’t buy it until they do a LOT better.

  6. How many of you live in major cities. I live in NYC and it is very bad for your hearing to listen to music on the trains (as one tends to play it to overcome the already damaging levels of noise generated by the subway trains.) I am a music lover, but I dont want to be deaf in another 5 years. I also like the news. If you have ever been on a train in rush hour in NYC- it is very hard to read a paper… it is barely possible to get on a train sometimes. Those of you who purchased this product thinking it would be perfect out of the gate are morons… if you know anything about technology, it is never perfect at first release.

    cheers


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