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Kindle and other E-readers


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#1 Christian

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 12:08 PM

I'm intrigued, but honestly, the thing looks a little unwieldy:

Rather than try to “outbook” the bound book, Bezos said, Amazon designed Kindle with the e-book’s strengths in mind.

It is thinner than most paperbacks and weighs 10.3 ounces. Yet it can hold some 200 books, along with newspapers, magazines and an entire dictionary.

Readers can buy and download books directly to the Kindle - without a PC - through Sprint Nextel Corp.’s high-speed EV-DO cellular network without fees or contract commitments. They also can take notes on what they read and store them on Amazon’s servers.


So if you're out of range of cellphones, as I was while on vacation in Maine, you can't read?

I like the concept of Kindle and Sony's e-reader, but I'm just not on board with e-reading ... yet.

#2 opus

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 12:26 PM

John Gruber weighs in...

QUOTE
So the Kindle proposition is this: You pay for downloadable books that can't be printed, can't be shared, and can't be displayed on any device other than Amazon's own $400 reader -- and whether they're readable at all in the future is solely at Amazon's discretion. That's no way to build a library.


#3 Christian

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 12:30 PM

Hey, Amazon's never dun me no wrong. I bow to its supeiority and generosity (free shipping!).

I'm also easy to please, generally -- and easy to take advantage of.

#4 opus

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 12:45 PM

Kind of cheeky... The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts).

#5 Jason Panella

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 01:37 PM

I was playing Ticket to Ride with some friends last night at the local coffee shop and one of the mentioned this. She and her mother just--out of the blue--started a book business a few months ago, and have since gained around 10000 books from various sources. They're doing well selling them (mostly on Amazon and Half.com); she makes more in a day than she did in a week at her last job as a part-time secretary.

She probably brought it up partially because of that dread that seeps in when you realize your livelihood is possibly threatened, but we both agreed--we love the feel/smell of books in our hands! And on our shelves....

But then, I'm sure some guys hundreds of years ago said things like, "I love the smell and feel of SCROLLS in my hand! Damn this newfangled book," or "I don't think those scrolls will ever take the place of these wonderful stone tablets I've etched upon...."

#6 Christian

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:00 PM

This blog rounds up a few early reactions.

#7 David Smedberg

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:51 PM

Two of the key things which are attractive about the Kindle for me, in contrast to both ordinary dead-tree books and the Sony Reader, are the ability to search within a book to quickly find information and the ability to easily interlink (especially useful in an index or table of contents).

I dearly wish I could afford one. Maybe I'll need one after I graduate in May, when I don't have access to the excellent Washington Research Library Consortium anymore.

#8 Christian

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 03:53 PM

QUOTE (David Smedberg @ Nov 26 2007, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dearly wish I could afford one.


You're not alone, David. Salon.com:

I've been using Amazon's Kindle e-book reader for about a week now, and I like it quite a bit. Here is a truly novel gadget, a device that delivers a fantastic service -- thousands of books anywhere, on the go -- in a pleasant, mostly hassle-free package.

If you're on the fence about the utility of an e-book reader -- if you doubt that reading e-books can match the experience of reading "real" books -- a few hours with the Kindle will do much to change your mind.

Still, there's a great deal Amazon could improve on. Its $400 price tag, its zany user interface, and some of its sillier restrictions make the Kindle a non-starter for all but the travelingest, readingest early adopters.

But before we get to the cons, let me dig into what Amazon got right: ...


Watch a brief online ad, and you can read the rest of the story.



#9 David Smedberg

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 07:51 PM

I share a lot of that reviewer's concerns. I would never subscribe to a newspaper using the Kindle - going online just seems so much easier, and the paper version also has the advantage that it comes in different sections so you can do the classic "you get the front page, I'll take the book reviews, and little brother gets the comics page" deal. (Oh wait, there aren't any comics with the Kindle version anyway! Forget that . . . wink.gif ).

But that doesn't hold a bookworm like me back from wanting the Kindle just for book's sake. I read a LOT.

I'm sure they'll implement an option to rent full books (either for free or for a reduced cost) at some point in the future, and that would really push my somewhat-interested into full I-must-have-this.

Edited by David Smedberg, 28 November 2007 - 07:52 PM.


#10 Christian

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:47 PM

Clive Crook is somewhat impressed.

#11 Christian

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:41 PM

Megan McCardle loves her Kindle, and the commenters share their likes and dislikes.

I'm beginning to think I'll own a Kindle before I ever purchase an iPod.

#12 theoddone33

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:17 AM

QUOTE (Christian @ May 7 2008, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Megan McCardle loves her Kindle, and the commenters share their likes and dislikes.

I'm beginning to think I'll own a Kindle before I ever purchase an iPod.


Sounds nice. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle for a while now. To be honest, if it was backlit I would have gotten one when they were first released... but that single thing has really put me off.

