The Kindle

Frapalino

Well-Known Member
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/...20/ref=nosim?gclid=CMn3iI_g7Y8CFQ4iQgodRTOENw
for some reason the link button isn't working.

I saw the founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose last night pushing this new e-reader thing. It looked pretty cool. I'd probably seriously consider buying one in a couple years when they are cheaper and have had all the kinks worked out. I'd definitely do it if they got Marvel and DC on board. I don't think it's too far out there to think Marvel and DC would up for it be considering Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited thing they just started up.

A drawback for me is I have always wanted a library in my house. When I own a house. This would kind of kill that dream. Another drawback is that these books are more expensive than what I normally buy. I usually go to the absolutely awesome used bookstore here in town and get books for about 5 bucks a piece and Amazon is selling them for 10 bucks.

Seldes,
Don't you work at a library? I'm curious to know what you think about this and the movement to digitize books.
 
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Fuzzy Birds

Well-Known Member
I think that regardless of price and convenience, it still doesn't compare to holding the actual book in your hands and lying back on the sofa. There's nothing quite like thumbing through a dog-eared copy of your favourite book. They act as something of a sponge, and hold a lot of atmosphere in them, I feel. The last thing I'd want is to be engrossed in the latest Murakami book only to have it crash and have to reboot.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
I think that regardless of price and convenience, it still doesn't compare to holding the actual book in your hands and lying back on the sofa. There's nothing quite like thumbing through a dog-eared copy of your favourite book. They act as something of a sponge, and hold a lot of atmosphere in them, I feel. The last thing I'd want is to be engrossed in the latest Murakami book only to have it crash and have to reboot.
I also love folding the edges and marking them with pencil notes. You can't do that with a computer. Okay you can in a fashion, but it's not the same.
 

Frapalino

Well-Known Member
I absolutely hate people who fold the edges. I sort of agree with both of you but I want to try one out before I say a paper bound book is better.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
I absolutely hate people who fold the edges. I sort of agree with both of you but I want to try one out before I say a paper bound book is better.
Well to be fair, I totally endorse the idea of digitizing books. I think it's absolutely important we maintain an archive of literature --- and that includes keeping it in non-paper-bound forms.
 

Caduceus

The Original Muffins Man
I don't know that I necessarily mind losing the feel. As someone who reads a lot (binge drinking permitting) I find that I only really attach that special sense of meaning to certain very particular books. More importantly, I normally only buy my favourite books.

I'm actually quite interested in the idea.
 

Planet-man

Well-Known Member
A drawback for me is I have always wanted a library in my house. When I own a house. This would kind of kill that dream.
I think that regardless of price and convenience, it still doesn't compare to holding the actual book in your hands and lying back on the sofa. There's nothing quite like thumbing through a dog-eared copy of your favourite book. They act as something of a sponge, and hold a lot of atmosphere in them, I feel. The last thing I'd want is to be engrossed in the latest Murakami book only to have it crash and have to reboot.

Agreed.

Well to be fair, I totally endorse the idea of digitizing books. I think it's absolutely important we maintain an archive of literature --- and that includes keeping it in non-paper-bound forms.

Also agreed.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
I absolutely hate people who fold the edges. I sort of agree with both of you but I want to try one out before I say a paper bound book is better.
Most of my books are in very good condition, but I don't subscribe to the idea that they should be kept pristine. I like to put notes, underline passages, mark pages.

Books should be loved and chewed over and provoke thought, not preserved. Otherwise, what's the point of the physical medium. They should be lent and borrowed. Loving and treasuring your books doesn't mean keeping the spine uncreased and the pages unmarked.

Which is another good reason to digitize them, I guess. That way, we can always have the opportunity to produce new copies.

Also, nobody ever went to bed with a laptop to read from while sipping their liquid nightcap of choice.
 

Seldes Katne

Site mom
This post is going to consist of a lot of rambling thoughts that I've typed up over the last few days. Apologies for the lack of organization. :oops:

The more I think about this product, the more I like the idea -- for the most part. Certainly, if the Kindle works as advertised, it can save a fair amount of space, time, money, and materials.

One of the great advantages of this thing is the ability to change the type size on the screen. Also, the screen looks like it’s a good size – much bigger than the screen on a cell phone. That may not mean much to you kids, but for someone like me and people who are older, those are both real pluses. I shouldn’t need a microscope to read a book. (Presumably, once you set the type size, it stays that way? Or do you have to reset it each time you turn the Kindle on?)

Being able to store several novels in one device allows for a fairly large personalized library of books. For people who don’t have a huge amount of storage space, or those like my mother, who reads a book once and doesn’t usually read it again, this would allow them to have exactly the books they want. Also, you can carry around several novels or other print items (like today’s newspaper) without having to cart around a forest's worth of paper.

Which brings me to.... Less waste of paper and energy printing books. The United States was supposed to be a paperless society many, many years ago. (We were also supposed to be completely switched over to the metric system by 1980. What the heck happened? :? ) I’ve picked up a number of books over the years that I’ve read and then decided I didn’t like enough to keep. So now what? Throw them out, pass them to someone else, donate them to the library? I can’t tell you the number of books we get in donations, some of which really should have just been thrown away. (Friendly tip – if you find mold and/or mildew growing on your books, put them in the garbage.)

One of the reasons we have libraries is for the storage and availability of popular or common-interest books and materials. If you can download your own copy of things, it saves you a trip to the library, or bookstore, not to mention the cost of the book as a whole. Granted, $10 for a paperback is steep; $10 to download the latest bestseller, which would normally retail for $35, is a steal. And if you don’t like the story, you can just delete it when you’re done.

