Thursday, April 30, 2009

User update...

OK, I've had my Kindle for a couple of months, and here's a user review.

I. Love. It.

Seriously, I am fond of my computers, adore my autosteer, and truly appreciate my nuvi, but this is a whole 'nother relationship.  Moreover, I think I can glimpse where this could be heading.
Aiken points out that even if Amazon does create a Kindle app for the iPhone and other devices, the service will still have the same fundamental problems. Your books will still be locked to Amazon—you'll just have two or three places to read them rather than one. At the moment, Aiken notes, Amazon is selling e-books at a loss in order to spur Kindle sales—it sells books for $10, but pays publishers more than $10 per copy. But once Amazon gets control of the market, it will be free to impose price reductions—to force publishers to reduce their e-book rates to less than $9.99. "That would be potentially devastating to the industry," he says.
And even if the publishing industry isn't devastated when a single bookstore takes over the e-book world, the marketplace for books will be diminished. Amazon stands as proof of how innovative retail practices can transform an industry; over the last decade and a half, the company revolutionized the book market with innovations like customer reviews, collaborative filtering, one-click shopping, and unbeatable customer service. It launched all these services to stay ahead of its rivals. But what will happen when it has no rivals? [More]

We've heard this same whinging from the music industry and I think the analogy is apt.  It's only a matter of time before sharability of one sort or another becomes common.  It also means the stranglehold of publishers on what gets printed or not is ended.  They should be worried about their business model.

Anyway, it seems I'm not alone in enjoying a new way to read.

We extracted about 75 percent of the responses on age (representing about 700 responses, taking equally from the earliest and most recent postings, which show very similar age distributions). Per John Makinson's quip at an LBF panel, over half of reporting Kindle owners are 50 or older, and 70 percent are 40 or older. Here is the full age bracket distribution:

0 - 19: 5%
20 - 29: 10%
30 - 39: 15%
40 - 49: 19.5%
50 - 59: 23%
60 - 69: 19.5%
70 - 79: 6%
80+: 2%

The comments themselves are as illuminating as the numbers. So many users said they like Kindle because they suffer from some form of arthritis that multiple posters indicate that they do or do not have arthritis as a matter of course. A variety of other impairments, from weakening eyes and carpal-tunnel-like syndromes to more exotic disabilities dominate the purchase rationales of these posters. Which in turn explains Amazon's pseudo-statistical case that e-book purchases are incremental/additive, rather than cannibalistic of their print sales. Countless people report being able to read much more with Kindle because it overcomes physical obstacles or limitations that had made reading difficult for them previously. [More]
I had never thought about old geezers enjoying it.

Wait a minute...

The one-handed reading thing is one of the first features you appreciate.  But I think I'm reading faster, and certainly more. 

But the trick I'm just now getting the hang of is marking passages and maybe adding a note to use in a post/article/speech and then downloading them as a text file via the USB connection.  Brilliant!

I know you don't need more gadgets in your life.  But then you don't need more books piled up everywhere either.  (Plus you don't have to wait until a book is in paperback to afford it.)

Thanks to impatient consumers like me, Amazon should make enough money off us to start lowering the price soon.

Just glad to help.


Brian in Central IL said...

I think the one drawback to Kindle is the loss of the bookshelf. The imposing personal library makes me feel like either:
1. Wow look at all the books s/he read, I need to catch up

2. Look at the books I read (or at least have on my shelf that you think I read)

Seeing books in a personal collection says much, how does Kindle replace it?

Now for you next post, can you please tell me how to convince my Wife I need a Kindle?

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