Migration — To Kindle or To Kindle 2.0?

Monday, October 06, 2008

I’m trying to decide whether to buy a Kindle and whether to buy now or later. It hasn’t turned into a verb yet, and even if it does, it’ll probably refer to reading on the device rather than buying it. Images of flames may retard its entry into the lexicon as a verb.

Examining the pros and cons in no particular order: At $359 (down from the original of $399), it’s more than a bit pricey, but convenience may outweigh the expense. Plus with books costing only $9.99 (less for older models and no shipping costs or sales tax), based on my buying habits, it would pay for itself in about two months. I’d still have to go to paper and ink for out-of-print editions stuff that’s not on the list yet, but that’s what half.com and libraries are for. I disagree with Jeremy Toeman that Kindle is most likely to be used by the well off. I can see less-than-wealthy writers without convenient access to good libraries and bookstores finding Kindle a godsend.

The beginning of Gizmodo‘s review left me baffled. Why should I care whether it operates on Linux or some old MS-DOS format as long as it works? The rest of the review was helpful, though. Gizmodo was upset that he couldn’t read on airplanes during take off and landings. That’s a big disadvantage for me because distract myself from the most dangerous parts of the flight by diving into a book. Gizmo also pointed out another major drawback for me: The newspapers are out of date when they arrive on Kindle.

In a long and somewhat technical review, Robert Mohns praises the durability, another important issue for me as I tend to drop keys, cell phones, and other small breakable objects.

But Benjamin Higginbotham didn’t like the case. He complained that it showed fingerprints and lacked the “sleek look” of Apple’s electronics. But he loved Kindle’s quick download time that didn’t need a WiFi hotspot. He also liked the removable battery but not the access to it. While he was tugging on the door to get to the battery, he hit the next page button several times and lost his place in whatever he was reading.

Several reviewers understandably complained about the closed system. I don’t want to pay $1 or $2 to read blogs that are free on my PC. They thought Kindle’s functions should be more like MySpace or Facebook and allow networking, etc. Since Amazon lets readers to network on its web site why not expand it to Kindle?

A former colleague was thrilled with her new toy until she forgot to bring the charger on vacation and had to finish the book she was reading from a copy she bought at the airport, which defeats the whole $9.99 cost.

I’m not enamored of reading on electronic gadgets in bed, either. My laptop has been away from my desk (not counting trips out of the house) exactly twice. Once when Larry’s cousin sent a video of ABC’s coverage of her trip to Africa and there were too many people to watch it in my study. Then one night I decided to try working in my reading chair in the bedroom. The cat didn’t like competition for my lap, so I gave up and came back downstairs.

Business Week is predicting that that Kindle 2.0 will appear soon. And Boy Genius has purported photos and reports that it doesn’t lose its place any more.

I think I’ll wait to see what the future holds.

One Response to “Migration — To Kindle or To Kindle 2.0?”

  1. The Kindle Cash Machine -- Publish on the Amazon Kindle! Steps to Publishing | Steps to Publishing Says:

    […] Migration — To Kindle or To Kindle 2.0? « Lizr128′s Blog […]

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