One other big advantage I can see is for use in schools. Students can have the texts of their entire required reading list on one device. (As long as they don't lose it, of course. The disadvantage, obviously, is that if you forget your Kindle at home, you're out of commission for the entire day in terms of reading material....) Presumably we will be able to store textbooks on this thing too, at some point in the future. Your entire locker, stored on a pad the size of a paperback book. No more huge backpacks, unless you insist on carting around a bazillion pencils and notebooks.

No more waiting in line or at mailbox for books, or being put on the waiting list for something. Digital copies of things can be reproduced an infinite number of times. The biggest drawback to print copies, aside from space and cost, is the availability of copies. It’s like a thread on the Internet – as long as you have computer access and the site doesn’t crash, a zillion people can be reading the exact same posts at the same time. It’s not like you have X number of copies and no more.

Preview first chapter before buying: This may or may not be a good selling point. The first chapter of a book isn’t always the best indicator of how the rest of the story will read. I’ve met some pretty unappealing first chapters in my reading career. One advantage of holding a book in your hand is that you can flip through as many pages as you want and read any part of the story before deciding to buy. (I wonder how this “first chapter only” access will change the way people write novels....)

Download of subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. This is something straight out of Star Trek – carrying a “padd” with all the information you need. I wonder how many publications will sign on to allow you to download on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Also, if the Kindle process continues, will we see publications “bundled”, like the cable company does? (This is one of the most annoying practices in the world. I’m paying ridiculous amounts of money for 50 channels of stuff I never watch....) And how soon will some, shall we say, “enterprising individual” decide to start sending us advertising along with our books? (“Here’s the copy of Gone with the Wind you’ve downloaded. However, before you can read it, you have to look at these ten ads....” :sick: )

Some of the questions I still have about this: how many different titles will be available for downloads? How long will you be able to download a specific title? Will things “go out of print”? Will books published fifteen or twenty years ago be available for download? What about titles that are not huge sellers? Will they still be available for the few people that want them?

Losing your Kindle will result in loss of a number of books, not just one book or magazine – expensive to replace both the equipment and “titles” (Although according to the article, Amazon.com supposedly will save a list of your previous downloads.)

Someone else probably has a better handle on this than I do, but... right now we have a couple of generations of people who grew up with books. The last two generations seem more interested in video and sound. How much will the Kindle appeal to them, and for how long?

Will print novels and books still be available as well? Will it be possible to decide you want to own something in print, and be able to get it? What about forms of art like pop-up books (which really can't be imitated on a computer screen) and children’s picture books? Are people going to have the same experience reading a Kindle to their kids as I did having parents read me a hold-in-your-hand hardcover book?

The idea of digitalizing books is nothing new. (Anyone else remember microfiche?) Project Gutenberg was started in 1971, when its founder typed the Declaration of Independence into a computer to store online so anyone who owned a computer could access a copy. By the 1980s, the project had expanded to put free copies of the classic works of literature online as well. I wonder if that has convinced more people to read them, since they’re digitalized? I’m guessing probably not.... We still need teachers and other people who love great stories to introduce new generations to these novels. So English teachers aren't going to be out of jobs any time soon, although they may have to alter the way they teach.

I can see the price of the Kindle being a problem, although as Frapalino pointed out, the price is likely to come down in the next couple of years. (If you check out the actual listing for the Kindle, it says that all available units are sold out, and anyone who orders one is being put on a waiting list. Obviously the idea appeals to a large number of people.)

I'm still kind of tired from my recent travels, so I may have some comments to add or clarify in the next couple of days. In the meantime, people can keep on discussing this.
 

TwilightEL

Well-Known Member
If the Kindle comes packaged with ads, I will never, ever buy it. I don't mind ads in TV, I can barely tolerate them in comics but they had better not ever ****ing get into my books.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
So basically this is an I-pod for books , The idea is very cool. I wouldn't get it though as the books I collect e.g the star wars books. I have a collection of non-Kindleized books and would really hate to ruin that buy buying them in this format.


However for people that read alot of diffrent books this could be very handy and pretty damn cool. Also a space saver , one Kindle with a lot of books on it if you ever have to work out of town or are on a plane ect.. will save you space.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
The cool thing about the Kindle is the wireless purchasing of books - that's pretty revolutionary. But the device itself isn't that impressive. It can't read PDFs, at least not at this point. I'm not sure if that's something that can be fixed with a firmware update. Sony has a reader which uses the same e-ink (or whatever it's called) but can read DOC files and PDFs. And it costs $100 less. To me, the ability to purchase wirelessly isn't that big of a deal to lose those features and pay an extra $100.
 

Planet-man

Well-Known Member
You also fall into the iTunes "by-the-balls" problem.

Billy: "Have you read Nineteen Eighty-Four?"

Johnny: "No. It's not on Kindlenet yet"

Billy: "But can't you just.... read it?"

Johnny: "Nah, I'll wait till I can read it on my Kindle"

But it took months, and during that time an oligarchical political party seized control of the government and enslaved the working classes, all because Johnny didn't know what threats to look out for and what was at stake when he went to vote that fateful day.

Is this what you want for the world? Is this what you want for.... America?

USFlagWavinginHeart32554357.gif
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
You also fall into the iTunes "by-the-balls" problem.

Billy: "Have you read Nineteen Eighty-Four?"

Johnny: "No. It's not on Kindlenet yet"

Billy: "But can't you just.... read it?"

Johnny: "Nah, I'll wait till I can read it on my Kindle"

But it took months, and during that time an oligarchical political party seized control of the government and enslaved the working classes, all because Johnny didn't know what threats to look out for and what was at stake when he went to vote that fateful day.

Is this what you want for the world? Is this what you want for.... America?

USFlagWavinginHeart32554357.gif
:lol: :lol: :lol:

+500 Ourchair Points.

An actual serious on-topic reply for this thread to follow later.
 

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