I like books, with pages, ink, and varied typography. I know, it’s ever-so old-fashioned. A voracious reader, I have found that it is difficult for me to focus on a screen for more than about eight minutes. Give me a ream of paper, my glasses, and a pot of coffee and I’m good for hours.
These guys need to hire Apple to design the thing.
…kinda sad that an author has to differentiate his sci-fi works from his (cough) “serious” works….
Works for me – makes it easier to avoid books without robots.
I’m in that boat with you. Though, I do have a Sony Reader so that also affects my purchasing decisions, until it dies I won’t buy something else. That said, the new Kindle doesn’t tempt me very much. Still too ugly, still too kludgy. If they integrated a touch screen better than Sony, it’d be just about perfect.
Not sure about Kindle, but Sony books can have as many fonts as the publisher wants (usually they stick to two or three).
@Winkybb and @technogeek –
The keyboard is to search the online store, type stuff into the web browser, search for text in books, and annotate books.
@TRICKPONY – the kindle’s screen is e-ink, very easy to read. You can even make the text bigger.
That being said, the Sony readers look WAAAAAY better than the Kindle. Maybe I’ll buy a Kindle 4 which judging by this versions progress, will be halfway decent looking, and cost $200.
Do want, but at $100, and I could give a shit less about EVDO/3G/any ubiquitous connectivity. If my attention span is so short that I cannot wait A FEW HOURS OH GOD THE HUMANITY to buy a book, I’m not going to have the span to read the book anyway.
“Also: You can’t burn digital books.”
No, but as BB’s demonstrated, you can unpublish them, no kindling (snerk) required.
Re: Scribbling in margins
That’s what the keyboard is for. You can annotate your text, which is stored in a file which actually gets pushed back to the cloud. (Scary or not, I can’t decide.) It is awesome that after I make those notes, I can read them on the computer via a browser.
Or, as in my case, I got rid of my first kindle, and then got a new one 6 months later- and within 10 minutes of opening the box and not connecting a single wire… I had all my previously purchased titles and the annotations I’d made. After hooking the USB cable up to my laptop and dragging and dropping the original folder… I had all the PDFs I’d reflowed and the stuff I’d picked up from Project Gutenberg. All still showed my progress through the book, and with all my notes.
I don’t get the rage against ebooks. There’s the first group of people that insist that paper can never be replaced, and there’s the other group that insists that reading a book on a iPhone or Palm is really totally functional, so what would be the point? The readability of the epaper format is really the answer to both of them, and until you spend some time staring at the ePaper format, it’s tough to convey.
I can understand the hesitation about format support- I think right now the biggest limiting factor is CPU power and size of the available paper. PDFs don’t scale well to a 6″ diagonal. Once the CPU chan churn through a PDF and give it to you on your legal paged rader, it’ll be supported. I don’t think it’s Amazon just trying to be evil.
Some day, I will have one. But not yet.
Re the books vs eBook debate: I pretty much only listen to my iPod but still have piles of CDs everywhere. I’m sure it will be the same with books eventually.
I’ve always liked the concept of the Kindle, but buying it (especially at $360) and then buying books for it seemed like a scam. Now if the NY Times would give them away with a subscription for a year, or some similar promotion, It would make more sense.
They need to figure out the happy medium between the cable box and iPod business models for this thing.
@Takuan — of course you can. but it’s cheaper and more effective to throw nokia bricks, which, as it turns out, is the actual term: check out the definition at urban dictionary .
Palm forever! If I still had the charger for my Zire, I’d be using it. (Lost stoopid charger in house fire.)
Kinkle’s fugly with a capital fuckin’.
I am one of those people who likes to read woth a pencil in hand, and scribble notes in the margins of my books. Even Novels. I can’t imagine a satisfactory way of doing that with the Kindle.
“giant bezel is giant.”
Capn Barcode – Apple would give it a larger screen and/or a smaller package, less bezel, touchscreen instead of a keyboard and they’d get rid of the 7 buttons around the edge. They would think of a really cool, intuitive way to tell it to scroll or flip the page.
Unfortunately, the books would only be available via ITMS. Although Amazon has that lock-in already, right?
I like holding books with two hands
I like folding the corners over (sorry)
I like the smell of old penguin orangebacks
I like lending books to friends without worrying about DRM (or whatever)
I think the even actor/model in the photo thinks it’s really badly rubbish
-I- like the idea of someday just buying ebooks of my textbooks (or pirating them >.>) and hopefully saving some money.
Somehow, though, I doubt a $350 cost just for the reader would be conducive to that.
If it’s now the size of a paperback… well, that’s better, but it’s only an advantage over paperbacks if you keep it loaded with an extended to-be-read list and if you’re in a situation where carrying the paperback works.
