My wife recently bought me a Kindle 2. Here are some of the things I loved about it
- easy to change font size
- easy to read - Jakob Nielson said it is roughly the same speed as reading a regular book
- lightweight - 10.2 ounces
- easy to travel with
- solves my buying too many books and bookshelves problem
- you can store notes in it (everything is backed up on Amazon's servers)
- You can search against all your books and notes in it (which really turns it into a powerful reference library...makes me want to buy about 3 or 4 of them to store different topics in) . This should be VERY powerful for looking well researched and finding money quotes. Steven Johnson (one of my favorite authors) uses Devonthink when he writes a book.
- it has an audio/reader version baked in
- it has an Oxford dictionary baked in
- new books are typically only $9.99 and take less than a minute to download
- it starts off where you last read
While it has many shades of gray, it lacks color and does not have a touch screen interface. It is a nice device and will make moving far easier than it would have been if I kept buying so many physical books.
If books get more interactive with more permiable barriers when they are digitized then they may play a much bigger role in the web graph. Google's copyright settlement with authors and publishers may make Google more likely to promote books:
“When someone goes to Google, they've got a question in mind and an answer they need,” Jennie Johnson, a Google spokesper son told DMNews. “We don't really care where [on the Web] that answer comes from. If it comes from a book, great; if it comes from a Web page, fine.”
One of the things I regret over the past couple years is that I let my reading slide. If early usage is any indication of future usage then hopefully the Kindle will help me get into reading more often.
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