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Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

The kindle 3 is great for what it’s meant to be, a simple device for reading long form works.

The upgrade from kindle 1 to kindle 2 wasn’t nearly as dramatic as 2 to 3.

The kindle 3 is thin and light. The page refresh is fast and the battery life appears to be ridiculously good.

The new kindle cases have a light built in for those dark reading sessions.

I’ve got ipads and every other device. The kindle is bar far the best reading device. I do plenty of staring at screens and the kindle 3 does an even better job than the 2 of being less screen like than all other reading devices.

I cannot stress enough about the greatness of having a single purpose device for reading. Ipads, iPhones, and what not are full of distractions that unless you completely lock down and disconnect your device overwhelm the reading experience.

Did I mention this thing slips into cargo short pockets perfectly?

I’ve said this in previous posts and ill reiterate it here: no other digital bookstore compares to amazon. They simply have thousands more titles that I want to read. Oh, and they actually categorize books and provide more useful filters than iBooks or the nook estore. I can barely navigate the other stores. And certainly can’t wander the digital stacks at all like I do in the physical world.

Yeah, I’m a kindle fan.

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It’s on….

digital books just got way more interesting.

Here’s the big differences between the devices and services:

Kindle

Basics: Low powered device that can run for days without a recharge.  Black and white epaper / eink screen.  3g connectivity.  Ability to add storage via SD card.

Pros: Closest thing to a real book out of all the devices and digital book ideas.   Amazon ebookstore is huge.

Cons: single purpose device.  read books.  and make sure the books don’t have pictures, diagrams or anything other than text.

Get Specs Here

Nook

Basics: Similar to Kindle.  It’s a slightly more functional kindle.  Has a nice color screen for media browsing.  Books through Barnes and Noble.

Pros: Nice feel to the device.  Color is nice.

Cons: Single purpose device.  BN ebookstore is not as robust or easy as Kindle bookstore.

Get Specs Here

iBooks/iPad

Basics: Apple’s fully featured tablet.  Basically a decent computer with eBooks reader software.

Pros: Multi purpose device.  Can actually compute.  Beautiful screen.  Possible to have nice reading+interactivity.

Cons: Battery life is more like a phone, less like a book!  Glossy screen.  Not quite as “rugged” as kindle.

Get Specs here.

Pricing:

Kindle and Nook are around $250.  Entry level iPad is $499.

Pricing on all of these are within $150or so.  Amazing that iPad is that low.  Almost impossible to pick a single use device that costs as much.

Conclusions

For me, what wins is the best book/publication selection.   Amazon is really hard to beat in that area.

Prediction – Kindle app on iPad pretty quickly!  I think Amazon will have to give up on the Kindle if it doesn’t come out with something the publishers want to push hard.  You can’t beat Apple at hardware on a grand scale.   not yet.

[UPDATE 4/25/2010:   I’ve been using my iPad for several weeks now.  I haven’t turned on my Kindle since I got my iPad with the Kindle software.  There’s simply no need.  I’m amazed by the iPad battery life.  I also didn’t anticipate how useful it is that you don’t need light to read on the iPad.  Like duh!    iBooks isn’t quite good enough to compete with the Kindle store based on inventory but I suspect that will change quickly.]

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eBooks and eReaders are purely functional at this point.  They lack the aesthetics that fine paper, solid bindings, great typesets and full color printing provides.  I love to read aestheticly and functionally.  I love my Kindle 2 AND I love physical books.  No doubt in my mind that eReaders will continue to chip away at physical book sales.  That’s why I’m stocking up now.  Unlike music or newspapers, I think the physicality of the book improves understanding of the content and I need the physical book until eReaders can provide a full sensory experience. (yes, all books SMELL the same on a Kindle!  I know that seems weird, but humans remember things by all senses and smell is one of the most powerful senses involved in memory.  So much of my long term knowledge coming from books is based on remembering the exact reading environment.)

Anyhoo.  Great weekend.  I leave it with an image on one of my favorite finds this weekend:

From So Simple A Beginning

From So Simple A Beginning

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The Amazon Kindle inspired great anticipation in me.  It almost boiled over when I didn’t get one until late January 2008.

Unfortunately, the anticipation didn’t match the reality.  The Kindle isn’t bad.  In fact, it’s really awesome. Really awesome.

What I didn’t expect is how not ready I am to move from books to ebooks.  My experience with books is so profound it’s going to take awhile for me to move on or add on to my reading behavior via the Kindle.

