Please don’t call it Book 2.0

Lots of movement in the news today about Amazon‘s new foray into an attempt to replace? the hard-back with an electronic gizmo. The device, named The Kindle, has been announced by Jeff Bezos and is said to be the future of reading. It can be used to read books, newspapers, even blogs; so you now have a choice of reading Pride and Prejudice, the Financial Times or the SEO Exeter blog all in one place. The question, of course, is whether it will catch on.

Here’s a description of the device from Newsweek:

the Kindle (named to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge) has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book’s binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces, and unlike a laptop computer it does not run hot or make intrusive beeps. A reading device must be sharp and durable, Bezos says, and with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle’s six-inch screen posts readable pages. The battery has to last for a while, he adds, since there’s nothing sadder than a book you can’t read because of electile dysfunction. (The Kindle gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.) And, to soothe the anxieties of print-culture stalwarts, in sleep mode the Kindle displays retro images of ancient texts, early printing presses and beloved authors like Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen.

So, would you use this ugly device to read your books with? Would you switch from buying a real book to buying one through your Kindle. Will the Kindle become a household name in the future? Time will tell!

5 comments

  1. I would buy a Kindle if they didn’t cost $399.00. I carry books and magazines all the time, especially when I travel, and having something that only weighs 10 ounces and can access 88,000 books, plus magazines, newspapers, and websites? It would be my dream gadget! The name is weird though, what the heck is a “Kindle”?

  2. Never really been sure about e-book readers; to me part of the joy of reading is the book itself – the look and feel of the pages, turning each page over as you read it, the size and weight of each book that makes it special.

    I’ll happily spend hours browsing through second hand book shops not because I’m looking for an old book that’s out of print but because of the atmosphere of the place; the sense of barely contained history within the millions of pages. I might be able to fit all those pages onto a Kindle but it wouldn’t be anywhere near the same.

    Technology is wonderful in many ways, but it hasn’t come up with anything to beat a proper book and I don’t think it ever will.

  3. @Wolfie: I would tend to agree with you. There’s a tactile element to a book that just can’t be duplicated. Plus you can put it down on the coffee table, pop things on it and not worry about it. Don’t think the Kindle would take too kindly to being dropped and trodden on …

    Still … it’s a nice gadget ..

  4. Ugly is right! It certainly doesn’t seem attractive from the pics and videos. I just can’t figure out why most reviews are so good. Probably because of the wireless connectivity part that seems pretty innovative. But the device and the UI are nowhere close to being as innovative as the iPod or the iPhone were.

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