Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paperless Books

I watched Charlie Rose the other night and heard's Jeff Bezos talk about Kindle 2 - Amazon's next generation wireless reading device.

I saw Kindle 1 advertised on Amazon's site a while ago and paid no attention to it. I didn't think there was any substitute for that cozy feeling of curling up with a good book. But...I'm willing to consider for a moment that I may be wrong. I won't go into all of the features of Kindle 2 on this post, but you can watch videos at and read the reviews.

The features that struck the biggest chord with me were these:
  • The display is not like a computer display. Bezos calls it "Electronic Paper" which causes less eye strain than a computer monitor (which is like "shining a flashlight in your eyes".)
  • Books are paperless - there are no longer considerations about how many copies should be published. You can imagine how much paper this would save.
  • Clutter-free. You can put 1,500 books on this device. We must have 100s of books in our house, some of them never read. I can imagine how nice it would be to have more space where books would be.
I'm not considering getting the Kindle 2 (cost prohibitive), but if I had the money I may be in the market.

What about you? What do you think of "paperless" books?


Ellen said...

I just bought one. So positives are all that you mentioned, plus you can make notes, search, etc. I was worried it wouldn't "feel" good but once I'm lost in a good book I don't even notice what I'm reading--and it's much more comfortable than holding a cheap paperback open. ;) Negatives: cost (but figure that most books you buy on Kindle are half the price of paper ones and figure out your break even cost). The other issue I hadn't thought of until I bought it and was reading a book--you can't share books! So I may twice as much for a print edition but I can share with a number of people. However, for me I still think it's worthwhile.

Peter Edstrom said...

I love the idea, and was floored when I first saw a real ebook reader -- I thought it was a fake cardboard display model at first.

Paper books in my mind have always been a challenge to read. Unless it's spiral bound or a magazine, the book is always wanting to flip shut, and the big books are a strain on the wrist, heavy, etc.

But, I'm not yet convinced. This doesn't work with books from the library, and I can't give away (or sell) the DRM'd books after I am done.

Ouch! said...

I agree with Peter in that the whole DRM thingee, in addtion to cost, is a big drawback. I like where e-ink is heading towards and can see how this would be a great gadget to have when traveling or as a college student. I would consider it if Kindle (Amazon) let me sell the 'book' or even let other Kindle users read it..kinda like, dare I say the Zune where you can beam a song to another Zune device and they can listen for 3 days then the song is deleted. Also, also the ability to take a book out from my local library...

Btw, it appears now there is iPhone/Kindle app now.