Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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Kindle-2 - Are E-Books the Future of Reading?

This post is not as much about Amazon's Kindle-2, which premiered today, as about reading preferences - the what, where, and why people read.

The Kindle-2 is now even more compact, and it has the same $359 price and ability to be read in bright sunlight as it's predecessor. In my opinion, the Kindle-2 is good technology, but I'm not rushing out to buy one because it doesn't address any of my personal reading needs or preferences.

The greatest market for eBook readers so far has been traveling professionals, but when I'm on a airplane, my MacBook Pro provides a fine reading screen, as well as a great movie theater. The Kindle's "read in bright sunlight" feature doesn't hold a lot on importance on an airplane. And then there are the times I want to snuggle in my corner and hold a real book. There's no warm comforting feel to any e-gadget.

There are lots of titles available for Kindle, but it never seems the one that I want is among them. This is changing, but...

The reader isn't all that expensive, but the content is. Sure, new releases cost the same or less than physical books, but where is the 99 cent closeout, free neighborhood library, or hand-me-down.

Between my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and a stack of dog-eared paperbacks, I think I'll wait another few years to try any eBook reader.


  1. I'm not sure about compatibility, but a site like the Gutenberg Project (http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page) gives you access to a dizzying array of content for free.

  2. Jim, thanks for the link. That's a ton of free stuff just waiting to be read on a PC or Mac. Most of it is in PDF format.

    Kindle won't accept PDF directly. Here's another blogger's take on the trials and tribulations of converting a PDF for Kindle use.