Kindle, book of the future?

With the dawn of on-line digital music stores and digital distribution growing in popularity every day, it was only a matter of time until books became digitized. There are already some services out there (such as Google Books, digitalbookindex.org and most respectable libraries) that offer a digital copy of some books, but in such an on-the-go mobile society as the one we live in who has time to sit by their computer for hours reading a book?

Arguably the most popular solution to this issue was a product Amazon introduced in 2007, the Kindle. With its (600x800px) screen, QWERTY keyboard and SD slot, Amazon was ahead of the game. But the design it self is just ugly and it's virtually impossible to hold with out touching the screen or pressing a button, plus the fact that is does not support PDFs. To top it all off, they cost $360 and are practically impossible to come across.

Recently the Amazon Kindle was endorsed by Oprah who not only called it one of her "favorite gadgets" but also gave $50 coupons for it. E-readers are not main-stream products as yet, but could this endorsement change that? Many people feel that it will only create a spike in the Kindle sales, but once people can't find Kindles they will start looking for alternatives (such as Sony and other brands). But do e-books really have a space in this day and age? More and more books are available in audio formats which are really convenient for those who drive as part of their commute; want to listen to a book while at the gym or walking the dog. On the other hand, I would love to see these devices replace school text books. I remember being in 5th grade and carrying around a bag that weighed the same as I did. Maybe in the future our kids will only need an e-reader along with a few PDFs provided by the schools digital books store.

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Some people actually like to read BOOKS. People tire of looking at a screen all day long. Yeah some trees die but books can be passed on to other people. Besides, when a new Kindle comes out all the old ones will get thrown away. Has anyone considered THAT environmental impact?

The author of this article suggests that people would rather listen to a book than read it.

There's a reason the paper book industry is still alive. People like to read. Try it some time.

I don't know if the Kindle will take off or not, but I kind of hope it doesn't.

I greatly prefer a real paper book. They can take quite a beating, getting a little wet just adds character, the text has fantastic clarity, the refresh rate is high, and the battery life is unmatched!

As for the complaints about natural resources, I find them insulting. It's like people who stress over whether their grocery bags are paper or plastic. I greatly doubt that books are the big eater of trees. I say keep books and eliminate junk mail, newspapers, and overdone packing materials. That hardcover book you buy can stay on your shelf for decades. It has a lifespan to it.

The problem is, has been, and will remain the paper that is produced quickly, purchased frequently, and thrown away immediately. Not books. Take your holy war elsewhere.

Give me a bit of paper that can change its display like a screen and still be folded etc. like on that movie Babylon AD and i'd be impressed :P hahaha

I dont mind reading digital books though, but i save myself a couple of hundred and use my phone rather than buy something else to do the same job

I think the publishing industry would be totally stupid to venture into the digital world. Why put yourself at risk to the same level as the music and movie industries? I will pay for a book but there is no way in hell I would pay for something that I can't touch and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same.

Munkyman said,
I think the publishing industry would be totally stupid to venture into the digital world. Why put yourself at risk to the same level as the music and movie industries? I will pay for a book but there is no way in hell I would pay for something that I can't touch and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same.


Have you ever actually touched Microsoft Windows before? You bought that didn't you?

Ebooks are the answer to some peoples problems, clutter, space, portability. Carrying 11 books to and from isn't something anyone wants to do much less enjoys.

Children having them is a wonderful idea. Schools should make room in their budget. That will never happen as long as we have football and basketball players making 20million a year for doing much to nothing. Makes me sick.

Every child in America should be using digital textbooks. That's tens of millions of kids who could use a $200 e-book reader. Who's gonna be the one that develops it?

I live in a Manhattan apt, and since my wife and I read quite a bit I would love to have a digital reader. At the moment they don't have the specifications I want but I know they will soon. The ability to keep my books and not take up a large chunk of our apt would be a big plus for me.

Peace,
James Rose

I don't like the idea of digital distribution as it is. It would save a decent amount of space in my laptop bag though, sucks having this lump sticking out of my bag when I've got a laptop that it could be stored on.

I agree entirely. I actually like seeing the books that I've read lined up on my bookcases, and I love flicking through the pages as I read them. Long may they remain on paper!