The Future of Reading: The Kindle

As expected, Amazon has designed the Kindle to operate totally independent of a computer: you can use it to go to the store, browse for books, check out your personalized recommendations, and read reader reviews and post new ones, tapping out the words on a thumb-friendly keyboard. Buying a book with a Kindle is a one-touch process. And once you buy, the Kindle does its neatest trick: it downloads the book and installs it in your library, ready to be devoured. "The vision is that you should be able to get any book—not just any book in print, but any book that's ever been in print—on this device in less than a minute," says Bezos.

Amazon Has Details posted on their site now.

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Interesting

Reading the description it looks like the device uses the cellular phone network to download books. This means you can download a new book wherever your cell phone works.

How convenient that you can

How convenient that you can only buy content from Amazon.

OK

It is a device made and sold by Amazon and you buy content on the device. Not a big shock that Amazon would be the entity you buy through. I have a Sony Reader and it only allows me to buy from Sony.

Just because it's the norm doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

Not a shock, but not very useful either. Maybe I have free, public domain books that I'd like to load on the thing. Maybe I would like to check out books from the library and use it to read them. They should call it the Big Old Amazon Cash Drain.

And charging to let you read blogs? Please.

Whiny Librarians

I don't think whiny librarians were the target market for this device anyway. I think the target market is all the people that have already quite going to the library.

Re: Whiny Librarians

Actually they're directly marketed to librarians. The publishers think they can get over any initial reluctance on the part of consumers by enticing librarians -- who aren't whiny enough -- to buy these contraptions for their institutions.

Then the consumer who'd much prefer a Nokia or SideKick is faced with the dilemma of either "borrowing" one of these things or waiting three months for the next available hard copy of Harry Potter.

If it weren't for librarians, where would the market for eBooks be? Go ask Netlibrary or OverDrive.

Support

Can you provide anything to back up your assertion that the Kindle is marketed to librarians? Just because Overdrive was marketed to librarians does not mean that all electronic book readers are marketed to librarians. It seems to me that Amazon is directing this product towards individuals. I see no evidence that it is marketed to librarians.

I have seen the future, and it is proprietary.

Not a shock, but not very useful either. Maybe I have free, public domain books that I'd like to load on the thing. Maybe I would like to check out ebooks from the library and use it to read them.

And charging to let you read blogs? Please.

Why the blogs cost

The blogs cost to pay for the bandwidth of loading the blog content to your reader. Blogs on your home computer are not free. I pay $40 a month to a internet provider so that I can access the FREE blogs. The bandwidth has to be payed for somehow. The Kindle is moving data using the Sprint cellular network and they want to get paid for that.

I pay $40 a month to a

I pay $40 a month to a internet provider so that I can access the FREE blogs.

So what you're saying is that you'd be quite willing to pay yet another fee on top of that $40 to read the same blogs you're already paying for?

I haven't read all the specs about these things yet, but are the bloggers themselves getting a cut of this action since, after all, Amazon is selling their blogs? I mean, I write for four different blogs and all of them are free for the reading. I don't think I'd feel too good knowing that Amazon was charging someone for the privilege of reading my otherwise free blog and I'm getting nothing for that.

I mean, it's nifty that it doesn't require a computer. But I would think that most of the people buying this device would still own a computer anyway. What's wrong with the idea of hooking up a USB cable and, you know, just downloading the blogs I've already paid for access to with my monthly internet bill? Oh wait, that doesn't fit Amazon's business model. Oh yeah, and it doesn't really seem to fit anybody else's either.

Until I can simply take a device and put content on it the way I want to rather than how they'll let me, I'm not going to be interested in an e-book reader. Besides, the entire concept of one of these things is backwards. It is conceivable that I will listen to a couple hundred songs during the day, hence I have a reason to have an iPod. It is completely inconceivable that I will read even ten books in a twenty four hour period. So... why do I need to carry ten books with me using a US$400 device? Last I checked, paperbacks were fifty times cheaper, easier to read, have a smaller footprint, and they're probably lighter to carry too.

The biggest issue e-books face is that they are trying to solve a problem nobody has. Books are not broken, so why are people trying to fix them? This is literally a solution looking for a problem and I think money would be better spent on investing in print on demand solutions. That way, next time I'm at the airport and want something to read, I can pay a few bucks, wait a couple minutes, and walk away with a shiny new book.

Leo Laporte said it best in his Twitter feed: " Kindle is what happens when a company designs a product to fit its business model instead of its customers needs."

Arguments from authority are unacceptable. ~Carl Sagan

Whatever

>So what you're saying is that you'd be quite willing to pay yet another fee on top of >that $40 to read the same blogs you're already paying for?

No, what I am saying is that everyone keeps going on and on about how these blogs are all FREE. They are not FREE in that you have to have access to the Internet to get to them. Someone has to pay for the bandwidth. For the .99 cents Amazon charges they push the content to you and this fee pays for the bandwidth that is used.

I am not at the airport

>I think money would be better spent on investing in print on demand solutions. That >way, next time I'm at the airport and want something to read, I can pay a few bucks, >wait a couple minutes, and walk away with a shiny new book.

What if I want a book when I am not at the airport where the POD machine is? What if I am sitting on my couch? With the Kindle I can see a book discussed on CNN and have it to read in a couple minutes on a device that has a screen that was meant for prolonged reading.

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