Why?

  • Books don’t break down or need resetting.  It’s not horrible on a Kindle to reset or anything, it’s just you NEVER have to do that with a book.  Try sitting in an airport for 3 hours with no book on hand and your Kindle goes wonky.  Argh!
  • Finding your last place is so easy in a book.  Heck, finding random places in a book is so easy.  On the Kindle you have all sorts of ways to bookmark, store and arrange things but none of them come close to just folding the corner of a page, jotting a side note, leaving the book open
  • Shopping for books is NO FUN and NOT EXCITING AT ALL in the Kindle Store.  For an avid book reader, there’s no greater experience than being among stacks of books – the spines calling out to you, the cover summaries juicing you, the smell intoxicating your mind. 
    • A lot of this is recall from childhood.  And that’s a big factor with Kindle – I have no experiential anchors to it.  Perhaps the next generation, the generation that grows up with a Kindle, will have experiences of the Kindle that will excite them like bookstores do for me now.
    • The electronic store is bore to navigate.  There’s no real discovery process.  It’s so single modal it’s painful.  How can a small print book by a no name author really catch your eye in the kindle store?  there are no color covers, no handwritten reviews from the local bookstore owner,  the preview chapters are not up to you (you can’t just flip to a page and read)
    • Prices, Prices, Prices.  They are just in your face.  Bookstores have prices as the third or fourth piece of data.  Kindle store book pages have 2 or 3 prices on them reminding you that you really don’t want this book as much as you think
  • Ownership – the Kindle experience is very “rental”.  You get no sense of owning the materials.  In fact, if I wanted to bequeth a book to someone or let them borrow it for a day, how can I do that?  Heck, you can barely hand someone the Kindle to say “you have to read this!” and let them take a peak.  They have to know how to use the thing.
  • Page turning as a sign of progress.  I measure my reading progress by page turns.  Kindle has “page buttons” and measures things by “locations”.  It’s not anything like pages and page turning so my sense of progress is way out of whack.
  • Technical books stink on the Kindle.  Images are not good and if you need math or code samples they do not format well on this thing.  Fiction, Paperbacks and essays work well.
  • Note taking is hard.  Typing random thoughts is tedious.  You can’t doodle, circle, cross out, draw arrows or personalize anything in the next.  You can “clip/highlight” and add SMS like notes.  They are search-able, and that’s cool, but i can’t type fast enough to make enough use of them
  • Hand position – i don’t hold a book anything like you need to hold a kindle.  I have tons of nervous habits when i read and holding a Kindle for me is like telling a 2 year old to sit still.  It’s hard to read it for long stretches because of this.
  • Escapism, negative.  Bezos pitched it like it disappeared like a book.  It just doesn’t.  It has a freakin’ keyboard on it.  The page turning is slow/delayed because of the repainting of the eink screen.  It just reminds you that it’s digital and a device.  You can’t just escape into the story because the device is such a new experience and new way of holding this type of information you can’t help but notice everything
  • Worrying about power source and wireless connectivity is weird.  I know, it’s just my own hang up but I am concerned about running of juice.  It’s just like how cell phone conversations are always more terse than land line conversations.  We just know that our phones only last so long so we hurry to say things.  Now I hear to read or only scan.

You see how much behavior, feedback looping and schedules of reinforcement are tied up in my basic experience of reading?  The Kindle is so disruptive to so many of those data points it makes it hard to transition to the Kindle reading experience.  For anyone who knows me, that’s a rarity for me to say about a device.

Again, the Kindle is amazing. 

Why?

  • 100,000 books at your digital fingertips
  • Tiny.  This thing weighs nothing and eliminates backbreaking weight from backpacks
  • Search functions – this thing searches over wikipedia, the books on your device and your notes (that’s a killer app in my opinion)
  • No need to connect to computer – well publicized feature lives up to the hype.  I hate syncing my ipod more than anything, which is why i still buy CDs.  the ipod touch now has wifi store access, and I almost never buy from itunes on the desktop anymore.  Kindle has that experience built right in from the beginning
  • Blogs and Newspapers aggregation.  Heck, I used to love newspapers.  Then I hated how they piled up by the trash can so we stopped getting them.  Now I can get them again without the trash!  Again, another killer app for this thing.  Timely, scanning friendly content does well on the Kindle

No doubt this thing is a winner.  It’s not replacing my physical catalogue anytime soon.  Not because it couldn’t. …….. I’m just not ready.

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