Amazon Kindle could be the library of the working nomad
Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle was launched today, and it looks quite interesting:
- eInk display, so it is easy on the eyes and can be read even in sunlight
- Long battery life
- Amazon stores backups of books user has bought
- Storage expandable with SD cards
- Ability to send in your own files
- Newspapers, magazines and blogs
- Automatic updates and downloads via cell network, no need to tether to computer
- Shame about the closed format, though
While the device is ugly it seems usable enough. Now the question remains whether the device will be feasible for use outside the US, as Amazon’s Whispernet system is apparently tied to Sprint, a local operator there.
When I moved away from the Five Corners apartment I decided to de-clutter to support a more working nomadistic lifestyle. I digitized all my music so I was able to get rid of the CDs and gave my old furniture away and replaced it with rented ones.
But books are still an analog product. As no good e-book reader has emerged I’ve been stuck with a collection of big and heavy books that I have to move around. Only when I’ve run out of shelf space I’ve been reluctantly forced to give away or sell them. If the Kindle approach works, it could help me get rid of the dead tree editions and paper magazine subscriptions. But time will tell.
Of course, Kindle is not the only device in the market. My Nokia N800 tablet with FBReader could do much of the same stuff, but the screen isn’t as nicely readable and the book and magazine collection supplied by Amazon just isn’t available.
Updated 2007-11-20: Dive into Mark has very good points about the problems with Kindle’s proprietary approach to e-books.
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