Thursday, February 26, 2009

ReKindling The Passion

... the new Kindle edges even closer to the ideal of an e-book reader. The reading experience is immersive, natural and pleasant; the book catalog, while not yet complete, is growing and delivered instantaneously; and apart from the clicky keyboard (an unnecessary appendage 99.9 percent of the time), the design feels right.
David Pogue at The New York Times rather likes the newly launched Kindle 2. It has longer battery life, a bigger memory and can hold many more books. It can even read the books aloud to you!

And it is a hell of a lot less ugly than its predecessor. (Shame though about the silly name!)

So when can we see it here?

According to The Times, an Amazon spokesman in London said :
We are looking internationally and we know that customers are looking forward to getting their hands on a Kindle but we have no announcement to make at this time.
Sod it!

The technology is getting better, but why aren't e-books taking off? Bobby Johnson on The Guardian blog reckons there just isn't enough piracy! :
The real reason that the music industry came around to the idea of downloads wasn't because they had a startling insight into the future, or even because Apple forced the issue by building a clever ecosystem around the iPod (it didn't launch the iTunes store until 2003). It was because customers were choosing to pirate instead. ... To put it less glibly, the publishing industry isn't being forced to confront a radical shift in consumer behaviour caused by technology, because that scenario just is not happening. Customers aren't forcing the issue by choosing to abandon books and read pirated text instead. And this means the problem isn't there to be confronted.
And, of course, reading in general is having a hard time.

Silverfish's Raman gives his view on e-books and readers in The Malay Mail today.


Chet said...

Er ... I just realised the meaning of the word "kindle". I doubt this gadget will burn printed books, but I do hope it will contribute towards flaming the fire for reading.

k0k s3n w4i said...

I have been wanting a Kindle for the longest time, but... there's just something about coming home to a roomful of books on shelves that reach the ceiling that a a single paperback-sized gadget can never give me. And electronic stuff are prone to malfunction. I don't want to lose my entire collection because of a magnet :(

But I do like the idea of carrying just the Kindle, and not 5-7 paperbacks like I usually do when I go backpacking.

Anonymous said...

It might also re-kindle the habit of reading!

- Poppadumdum

Chet said...

I found this article very interesting:
Ebooks and Print Books are Not Mutually Exclusive

Especially this line:

" ... just as there are certain books you would rather listen to than read (and vice versa) and some movies you'll rush to the theater to see, there is room in the world for another way to enjoy written narrative."

bibliobibuli said...

agree completely with that. there are certainly books - non-fiction i'd rather get hold of immediately and read on an ebook reader but i can't imagine enjoying a novel that way

Chet said...

Unfortunately, new non-fiction can be quite expensive, which is not my idea of how ebooks should cost. I always thought that ebooks, even new ones, should be much cheaper than pbooks (printed books!) because there's no printing and no paper involved. However, it seems some traditional publishers insist on electronic rights, too, in their contracts and so they hold the right to determine the pricing of this market, too. I hope this will change as the ebook market matures.