35 Comments

  1. If I was someone who was just starting to build a library of books I would go for it – but I would have to reinvest in all the stuff I love to read and that would be prohibitive. It is ideal for me because I do re-read most of my books (I do LOTR at least once a year), but I just don’t want to be bothered to buy them all again. If I had about $1000 to blow I would do it – get the kindle itself and buy a ton of books to go on it.

    I would never get anything done ever again.

    Right now – I have so many quite portable lovely books in my library – I don’t need to go digital for that. And it is kind of fun to pick up an old book and try to guess what I was eating the last time I read it when I splotched food on it!

  2. Paper books hold a certain allure for me, though the Kindle sounds pretty impressive. I wouldn’t necessarily save up my money for one, but it’d be awesome to receive as a gift.

  3. I agree with Meg. It’s a bit too expensive at the moment for me to buy as a toy for myself. If it were cheaper or someone gave one to me I’d probably use it somewhat.

  4. Agreed that it’s definitely too pricey. I’m not against spending big money on gadgets. (We a have a remote control that cost $1,000. I wish I was kidding.) I just don’t want to spend that money on this particular item right now. Maybe eventually I will. It’s always a possiblity. As far as REAL books go, even if I read them on something like the Kindle 2, if it was something I wound up loving, I would probably go out and buy the book anyway to add to my collection. Kind of like I have done with music that I love.

  5. i’d never use it. one more computer screen to stare at. i like my books to be tangible. bending pages, highlighting words, doodling on the side lines. this device would just pull all the life out of reading.

  6. 16 shades of gray… clumsy computer voice… huge buttons around a small display…

    People will make fun of this years from now, but probably acknowledge it as how it all started. I would wait 2 or 3 generation before considering buying it. Also $9,99 for a txt file sounds a little harsh. I still pay for paper, ink and bookbinding. Ideally I would just send the $3 the author gets directly to him and pay Amazon the 10 cents it costs them to deliver it.

    You’re still paying early adopter fees.

  7. I’ve never seen a Kindle and don’t know what it’s fully capable of, but it’s tough to imagine someone has technologically improved the book.
    already quite portable, no batteries, you can highlight them and write in the margins, plenty of used book websites out there selling on the cheap…and what about pop-up books?

  8. my daughter’s University is trying these out in a required IT course to see if it’s suitable in place of conventional textbooks. for that use i’d say it sounds like a good idea. one thing the kids in that class found was that reading assignments given in pages, like pg. 25 – 50, were thrown off by enlarging print size, the page count wasn’t there, but that sounds easy enough to patch up.

  9. It looks better than Kindle 1, but I already have a Sony eReader, which I quite like. xkcd did suggest some alternative uses for it, but reading books is still what I’d primarily use it for. And since I’ve already got, I’m not getting another.

    The price tag has to come way down on readers before ebooks are going to make any real impact on book sales.

  10. Eek! All you guys talking about highlighting words and writing in the margins of your books is making me cringe… The way my books look, you’d think they were sacred. Nothing against people who like to do those things, it’s just not something I would ever do.

  11. The rumoured upcoming large-screen, touchscreen kindle would be a godsend for the studious. But kindle 2? Fuck no.

    No one seems to agree but i like reading on my ipod touch… More than dead tree formats even.

    Most ebooks are way overpriced though, and drm = forget it.

  12. We have a Kindle 1. While the K2 does have some improvements, I don’t think it will be enough to push us to upgrade. It’s nice when traveling, and we have, like XKCD, used it for the limited, but free, almost everywhere web access.

  13. I wants one!

    As a librarian, I am partial to the feel and smell of paper pages.

    But the idea of being able to bring a whole collection of books with me (and to be able to mark up the pages guilt free and without sticky notes) wherever I am is o so appealing.

  14. If I was going on a long trip, it would be nice. But I’m a slow reader, any trip under a week or 2 and one book is plenty for me.

    Good idea, but it’s going to take a few more generations to really catch on.

  15. i bought one. i actually like it quite a bit. at first i was a little skeptical (the bulkish bezel seemed like a turnoff, i talked myself into it)… but the bezel is actually kind of needed for holding it. having had one for a couple days, ergonomically it’s almost perfect. only wish i would have is touchscreen/multitouch interface.

    bought one copy of the NY Times and 1 issue of Technology review, nice reading experience, pictures are decent even with the 16 bit grayscale. not exactly cheap though… a monthly subscription to the Times is $14 per month. the new yorker is $3 per month, which is over paper subscription cost. I guess they have to pay for the wireless somehow, but still seems a little expensive.

    we browser is ok, not the speediest in the world. i was also hoping there would be a little wider selection of magazines (no Foreign Affairs, which would have been nice). the usability is very nice, and the convenience of carrying a small library in my laptop bag make it worth it.