I’ve gotta admit that, despite its relatively tiny screen, it *is* perfectly possible to read a novel on a Palm… and the Palm does other useful things and fits in a shirt pocket so it actually gets carried at times when a separate e-book wouldn’t. I know the holy grail is “just like a book”… and keeping the price down by making it just powerful enough to handle the reader tasks… but any design is about compromises, and that one doesn’t appeal to me that much.
Dunno about anyone else, but I keep and re-read books, and I like being able to admire (and show off, and share) my accumulated library.
And paper doesn’t suffer planned obsolescence when the next latest-and-greatest technology comes along… Eliminating DRM would be a step in the right direction, but you still have the question of whether file formats are going to change and if converters will be available.
I dunno. Maybe if I was traveling continuously on business the ability to carry a more extensive library with me would appeal. Then again, when I’m traveling on business I’m carrying a laptop and could keep books loaded on that (again, if we get rid of DRM nuisances).
In fact, I do like the concept of an e-book… but I still have trouble coming up with a scenario where I’d actually prefer one rather than something bigger, smaller, or more traditional.
…I think even the actor/model in the photo thinks it’s really badly rubbish…
sorry English is my first language, but typing is my last
Something like this makes me realize that I fear change.
About the bezel: you need some space to touch the front with one or more fingers around to hold it with one hand without touching relevant buttons. This is for your conveniance.
I’m an English major. For me to convert to an ebook reader it would have to have a way to highlight/underline passages *and* write notes in the margins. Being able to search the text of my notes would guarantee a purchase from me. Does such a thing exist? If not… why not? There are plenty of people who simply must be able to write in their books, but so far I haven’t found an ebook reader that allows the user to make notes.
I apparently speak for no one else when I say: want.
Look, books are nice and whatever but they weigh a ton, take up valuable space, smell like chemicals or rot — as nice as you may think that is — and take forever to show up in the mail. They’re usually only read once unless they’re particular favourites, so they don’t really need to have a persistent physical presence. Thousands upon thousands of books are old and free.
My household goes through about 30 newspapers, 10 magazines, 20 comics, ~3 graphic novels, and ~2-5 novels a month. I’ve worked in a bookstore and have about 30 boxes or shelves of the things, so you can’t tell me I don’t love books. I’ll still be happy to see the bound paper madness end.
Still, probably can’t have unless they’ve solved that little “US Only” issue.
I can still read my books when the battery runs out on the kindle.
Now.. if they do a version for sheet music, A3 landscape size, which I can also write on… then I’d be very very happy. I love having books around, but the piles of music are a different matter…
Look, I think these things are marketed all wrong. I think it is a fantastic little gadget and seems pretty good for what I would want to use it for. Which isn’t primarily reading books.
Iâ€™m sure it works fine for books, but I donâ€™t imagine that purchasing one will end my book buying. I’m in graduate school and I read a lot of academic articles a week, most of which I have no need to keep a hard copy of. A lot of people must have that kind of stuff in their life. Reading PDFs, word documents, and all of the other kinds of school/business ephemera is irritating on a laptop screen and seems totally wasteful to print it all. Most of these things I already have a largely electronic relationship to, searching online databases for articles and getting emailed documents. E-readers are perfect for this stuff, or they will be when you can annotate them easily and cheaply (the iLiad is way too expensive, and, we’ll see after we hear some more first hand reports, but the kindle isn’t supposed to be so great at annotation and footnotes). But it isn’t just academic and business use ereaders seem perfectly suited to.
An all too common trope is that no one will want to give up the romance of the book-the touch, the smell, the physicality of reading-and maybe they won’t, but I have stacks of newspapers and periodicals that I, and everyone on my street, recycle everyday. I can see the kindle easily replacing my physical subscription to the wall street journal or the New Yorker, or academic journals.
Only plastic logic seems to have fully targeted the business and academic market, but Kindle’s subscriptions to newspapers and other periodicals seems like a fantastic function.
My mp3 player didn’t make me get rid of my record collection, but I certainly haven’t bought a CD in forever. I think most people will keep their books and still buy new ones, they are such completely pleasing objects, but there is an entire category of printed ephemera I think the Kindle can probably help me eliminate from my life.
I’m not getting rid of my library, but I definitely want a new Kindle.
I hate the whole concept of Kindle. It looks ugly, it feels too light, it’s too solid, and … I HATE THE DAMNED THING!!!!!!!!!
I’m not a luddite, but I just can’t hack the concept of novels on a device like that. I love my books.
I think it looks cute. And once it takes of (“it” being “digital book viewers” not specifically the Kindle), book piracy will too.
Which, of course, means that all the world’s books will finally be online, available in minutes.
