Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Don't I Love the Kindle?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine came in from out of town. As she was going through my book collection, she made a comment about how we would be pressed to find space for all our books if we lived together. And it's true, I don't have space for all of my books now, and I continue to collect more. It's unusual for a month to go by without my dropping at least twenty bucks at Amazon, I get Hard Case Crime's new release every month, and I sometimes get packages of books from publicists for review. In short, by book collection continues to grow, and I'm not inclined to sell too many of them off, even though I'm sure there are any number that could go. Still, it probably wouldn't be enough to offset the growth.

In short, I'm exactly the sort of person Amazon is trying to reach with it's e-book reader The Kindle. So, why, when I was reading the coverage of Amazon's announcement of the new improved Kindle this week, was I left cold? When I shop Amazon, I often run across out-of-print offerings that are available on Kindle. Amazon's prices are reasonable, and an ebook reader would save a lot of valuable real estate. Still, it just fails to spark my desire. First off, I find it ridiculous that Amazon's promotional materials flog things like access to blogs and Wikipedia, which you can access from any smart phone, not to mention computers. But that's just silly marketing. I should be excited about this sort of thing, but I'm not. It just seems flat, and not in a space saving kind of way.


Janet Reid said...

Amazon is clueless about who loves the Kindle and why in my opinion. I do love my Kindle and not cause it replaces books at all. I love it cause it replaces sheets of paper. Manuscripts, both partial and full.

It's just an added bonus I can carry around War and Peace without lugging the actual tome.

I love the Kindle as an addition to my arsenal of weapons on chaos and disorganization, not the replacement of any.

That the Kindle folks haven't figured that out means they aren't paying attention--a cardinal sin among salespeople.

Unknown said...

Amazon wants the Kindle to be the future of publishing so bad that they nearly slip in the drool from their own greedy mouths. The only problem with the Kindle is the same problem with every electronic device that has come along to replace books--it's boring. It has no personality; it does not have the look and feel of an actual book. And, yeah, you can buy all kinds of out of print material for it, but the reason why most folks are ordering out of print material is because they want the old crusty book with the slight dusty, mildewed smell of a collectible and this something Kindle will never be able to achieve.