The Kindle is a book reading/storing device whose screen uses the E Ink technology that makes the texts look like black ink on light gray paper. No backlight, no glare, no eyestrain, writes a NYT columnist.
First I read about this in Newsweek and then in other web sites. I love this new device called Amazon Kindle (see pic via NYT). I want to have one. Perhaps not immediately for neither can I afford it (USD 400) nor that is available here. Also, I don’t have credit card which means I can’t use Kindle store to download the latest books which are actually cheaper compared to their physical versions. But I can download out-of-copyrights books from Gutenberg and put them in Kindle. If the Kindle’s wireless feature supports the 3G service-like it does in the US- offered by Nepal Telecom (which is limited to certain sections of Kathmandu city) then I will be able to download them on the move. [Anyone, Amazon included, reading this and want to present me a Kindle this Christmas, please you are welcome!]
I am a proud owner of 80 GB video iPod and I know how it feels to be able to carry thousands of songs in my pocket! Kindle is here to help you do the same with books! I want to carry my bookshelf in my pocket! By what I read about this new instrument from Amazon, it sounds like Kindle is not a very beautiful/cool gadget but those reports suggest that it will evolve into a very sound book reading instrument in the years ahead.
I, for one, don’t want to dismiss this instrument in any pretext for I strongly believe that the introduction of technology positively helps transform any sector which also includes book reading habit. [But I am seriously dismayed by learning that Kindle- launched by Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com CEO, at the W Hotel in New York City on 19 November- comes with the storage capacity of only 256 MB. Yes additional SD memory card can be added for further storage but Amazon this is the age of GB, not MB.] If people don’t like, fine but the arrival of Kindle (the most improved book reader) will give an option for people to access book differently. The provision of options isn’t bad even if the options aren’t very satisfactory.
We are heading to a world where most of the things are going to be digital. It’s another question that many in our society can only dream of being digitally empowered. This needs separate discussion. But why dismiss the machine that intends people to provide another way to access their books.
Hello iPhone: The problem of a Third World resident like me is that I only read about many of the cool things that are introduced in the western markets by their developers. They come very late, if they come. The only advantage is that I get to use the improved version (we don’t have to be trail grounds of the manufacturers!) I see two folks in my office using their Apple iPhones but alas they can’t sync their gizmos with the latest iTunes because doing that might make their phones defunct. IPhone isn’t officially launched in Nepal, Apple bars customers from altering their iPhone settings and without cracking it, iPhone doesn’t work with Nepal Telecom.)
Some of the lines that I liked in this Newsweek cover story (single page printable version) about Amazon Kindle:
[Book] is a more reliable storage device than a hard disk drive, and it sports a killer user interface. (No instruction manual or “For Dummies” guide needed.) And, it is instant-on and requires no batteries. Many people think it is so perfect an invention that it can’t be improved upon, and react with indignation at any implication to the contrary.
“The book,” says Jeff Bezos, 43, the CEO of Internet commerce giant Amazon.com, “just turns out to be an incredible device.”
In 1994, for instance, fiction writer Annie Proulx was quoted as saying, “Nobody is going to sit down and read a novel on a twitchy little screen. Ever.”
Oh, Annie. In 2007, screens are ubiquitous (and less twitchy), and people have been reading everything on them—documents, newspaper stories, magazine articles, blogs—as well as, yes, novels.
Here is an interesting discussion going on about Kindle in this New York Times blog called Bits: