Friday, February 01, 2008

To Kindle or Not To Kindle

Amazon has a whole page of stuff devoted to selling their electronic reading device, the Kindle. I love the visual where you can store a whole stack of books on this little "Readman" device the size of a paperback. The minimalist in me, who sold/gave away hundreds of books last year, loves the idea of less clutter, and not having to dispose of hundreds of books again.

But the sensualist in me loves the feel and the smell of books, and the thrill of the hunt of returning from the Strand with fresh kill after corralling a herd of trade paperback.

You can download a best seller for about ten bucks. Oh, but you can get a book for a buck at a thrift store, or free in the downstairs hallway of my apartment building. Yes, but your choices are rather limited. And besides, I can still get a book for a buck, or free, even after getting a Kindle, but I can't go into Barnes & Noble and get a best seller for ten bucks.

The device itself is $399, and they're out of stock right now and have to make more in a hurry. Whenever somebody has to make more of something in a hurry because the initial demand is bigger than they'd expected, the "hurry" batch always has problems. This was true ten years ago with the Zip Drives that emitted the "Iomega Click of Death" and it was also true back in 1984 with Akita dogs. So maybe that'll determine whether or not I get one. Or maybe not.

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