Monday, August 03, 2009

Your thoughts on the KINDLE are sought

I'm sure you have seen, heard of or tried Amazon's kindle reader. It's a device that permits you to download books to a portable reader and ... umm read them there. There's several advantages to this: One thing is that you can carry quite a few 'books' with you on the one device, so for those frequent travellers among us, that's a truly neat thing. There also seems to be a slightly less wasteful production process (no books are being printed, paper wasted, ink produced etc - on the other hand, you need to produce another digital product that's likely filling up the landfills in African and other developing countries within a few years).

What annoys me about this piece is that (at least until very recently) Amazon could remotely delete content from the device, that its format is proprietory (ie you have to download from amazon), that its readability is questionable (particularly when there's bright sunshine) and importantly that you save only pennies on the price of a printed volume. The latter is particularly odd, given that the cost of printing a book are much much more substantial than the cost of sending a file to someone.

What are your views on the kindle??


  1. If you think that books are simply information mines, then this seems to be fine. But that's not what I want from a book - not everything, anyway. Books are also aesthetic objects; they're there to be held, to have their spines cracked and their covers creased, to be written on if they demand it, to be bookmarked with train tickets that fall out when you re-read them seven years later, to fill the shelves that make a house worth living in, to be loved.

    Loving a Kindle is loving a pocket calculator.

  2. Its format is propritery, but you do not have to download from amazon. The kindle can read mobipocket (which amazon owns ) but is used by many ebook publishers (eg Bean books).
    It will also read plain text & a free mobipocket converter is avalable.

    However the kindle will only use one type of DRM - the one from Amazon, so any others distributers drmed books are locked out.
    Reading in bright sun light is fine - its e-paper screen works best with bright light. It has no back lighting so reading in the dark is not possible.
    Prices are set by publishers who seem to be doing as much as possible to hinder e-book sales, including setting e-book proces as high as possible. That said the prices at amazon are dollars not pennys diffrent.
    A lot of books out of copyright are available on the web for free.


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