Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have you read about Kindle?

Just finished reading the recent Newsweek article called ""the Future of Reading", and was intrigued anough to go to amazon to see the Kindle demo. It was so skillfully done that I was positively drooling for one by the end. Be still, my heart! The convenience of being able to tote around 200 books in such a light, portable device was most appealing. I am anxious to see how well the e-ink works in terms of eye fatigue. Has progress in this area finally made the e-book a viable product, and how will academic libraries use them, if at all? Right now, with Kindle, the price for books as well as newspaper subs is very affordable. The Kindle itself is a bit price-y ($399), but will likely go down.


Sue Woodson said...

And apparently they all sold out the first day or two! Clearly good timing for a rollout. I'm sure many Kindles will turn up as Christmas presents this year.

I wonder though, if e-books are ever really going to make it big like books and magazines. Don't get me wrong, I've read plenty of books on my old Palm with the grey/black screen--I love the small size. And I've even read books on my computer. It's great to be able to read and still have my hands free to do other things.

Lately, though I've been listening to books on tape (ok, CD) more than reading on my PDA. I liked the PDA reading because I could easily carry several books with me and pull it out when I was standing in line or otherwise killing time. But listening is even better. I can listen while I drive, wash dishes, etc. These days I'm listening to Anthony Trollope's Barchester Tower. I got it from e-music ($10/mo subscription) and it's 19 hours long. So that's a pretty good deal. Also there are more and more free ways to listen. You can download books from the public library and listen for free. And there are some sites where you can get out of copyright audiobooks for free (e.g., http://librivox.org/)

I have a number of friends who listen to books a lot, especially while they are driving. It seem like another step along the faster and faster trajectory we seem to be on. I wonder if we're going to skip e-books the way lots of developing countries skipped land line telephones and went straight to mobiles.

Good to hear from you, Maureen. I like the idea of a multiperson blog.

Sue Woodson said...

Had lunch today with a friend who got a kindle. She loves hers. She especially likes easy web browsing for free. So drop some hints to Thom.