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needleinthehay's avatar

What do you think of the Amazon Kindle?

Asked by needleinthehay (190points) March 27th, 2008

It seems really ambitious, but I’m not quite sure what I think of it, though I know I won’t be spending $400 for one!

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12 Answers

squirbel's avatar

My prediction is that it will bomb. I love ebooks, I have been reading them ever since I had a Palm M100 (2000). Here are my reasons:

• Ebooks are not gaining ground with the population.
• The Kindle is a one-trick gadget – people these days want all-in-one devices, or as few devices as possible.
• The selection, while expansive, is still seriously lacking.

I predict that ebooks & Kindle will gain ground when the following points are implemented:

• Ebooks are DRM free
• Ebooks are released simultaneously with print versions.
• Ebooks can be downloaded over-the-air
• The general public is educated via television of the flexibility of ebooks and Kindle-like devices…

…and so on.

So to sum it up, I feel sorry for the Kindle -it is a great device except for the fact that it has one purpose; and the fact that ebooks are so unpopular makes it very hard. Later iterations of the Kindle will have more success.

needleinthehay's avatar

Yeah. My father has been reading e-books for years on his various mobile devices. I can’t really get into it, myself though. Something about book covers and flipping pages :P

I think that if
a) it were advertised on mediums other than the interwebs
b) it were not so expensive!
c) it were not gray scale. i don’t care about the resolution. i still only see four different shades of gray. the GameBoy did gray scale better years ago.

it would sell infinitely better.

GeauxTigers's avatar

None of the above responses are from someone who actually has one, so excuse me while I step on my soapbox: It’s badass.
Some responses:
* I don’t want an all-in-one device that takes phone calls, reads books, and launches space shuttles. I want to get in a corner at the coffeeshop and read. That’s it.
* It definitely can download books over-the-air, and DRM to most people doesn’t really bother them.
* It is expensive, but that’s what you get for buying new stuff.
* You don’t need millions of colours to read a book – come on now. This isn’t a GameBoy!

For me, the ability to wake up in the morning and have the New York Times and Wall Street Journal already downloaded and ready to go is worth it alone. If this was a newspaper-reader only, I’d still have one. Not having to fumble with a newspaper, not getting ink all over my hands, and being able to read it fairly discreetly (i.e. during class) — ‘nuff said.

I know people say it’s ugly or awkward, but it does what you want it to, and well. It gets out of the way of reading. And with the cover on, it feels much like a normal book – and the accidental button pressing becomes a non-issue.

Several people that I have shown it to (other college students at the coffeeshop or in class) have gone out and got one after using it for a few minutes. (It helps that you can even get some textbooks on the Kindle, which with the note-taking and highlighting features is really useful).

And finally, I still purchase books from my favorite authors because I like to have them around. It’s not a complete book replacement device, but there are certainly books I wouldn’t have gone out and bought, yet I’ve bought them on my Kindle and read them.

needleinthehay's avatar

But it’s 400 dollars!

and books are like an additional 10 dollars each!

thats madness!

squirbel's avatar

I’ll admit I do not have one, but I speak for the population who feels as I do – and we are not a small number.

I get newspapers and read ebooks on my iPhone. I wouldn’t want a separate device. It doesn’t do anything my iPhone can’t – and definitely not better (finger-flick scrolling for the win!).

Besafe's avatar

In my opinion it won’t be very popular because I expect most folks don’t read many books etc. Many get most their info from the web now don’t they?

squirbel's avatar

I read web but my book reading hasn’t suffered… I still fit in at least 7 a month (although that is much less than the 24/month I used to read as a kid).

Besafe's avatar


Now we know your abnormal—just teasing. A lot of people I know read zero.

squirbel's avatar

I was a bookworm. My parents were strict, so I did nothing outside of school, softball, and soccer.

Besafe's avatar

SQ—much shorter to type. You sound like one of my kids. Yaw I was strict but it paid big dividends, they didn’t do drugs, or any of the other stuff a lot of kids do. They are now very sucessful well balanced adults. PTL

loki's avatar

I spend 10 hrs a day looking at backlit computer monitors and this iPhone. I love the kindle for reading. I travel a lot and it is nice to not have to carry a bunch of books. Expense is relative, I got mine as a gift. Bottom line, smoke em if ya got em.

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