#13 Christian

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:47 PM

Wow!

Initial skepticism about Amazon's Kindle is being replaced by euphoria: Citi's Mark Mahaney, who was already bullish on the e-book reader, declares that is indeed going to be Amazon's iPod.

In practical terms, that means that Mahaney has gone back and revisited his original estimates from this spring. He now thinks Amazon (AMZN) will sell 378,000 units this year, double his initial guess. And he thinks instead of being a $750 million business that accounts for 3% of the company's sales next year, the Kindle will be a $1.1 billion business that accounts for 4%.


EDIT: Hmmm... Just read it and see that there are a number of big assumptions in this projection.

Edited by Christian, 13 August 2008 - 02:53 PM.


#14 Christian

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 04:38 PM

E-Books Start to Take Hold

The $359 Kindle, which is slim, white and about the size of a trade paperback, was introduced a year ago. Although Amazon will not disclose sales figures, the Kindle has at least lived up to its name by creating broad interest in electronic books. Now it is out of stock and unavailable until February. Analysts credit Oprah Winfrey, who praised the Kindle on her show in October, and blame Amazon for poor holiday planning.

The shortage is providing an opening for Sony, which embarked on an intense publicity campaign for its Reader device during the gift-buying season. The stepped-up competition may represent a coming of age for the entire idea of reading longer texts on a portable digital device. ...

So far, publishers like HarperCollins, Random House and Simon & Schuster say that sales of e-books for any device — including simple laptop downloads — constitute less than 1 percent of total book sales. But there are signs of momentum. The publishers say sales of e-books have tripled or quadrupled in the last year.


Last year I thought about adding an iPod to my Christmas list, and got around to that THIS year, although I doubt I'm going to get one. Maybe next year I'll ask for a Kindle, although I have even less justification for picking up a Kindle than I do for asking for an iPod.


#15 Christian

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:30 AM

The Kindle 2.

#16 BethR

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:24 PM

My blog on Kindle 2 vs. real books.

Nardis, I'll be interested to hear how your mother gets along with the device. I know someone who has had the first gen. model for about a year and liked it pretty well, particularly for travel convenience.

#17 David Smedberg

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:50 PM

My hope is that now that ver. 2 is out, ver. 1 one will plummet in price to below $150. Then maybe I can contemplate getting one.

#18 Christian

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 08:37 AM

Tyler Cowen:

Old People Love Kindle

So many users said they like Kindle because they suffer from some form of arthritis that multiple posters indicate that they do or do not have arthritis as a matter of course. A variety of other impairments, from weakening eyes and carpal-tunnel-like syndromes to more exotic disabilities dominate the purchase rationales of these posters. Which in turn explains Amazon's pseudo-statistical case that e-book purchases are incremental/additive, rather than cannibalistic of their print sales. Countless people report being able to read much more with Kindle because it overcomes physical obstacles or limitations that had made reading difficult for them previously.

I would not have anticipated those findings, but they're exciting. Who would've thought the older generation would embrace the newest technological "toy"?


#19 MattP

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 06:35 PM

QUOTE (Christian @ May 4 2009, 09:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tyler Cowen:

Old People Love Kindle

So many users said they like Kindle because they suffer from some form of arthritis that multiple posters indicate that they do or do not have arthritis as a matter of course. A variety of other impairments, from weakening eyes and carpal-tunnel-like syndromes to more exotic disabilities dominate the purchase rationales of these posters. Which in turn explains Amazon's pseudo-statistical case that e-book purchases are incremental/additive, rather than cannibalistic of their print sales. Countless people report being able to read much more with Kindle because it overcomes physical obstacles or limitations that had made reading difficult for them previously.

I would not have anticipated those findings, but they're exciting. Who would've thought the older generation would embrace the newest technological "toy"?

Do they offer downloadable drivers' ed manuals for the Kindle? That would be nice.

Edited by popechild, 04 May 2009 - 06:36 PM.


#20 David Smedberg

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:33 PM

QUOTE (David Smedberg @ Nov 26 2007, 08:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dearly wish I could afford one. Maybe I'll need one after I graduate in May, when I don't have access to the excellent Washington Research Library Consortium anymore.

Woo-hoo!! w00t.gif

I got an email yesterday informing that I was one of the winners of the "10 Days of Google Books" essay contest. They were offering a few Sony Readers for essays (really blurbs of 50 words or less on) what the experience of reading will be like in 100 years... so now I will get a new e-book reader which otherwise there is no way I could afford! Oh, I am very very blessed. biggrin.gif

I'll be posting updates about what my experience is like, and maybe I'll ask a friend of mine who has a Kindle if we can swap for a few days and see which experience we like better. Do you think I should split off a new topic, or post in this one and so we're talking about e-book readers in general?

Edited by David Smedberg, 02 October 2009 - 09:36 PM.