02 March 2009

Kindle 2: Love and Loathing

Slate.com has a good review of the Kindle 2 by Farhad Manjoo (via Sullivan btw). He loves it.
For starters, it's gorgeous. Unlike its bulky predecessor, the redesigned $359 Kindle, which came out this week, is light, thin, and disappears in your hands. If you think there's no way you could ever get used to curling up with an electronic reader, you haven't given the Kindle a chance. Load up a good book and you'll soon forget you're reading plastic rather than paper. You'll also wonder how you ever did without it.

And he fears it.
Amazon's reader is a brilliant device that shanghais book buyers and the book industry into accepting a radically diminished marketplace for published works. If the Kindle succeeds on its current terms, and all signs suggest it'll be a blockbuster (thanks Oprah!), Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry—authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and, not least, readers—stands to lose out.

I don't think I've yet seen such a comprehensive take on the Kindle and how it might effect the book industry. Since, dear reader, you are reading Sententiae, it is a foregone conclusion that you are a reader of books, you might want to take a look at this article.

For me, the biggest drawback to the Kindle is that its cheap books are NYTs' best sellers. Anything I really want to read costs 15% less than the cover price, which for academic books can reach well over $100. For an e-book?

but then, I'm still using fountain pens, so you can't accuse me of being technologically "adventuresome."

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At 03 March, 2009 10:01, Blogger jack perry said...

but then, I'm still using fountain pens, so you can't accuse me of being technologically "adventuresome."

Have you seen Doubt? I understand Meryl Streep's character holds a grudge against ball-point pens.

I have seen a Sony e-reader in action. It's nice; you might want to check one of those out. I haven't seen a Kindle in action myself, but I worry that Amazon is simply riding a good marketing wave, rather than offering a superior product.—Again, this is merely a suspicion, based on my experience with for example Microsoft, than actual knowledge.

At 03 March, 2009 22:19, Blogger Clemens said...

I've seen the Sony reader and like it a lot. I've also tested the Kindle Mark I and liked it. The Kindle will probably win out for the reason you mention. I still remember working for a company that had been in direct competition with IBM and understand the example: IBM never was on the cutting edge but their salesmen were brilliant.

I don't like ball-points very much either. In fact, now that I think of it, they are tools of the devil. You should avoid them.


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