Monday, November 19, 2007

Re-Kindle Your Love of Reading

Amazon has just launched the Kindle, which seems to be the definitive electronic book reader (so far). It works on its own, too—you don't need a computer to download or sync with. How it works is through wireless connectivity (like a cell phone). You go to Amazon and download the book you want (more than 88,000 titles currently available), with the cost of new releases and best sellers just $9.99. More than books, the Kindle also lets you read newspapers, magazines, and blogs. You can also read Word documents and view pictures. It also has a built-in dictionary.

The Kindle seems poised to bury Sony's Reader. The Sony Reader must be attached to a computer for downloading, and is only available for the PC (sorry Mac users). Plus the Kindle has the advantage of linking directly to Amazon, the king of online book purchases. It holds over 200 titles, and Amazon claims the battery life last for over 1,000 page turns, with the recharge time just two hours.

I've only seen the Kindle online (watch the short demonstration video on the product page in the link above), and I like its many attributes, but one thing looks like it could still stand improvement. In the demo video, the page flip and scroll plastic buttons seem downright antiquated, especially with the touch screen flashiness of the Apple iPhone setting the standard on handheld devices. Maybe the Kindle's next model with incorporate a similar operating system. Oh, and how cool would it be if they added audio, so you could choose between reading and listening to a book?

The price is $399.


Maryanne Stahl said...

sounds fairly amazing. do you have one? you think books will ever become obsolete?

Don Capone said...

Hi Maryanne,

Nope, don't have one yet. I'm tempted, though. But like I said, I'm a Mac user and an iPod lover, so I'm used to flashier looking toys. I'll wait for the next generation. Plus, I think these gadgets should also have audio so you can download audio books too. Wouldn't that make sense?

I don't think paper books will be obsolete. But I do think that publishing will move toward almost everything being POD if these readers catch on.

Angela said...

If I'm not mistaken audio books are available along with any mp3s.