  16. I have to agree with Julia S.. I have too many paper books that I love and I don’t want to replace them. Plus, I buy a lot of used books and they are cheaper than most of the Kindle books.

    I’d still love to have one though, I just can’t justify it, and this from someone who is really good at justifying buying stuff.

  17. you can, you don’t get embedded videos of course. posted this from it (wanted to see what it would be like). wouldn’t do it all day but possible. readability is a lot better than text entry, there’ some pretty fierce keyboard lag

  18. @Mike, (and Julia S)

    But you wouldn’t have to replace your existing books. It’s not like when dvds became big you had to replace your vhs (or laserdisc) in dvd format because it’s the only way you can view it.

    Although, if you did buy books for the Kindle than you really are stuck using whatever format e-readers use until the next great thing comes out so maybe I was just looking at that comment from the wrong angle.

    I guess that’s the great thing about books. You don’t need any interface to enjoy them… Plus, my books rarely need recharging.

  19. Would love to be able to lay back an read from pdf or txt or whatever, files.
    But wont/cant pay Three fiddy to do it. In greyscale yet!

    I mean $350 ? C’mon.

  20. yeah, i’m with the “want but not at that price” crowd. someone wants to send me one to review at my site, okay. some rich relative wants to buy me one, okay. i win the lottery, i’ll buy everyone i know who wants one, okay.

    but i can’t justify it and also still do love paper.

  21. If you read a lot and $360 isn’t a lot of money to you, then go for it. I do worry that the grey-scale screen will seem completely silly in a few years but who knows?

  22. Did anyone else notice that it looks like a dog’s ass? (figuratively) They should have paid someone more than 15 dollars to work out the aesthetics. It was released a few days ago and it already looks 10 years old.

    Anywho, I’d love to get a future generation at a much lower cost. I have no feelings of attachment to paper books, and I think this’ll eventually greatly reduce the waste caused by paper printing. However, this gain might be offset by landfills full of ugly Kindles.

  23. Nope. I’m with @lumpi

    Regardless of price, I’m not buying one until:

    1) there’s a screen capable of more 16 shades of grey
    2) a faster response time (I haven’t played with one, but a friend has and she says it’s still a bit pokey – although the e-ink looks fabulous, apparently.)
    3) Has REAL cross-format support (Amazon’s “conversion” service doesn’t count.) I want to be able to load TXT or PDF or DOC files from my computer.
    4) Has expandable memory – at least via SD card
    5) They begin pricing things less insanely. 9.99 is not at all bad for a new release, and I would pay it happily – but that’s for new releases. A quick scan of the kindle store led me to the SF section, where right up there at the top was Snow Crash – for 9.99. It was published in 1992. Looking through more titles, across several categories get the same things. And sorry, 7.99 doesn’t count as a discount. You pretty much have to go back to the 19 century to find books at .99 or 1.99.

    Aad @Justin is right – it looks like the dogs ass.

    All that being said, I believe that these issues will all be addressed over the next couple of years. There is definitely an ebook reader in my future – maybe even a Kindle, but it’ll be version 4 or 5 (based on the feature expansion of v2).

    I just don’t think that the technology or the business model is quite there yet.

  24. I had the first Kindle and passed it off to my husband for the kindle 2. I loved the original and find the new one even better! I love it! I travel A LOT and love to read so it’s way better than dragging heavy books around. I’m annoyed though that they try to make me turn it off on the plane during the “turn off electronics” part of the flight… it’s a fraking book asshats. It’s also really great when I’m on the treadmill, I have no trouble reading and turning the page while I’m running- increasing font size is a big plus there too. One of the best features for me is the free sample chapter. I can try before I buy. Also, if I’m reading a series and finish a book at 1 am… can’t wait to get the next one, I just load up the kindle store and BUY IT and start reading again in mere moments. I do find the buttons on the new one a big improvement over the old one, it’s just less clumsy. I could go on and on…

  25. So far I like it for what it is. It obviously has shortcomings, but this is where things are going. Amazon is smart to get all the infrastructure together — they’ll dominate this market like Apple does with the iPod soon.

  26. Oh, and I completely sympathize with the paper lovers — I have over a thousand books. But it doesn’t replace your favorite print books. It replaces all the ones that sit on your shelf that you rarely or never use. Books that are used more than once a week I’d want a paper version. A novel I read once, the Kindle is great for.

  27. I get most of my books from friends and family. So the Kindle wouldn’t work for me. If I had lots of spare cash I guess I might get one.

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