Sunday, January 3

Kindle? Not yet

Amazon sold more e-books than paper books on Christmas day. That makes sense since people weren't ordering books on Christmas that they couldn't get in time for the holidays. They'd already stocked up on their paper books. Meanwhile all those people who got Kindles for Christmas were busy buying and downloading their first books. ~ link
I'm still a hold-out for four reasons:

1. I like to write in books, underline, and argue with the author in the columns. As far as I know there is nothing in the Kindle which quite approximates that feature. They do have a bookmark feature and you can highlight and attach notes -- but it's not the same as scribbling on the page.

2. I'm concerned about back support of file formats once e-books are standardized. My guess is that the proprietary Kindle format will not dominate publishing for very long. Pioneering formats rarely last. What did you end up doing with all of your 8-tracks and Beta video tapes? I still look at books I bought in the 70's. Will I be able to use my Kindle books in 30 years, should I still be alive?

3. Last July Amazon recalled two Kindle books that upon second thought they decided that they shouldn't have distributed. People turned on their Kindles, synced up with the Amazon system and instantly the books were sucked out of their e-readers. There is too much centralized control over the system.

Who owns the books backed up on the Amazon server once you die? While you're living you can only share your book five times. It seems that you don't really own the books you purchase. The restrictions are such that you are in essence only leasing them -- which might be alright for many titles. But there are books which I truly want to own.

4. When the flight crew says that all electronic devices need to be turned off I'm still reading my book. It's not a big reason but there is something to be said for simple technology that doesn't have to be turned off or recharged (or protected from theft).

I like the idea of the Kindle -- and having a library that doesn't take over the house. The price is becoming less of an obstacle. The Kindle readers are easy on the eye. The latest design is appealing. I'm usually fond of Amazon.

Maybe my concerns are unfounded and I'll change my mind and adjust -- maybe, eventually -- but for now I'll wait and see.


xuefen said...

I will wait and see too.

Pastor Bud said...

Hey Brad,

These are all the same reasons why I didn't run out and get a Kindle. I would also add that many of the theology books I read don't come in Kindle format.

Although it wasn't on our wishlist, we just received one as a family for Christmas. It has been highly useful down here in Colombia because, when you factor in shipping, I can get books at about 25% the cost.

I enjoy the experience. The screen is not a lot different on your eyes than reading a book. It's also nice to tote around in travels. However, I still wouldn't have bought it personally.

Love reading the updates and praying for MasterPiece.


Darin said...

I'm using an e-reader ap on my Droid while I wait.

Waiting for you to give in, Brad. Then I can tell my wife, "See, Brad Boydston got one!"

Don't let me down.