27 Jan 08

More complete thoughts about the Amazon Kindle:

One’s life changes when one has a device loaded with a handful of books. It can easily fit in a large coat pocket, so I take it with me everywhere. When I stopped by a nearby Chinese restaurant for some take-out, while I waited for my order, I read a few pages of a novel (instead of watching their VHS tape of Dragonball Z). When I paused at work for some rest and a cup of tea, I read a few pages of a novel. When I made lunch yesterday, as I waited to the fish to finish frying, I read a few pages of a novel. I continued reading as I ate; because the Kindle lays flat and I just have to touch a button to turn pages, it’s not nearly as awkward as holding open and flipping the pages of a book.

I’ve now finished two novels and am well into my third, in just over a week. Moreover, there’s tremendous power in finishing a novel by a good author, and being able to start reading the next novel in under a minute. It’s not just impatience; it’s avoiding the whole process of tracking down the author’s books, finding the next title in the series, adding it to a list of books to buy, and waiting for the next time I’m in a book store.

Moreover, because of the solid-state screen, the Kindle is more robust than most devices, and stays charged for a good week.

When I first heard of the Kindle, some folks prophecied it would be the “iPod of books.” I dismissed that notion, but I’m less dismissive now. Certainly, books are used differently than music; I can listen to music all day and want my entire music library at all times, but not so with books.

That said, I can see a time when a lot of folks just take a reader with them pretty much wherever they go. It’s lighter than a paperback, it’s darned convenient, and as Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling have proved, people will read.

Moreover, I sold 7 copies of my Kindle Fan Guide in two days. There is a market out there.

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