The Kindle 2 Conundrum

I’ve never told this to anyone, but I like to read.  As a clever little fat kid, sometimes books were the only friends I had.  And other times those friends were Waffle-O’s Cereal.  I’m serious.  “Waffle-O’s.”  And clearly, based on the box, eating Waffle-O’s was like eating gold.  So I guess it was okay to be fat; I was rich!

And when it was time to move all of those books, I packed them in a 36” television box.  When I tried to lift the box, the bottom exploded and I removed a sleeve of cardboard from around a Jenga Tower of dead friends.  Even when they weren’t forming a cube in the middle of my living room, they still found a way to take up more than a little space.    

Anyway, amazon.com has recently released their Kindle 2:  The second version of their attempt to make reading easier by making reading digital.  Now, let me pause to say that I love amazon.com.  It gives me exactly what I want the minute I want it.  And, in that respect, it’s the greatest virtual bookstore in the world. 

That is not to say that actual bookstores don’t have their place.  During my younger years, even if the bookstores didn’t have the book that I was looking for, I always enjoyed the ones they had.  And wouldn’t it be great if amazon.com and local bookstores could co-exist.

If you’re interested, here are the Kindle 2 vitals: 

“It’s Just over 1/3 of an inch thick.

It’s Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces it’s lighter than a typical paperback.

3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.

Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books

Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns

Read-to-Me: With the new text-to-speech feature, Kindle can read every newspaper, magazine, blog, and book out loud to you, unless the book is disabled by the rights holder

Large Selection: Over 240,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise”

With the Kindle 2, I won’t have books lying all over the house.  And I can take 1,500 books with me on vacation.  But here’s the thing:  I kind of like books lying all over the house.  And if you require more than 1 book to make it through your vacation, it’s really not a vacation, is it? 

A bunker.  Now that’s a good place have 1,500 books in a very small space. 
         
So while it may be perfect for Bunker Readers, I don’t think the Kindle 2 is going to inspire anyone else to start reading more.  The die has sort of already been cast, hasn’t it? If you’re already a reader, you’re probably fine with the current system.  If you’re not already a reader, I don’t think the ability to effortlessly carry around 1,500 books is necessarily going to make you read any of them.

All that being said, if the Kindle 2 is interested in publishing blogs, allow me to be the first to kneel before our new Master.

-Dylan

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