This is one of the great unrealized potentials of the internet. Illicit printers will spring up, distributing black-market engineering textbooks to slum kids, feminist literature to Catholics, and Ian M. Banks novels to kids forced to read ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ in school.
I mean, I can’t remember the last time (it must have been years ago) an obscure film I wanted to see wasn’t available online. Yet I still, in this day and age, have to trawl through dusty secondhand bookstores, or wait for weeks for a special order or an inter-library loan for even the most ordinary print title.
You can’t burn digital books.
Oops. of->off. So sorry.
I just don’t think it’s as pretty as the plogic. Also not as 8×10, which I suppose is only a plus for people like me who like that.
giant bezel is giant.
Like someone else said, don’t knock it until you try it. I’m a serious book person and not only do I love my Kindle, it’s brought me back to a lot of the classics thanks to all the public domain works. Plus there’s something oddly satisfying about having the main texts of every major world religion and the complete works of Mark Twain with me when I need ‘em.
My date with a kindle is inevitable but this doesn’t seem quite where I need it to be yet. It’s still a bit too expensive and the keyboard takes up too much real estate considering how often I’d use it. Plus many books I’d want to read don’t have a kindle addition yet. It’s one of those things that will keep getting better and cheaper the longer I wait and I don’t really have a pressing need for it. The current kindle is like the ipods available in 2003.
What is the “keyboard” used for?
I think we can consider it settled that Amazon will never release a reader as attractive as Sony’s. But it’s a *better* reader, for sure…
Does it support text books yet? Color?
That’s Iain M. Banks to you buster (or simple old Iain Banks for his non-sci-fi works) — off topic but still kinda sad that an author has to differentiate his sci-fi works from his (cough) “serious” works….
Now.. if they do a version for sheet music, A3 landscape size, which I can also write on…
If you build it, they will come.
Man, Kindle is too expensive. I was hoping the next version would be less costly. Seems not.
Screen is still too small. Still waiting for an adequate screen… I can read novels on my Palm or cell phone, need bigger screen for PDF & technical books.
Subjectively, it’s ugly.
Turns out that objectively, it’s ugly as well.
Compare the Ã¦sthetic dimensional considerations of the iPod Touch.
And this platform is meant to have works produced by typesetters, typographers, and layout designers displayed upon it?
*Ring Ring* Hello, may I speak with Jeff Bezos, please? I would like to paint your portrait, and then hang it in the ugliest rococo frame imaginable – would that be OK with you?
I can’t believe I’m the only commenter that got at least a half-chub when I saw this. It’s not super beautiful by any means, but it beats the first version and the built-in EVDO is a killer feature in my opinion.
wastrel @ 6:
Screen is still too small. Still waiting for an adequate screen… I can read novels on my Palm or cell phone, need bigger screen for PDF & technical books.
Is this big enough?
iRex Digital Reader 1000:
Display: 10.2″ diagonal, 1024 x 1280 @ 160 ppi, 16-level gray scale
Size: 10.5″ x 8.5″ x 0.47″
Weight: +/â€ 570 grams, 20 ounces
(Note: the M1000S model has a Wacom tablet built-in, so you can make notes/corrections right on the document)
Video demo here:
Display: 6″ diagonal, 600 x 800 at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale
Size: 7.5″ x 5.3″ x 0.7″
Weight: 10.3 ounces
I didn’t think I’d like the Kindle, and I still think it’s not for me (yet), but my g/f has one and she loooooooves it.
Unless you’ve tried it, don’t think it’s dumb. It’s quite impressive.
#28: Hmm. Given that I *do* like having my entire music library (well, all of it in digital form) loaded into my MP3 player, I can see the reference/completeness/convenience aspect.
#29: Keyboard is used for search functions, and (I believe?) when downloading. I’m not sure whether there are other uses. If this is indeed all it’s used for, a micro (thumb) keyboard would suffice, so I presume the only reason it’s this large is that other factors caused the device to be physically larger and they’re using the keyboard to fill the visual space.
Much agreed with technogeek. I won’t pretend I don’t impulsively want one, I’m just not sure when I’d use it. Are e-readers an iPod, or a Segway? Either the naysayers or the “book killer” crowd is going to look silly in a few years, but which?
If they can manage to keep it in stock, I’ll probably pick this one up. I think it’s a very attractive little device (prettier than the Kindle 1, although I thought the origami hat design was cute). Smaller than I’d prefer, but the screen’s not much smaller than an early Eee, and it doesn’t fold. Much more convenient for sticking up on the treadmill.
@34: It’s a very Apple-looking device, almost too minimal. It’s thin, it’s white, it’s sans-serif… what more would Apple do with it?
Get used to it, it’s only going to get better. My book collection is going to make me look like such a dinosaur, 20 years from now.
Still a US only product. They can keep it.
can you throw it at someone?
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