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July 26, 2009

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What Do You Buy When You Buy a Kindle?

I actually think Nicholson Baker’s assessment here is pretty fair:

Here’s what you buy when you buy a Kindle book. You buy the right to display a grouping of words in front of your eyes for your private use with the aid of an electronic display device approved by Amazon.

I used to tell people that you should buy the Kindle if (and only if) you satisfy all of these conditions:

  • You read a lot.
  • You travel at least a medium amount.
  • You are interested in all this meta-media, future-of-books stuff at least a little bit.

But now, with the availability of the Kindle iPhone app, and the promise of Barnes & Noble’s new gambit in partnership with Plastic Logic… I’m not sure. I think I’m going to change my Kindle recommendation from BUY to HOLD.

I’m definitely glad I have one, but you can tell this whole thing is just getting started.

Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:23 | Comments (2) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


Yeah - I'm holding out for some of this action. Maybe one day they'll make 'em detatch from the bezel for reading in bed. Though price and tethering conditions are of course a dealbreaker...

Posted by: Jake on July 27, 2009 at 07:56 AM

I am highly interested in the "kindle rental unit" option. I travel a lot and tend to carry several library books with me (which gets stupider the more time zones I cross). Your post came at a pivotal time - I was thinking of buying a Kindle for upcoming trips to Europe and New Zealand. Now, I wish instead that airports would rent them for flights, the way you can rent a portable DVD player pre-loaded and then drop it off on the other end. Either that or I have to start checking the Craigslist market for Kindle 1's...

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