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Amazon Announces Kindle

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Techie2000, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  2. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Cool. The price is a deal breaker for me though. I just don't see the value in a $360 electronic book as I don't travel as much as I once did. Maybe $200-250 I'd be tempted.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I am not crazy about the price either. But... Hey, I can always sell it if I don't like it.
  4. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Question. What do the electronic books for the Kindle typically cost?

    I'm a gadget guy, so for that reason alone I "want" the product. However, the $359 price tag seems a bit much to over come for the amount of books I actually purchase in a given year.
  5. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    The deal breaker for me is the cost of the books. I've been on a tight budget since August 2007, the last time I had actual income, and I rely on the public library for my books. I sometimes read 5-6 novels a week, and I can't afford the $50-$70 to purchase them. The cost of the device could be amortized over its life, but I can't afford to feed it.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    95% of the books are 9.99 for Kindle. That includes most of the hardcover new releases.
  7. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member


    I don't think I purchase enough book to warrant buying it. Most of my books I get from friends/family and only purchase a handful of paper backs per year.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Bah, I've thought about it some more and pulled the order. The tax killed the whole thing for me and got me to 390 bucks for it. The price was high as it was but... well, I'll just try to read more of older stuff I already have this year.
  9. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    An excellent long article on the whole e-book phenomenon (with historical references) by one of the early workers at Peanut Press (from which I bought many books for the Palm, back in the day).

    He really totally gets it, and refrains from totalizing predictions, too.

    I think he's exactly right about that, and he even hits my own objections to the Kindle (and why I prefer the iPhone as a reader) almost word-for-word.
    I think that (oh, I hope it happens) if Amazon could somehow make a deal to open up to the iPhone, instead of the Kindle (or in addition--some people will always want the bigger screen), that would be the category-killer.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    If they were to offer the 9.99 on iPhone? Are you kidding me?! I hope beyond hope they would do it but I don't know how that would be to their benefit?
  11. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I don't see how any of the competitors can beet Kindle unless they match the screen size. I may be misinformed (probably am) but doesn't the Kindle have a much larger, higher #pixels display? How can you even read a book on a phone? I have trouble reading on my 1600x1200 LCD.
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    You are right, that point was missed by that person who wrote the column.
  13. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    It's probably two different audiences. Those who can't read on a small screen will need to have a kindle or similar.

    But Lovehound, you really shouldn't judge until you've tried it. It's almost impossible to imagine, but actually seeing it, the type is so sharp and clear that it's quite easy to read on the small screen.

    Honestly, I read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, all three books, on the small screen. That trilogy runs about three thousand pages in the paper version. The small screen seems like it would be a problem in the abstract (it did to me at first--I tried to compare it to reading on a laptop screen, which is much bigger, but I'd never want to read a book on a laptop).

    But in reality, I found it just not to be an issue at all. You hold it in one hand, your eyes scan down the page, you tap with your thumb or finger and go to the next page immediately. It's completely natural after about 30 seconds, and you get lost in the book.

    I read very fast on paper, and very fast on the small screen. I don't really notice a difference.

    But the big difference is that you can take multiple books with you, in the pocket of your jeans, and have them on you all the time. It makes it possible to read much more, in places where otherwise you might be saying "I wish I had a book with me"--including the dark (he mentions that, and for me it's huge).

    If only Amazon would make that deal...but ethics is right, I don't see how it would be to their benefit, unless the Kindle totally dies after the initial buzz.

    Maybe Apple will buy Amazon. Or vice versa. :)
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member


    1. How did you like that Trilogy? I couldn't get in to it but still gave Quicksilver and want to give it another go.
    2. Where did you buy it for the iphone?
  15. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Ok. So I just skimmed through four pages of discussion and have learned two things:

    1. Leon is weak and has a techno-geek-gadget problem/additction.
    2. No one here has actually used a Kindle yet.

    I do look forward to reading a hand's on review once Leon's (or other) arrives.
  16. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    It was heavy going at some points. Stephenson is like that. I did feel at the end that it was worth the struggle, but I'm not in a hurry to re-read. (Have you read Cryptonomicon? That's my favorite of his--and even that one has moments where it slows to a crawl...page after page of digression and info-dump.
    ereader.com! (or maybe it was fictionwise). Since fictionwise bought ereader, their content is almost exactly the same.

    Actually, I have used a Kindle--the first version, though, not the new one. I haven't used it for very long, but my dean got one almost right away and let me play with it for a few hours.

    The look of the text on the page is excellent, but the device itself is not very ergonomic, and it's much too big--trying to imitate a book, I think. And I really missed the backlighting, a lot.

    They say the new version has improved ergonomics, but overall it's still too big to fit in a pocket. That's pretty much a dealbreaker for me.

    My dean had more experience with it--took it along on vacation and several business trips. She was very excited about it at first--like Leon (and me) she has a techno-gadget addiction. But in the end she said it just wasn't working for her. If she's going to carry something that size, it might as well be a book (although on a long trip, it was nice to have several books in one).
  17. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Right, it's not just the size though, it's practical use. I spend 2hrs a day on commute, this is where my bulk of reading is done. With the increase of tech theft on Subways, I don't even pull out my iPhone anymore. So a paperback or even hardcover works best in this situation.
  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    It all depends on your lifestyle. I don't commute anywhere by walking so "fits in your pocket" would not be a plus for me. Instead, "Large type and easy to read" would be the benefit I would want. Like something that's trying to resemble a book. :) I would carry the device in my car on camping trips, and do my reading sitting in camp.

    I can understand how people traveling on a train or subway might want a small, pocket sized device.
  19. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Yep. It definitely depends on your needs. On the subway, it's often too crowded to sit down, open a bag, take out a book (or Kindle), and read it.

    But with the iPhone I can take it out of my pocket with one hand, get my book on the screen with one hand, turn the pages and read, all while standing and holding on to the pole or handle with my other hand.

    (I have no qualms about taking out my iPhone on the subway--not worried about theft at all. Maybe it's foolish of me, but I see iPhones, cellphones, PSP's, etc., all over the train. Everyone is using them in plain sight.)
  20. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Their goal is to sell books, not the Kindle, or at least it should be. The link I quoted earlier indicates that Amazon does have plans for allowing Kindle books on certain mobile devices. Hopefully that will include the iPhone and Blackberry.

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