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Summary:

I know, everybody’s talking about the Amazon Kindle and how it’s either going to revolutionize the ebook business or prove without a doubt that the business is not viable.  That is a worthy discussion but there are five reasons why I bought one so for all […]

I know, everybody’s talking about the Amazon Kindle and how it’s either going to revolutionize the ebook business or prove without a doubt that the business is not viable.  That is a worthy discussion but there are five reasons why I bought one so for all who have been asking me here they are in no particular order:

  1. I am the perfect target market for the Kindle.  I like gadgets and I have been reading ebooks exclusively since the Palm Reader first appeared on the Palm PDA.  I have over 200 ebooks in my eReader account and over two dozen in the MobiPocket account I only set up a few months ago.  I love reading ebooks so if the Kindle doesn’t work for me it won’t likely work for anyone.  One of the big hurdles that Amazon will face selling the Kindle in the mainstream market is selling the concept of ebooks over dead tree versions.  They don’t have to sell me, I’ve already seen the light.
  2. I want to report here on the Kindle.  It’s what I do and with so many interested in this new device it makes sense for me to pick one up and talk about it.  You can count on me doing that.
  3. Amazon has the clout to make this a Big Thing (BT).  While I love eReader and the selection of ebooks they offer me for purchase they can be pricey, especially for new releases which comprise most of my purchases.  Amazon could actually be cheaper in the long run with those same titles only costing me $9.99 believe it or not.  Plus, let’s face it, they have a library of around 90,000 titles!  That is huge in my book, pun intended.
  4. The Kindle offers instant gratification. I can search for ebooks and buy them on my HTC Advantage today and that has revolutionized my experience in purchasing ebooks.  I love instant gratification as much as anyone and Amazon has done this right with the Whispernet.  Being able to find and buy an ebook in less than a minute is the ultimate act of instant gratification for those who love to read and I expect this will be quite good for me.  While I can do this (not so quickly) with eReader this ability has only been around for a few weeks now and requires a data plan on the Advantage to make it work like the Amazon system.
  5. I think it will make the perfect holiday gift for family members.  OK, this one is personal.  I always have a hard time buying gifts for my lovely bride and since she has already been introduced to ebooks but hasn’t liked a device she’s tried yet I think there’s a good chance she’ll like the Kindle once she sees it.  Then I have an easy decision what to get her for Christmas.  :)

So these are my five reasons for buying a Kindle.  One thing I have given a lot of thought to is how much fun it will be to hack this device.  It’s a closed system so of course it is crying out to be opened up a little.  That said, after that thought process I don’t think I will hack the Kindle.  That’s a surprise, even to me, but the fact is I have other devices that can read ebooks that do a host of other things, and do them very well.  I won’t gain much if anything by hacking the Kindle.  But the main reason for leaving the Kindle be is because I believe for it to be a good tool for me it must be simple and do only what it’s intended to do, and that’s make reading ebooks better.  I’ll see how well it does that.

  1. The most enticing news about the Kindle is the free EVDO service which lets you surf online almost anywhere without a fee. That said, for me the biggest bummer about the device is that it lacks color for viewing those webpages. If they make a color version I’d consider getting it. The price isn’t that big a deal like as you said, for someone who needs a library of books this thing is a bargain given the cheaper priced books. Anyone who is never home can really take advantage of this device as it can replaces thousands of books.

    Hacking it seems like a no brainer, It’d be nice if the EVDO could be shared with my laptop.

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  2. glad to see YOU got one.. I was/am tempted because I read ALOT!!

    Looking forward to hearing what you think….. perhaps Santa (me) can put one under the tree this year :)

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  3. I’m interested to see a comparison of reading an amazon kindle ebook versus an unprotected mobipocket ebook. Since Mobipocket is owned by Amazon, I’d say it’ll work fine.

    As for color e-ink. It exists, barely. The test displays that have been shown have 4096 color support, but it takes more than 2 minutes to change the image. Give it time…

    As a Gen 1 Sony Reader owner, I’ll be watching your experience closely. I was so close to buying today, but I need some hands on reviews first.

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  4. Started with a Rocket eBook; great technology killed off by Gemstar two years into my eBook experience. Really feel screwed about that. Switched to eReader in 8/03, on my second Dell PDA. 250+ books in my account; only complaint is I can’t get everything I want to read in eBook format.

    I’m all over the iPod touch as soon as it can offer ebooks with a reasonable selection, better battery life and removable storage (or more than 16GB on the device.)

    Best of all possible worlds: a good cell phone and one other PDA/iPod size device that does everything else.

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  5. GoodThings2Life Monday, November 19, 2007

    If they can get textbook makers to invest in this with eTextbooks, then this will grow like a wildfire in the education sector.

    Students will flock to it as their end-all-be-all solution for textbooks. Especially if they create a software version that can be used on TabletPC’s.

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  6. I’d be more excited about the Kindle if:
    1. There were some officially sanctioned way of getting text onto the thing without paying Amazon money. (I don’t like that I’m tied to Amazon and their EVDO network. What happens if they lose interest in the product? What if I’m somewhere outside their wireless network?)

    2. There were some officially sanctioned way of getting text off the device. I like that you can annotate the ebooks you buy. However, AFAIK, there’s no way of getting that annotation onto your computer. Books for Kindle cost as much as a paperback, but, in lots of ways, it’s actually less useful than a paperback. Worse, with Kindle, you can’t take advantage of etext’s compensating benefits. (e.g., the text is stuck on your Kindle so you can’t manipulate the text at all.)

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  7. GoodThings2Life Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    JC,

    There are no contracts with the service, from what I understand. You buy the device, you buy the content, and that’s it. I’m sure JK can correct this if it’s wrong (and in which case I apologize). EV-DO is a rather extensive network system, so being outside of coverage is going to be a somewhat limited period of time, I would hope. But as with any wireless service, I wouldn’t suggest getting stranded on an island.

    I’d love to hear your point 2 addressed as well.

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  8. That’s correct, there is no charge for the EVDO network usage on the Kindle. There is a poor web browser in experimental mode on the Kindle that others have written about. The cool thing about the network connection that no one has written anything about is how Amazon can use that to push updates and new features to the Kindle without the user having to do anything. I think that will be pretty useful in the long run.

    According to the user’s guide for the Kindle, which is available on the Kindle web site on Amazon, you can bring notes, annotations and page clippings over to your PC from the Kindle. It’s not clear what if anything you can do with them there but the ability to bring them over to the PC is integrated into the Kindle itself. Clippings are described as the ability to capture entire pages for later referral which could be very useful.

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  9. >>>Clippings are described as the ability to capture entire pages for later referral which could be very useful.

    I’d really like to see and know how that works. I’m a quote hog, using a pen scanner to grab stuff out of books.

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  10. Its on the truck! Grrrr…impatient. :)

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