Friday, August 14, 2009

To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

To Kindle or not to Kindle, that is the question. It could be the end of proper publishing or the beginning of more wide spread dissemination of literature to those less likely to pick up a book and more likely to have an iphone. I will just have to see, I am new to the Kindle (I just got it for my birthday), but I gotta say, everything ever written by Wilkie Collins for $4.79!?! I'm over the freakin' moon!

My Pros:
Coolest packaging ever! The box is matte black but spirally out from the kindle logo, all done in glossy black, are letters and symbols. So freakin' cool.

Classic books that are out of print or hard to find available for next to nothing because they are in the public domain, ie Wilkie Collins, Baroness Orczy, the Brontes, Jane Austen, the list goes on and on.

Light, compact library in your hands, great for travel.

Books that are almost too heavy to hold, like Richardson's Clarissa, one of the longest novels in the English language, now fits in the palm of your hand for only $1.20.

The screen really does read like real paper. I thought that maybe they were exaggerating, but really, it's amazing.

I love that you can order right on the Kindle or on the Amazon website and it goes straight to the device.

Books that are more trashy or guilty pleasures, almost throw away novels, are easier to get and cheaper. I think the Kindle will lead to an increase in romance sales, being able to automatically download what you might be too embarrassed to get at a counter, obviously a plus.

All the shelf space I will save.

The books are generally cheaper than printed books.

When the Kindle goes to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity you see awesome pictures of authors, so far I have seen Edgar Allen Poe twice, Thomas Moore twice, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oscar Wilde, some really cool Roman lady, John Milton, Lewis Carroll, The Book of Kells, I think Dante, Emily Dickinson and finally Jane Austen. And yes, I have been letting it go to sleep to see the pictures, of course I also found by flicking the power switch you can see them too.

If I want to read a book before picking up a signed edition at the events I love to frequent, now I can buy the Kindle version and not have to spend so much money twice.

I will probably still be buying printed books and now have double the income drain.

I love printed books, the feel and way they look on your shelf. You don't really get the feel or grandeur of a "library" with Kindle's library.

Being battery powered means that the battery could run out and a printed book never runs out of power.

The move to a paperless world. I would be heartbroken if someday, during my lifetime, that books ceased to be printed and became only available digitally. (Of course this could circumvent the horrible incidents with the Vashta Nerada as seen on Dr. other words, the only advantage to not having paper books exists in a fictional tv show, ie there is no advantage).

Lack of footnotes. The Kindle is notorious for omitting footnotes. With authors like Lisa Lutz, and in particular Terry Pratchett this is horrific! Some of their best material is in the footnotes.

Not having a hardcopy of a book. Having it only exist in digital format makes me worry about what will happen in the future, when this technology is outmoded, which it will be, what will happen to my "books"?

Slow connection to get the books depending on where you are.

To Sum Up:
I am thrilled with it so far. At first it took a little time getting used to the controls, but they aren't overly complicated at all. I also accidentally voided the first purchase I made and then it took me a few hours to get it back. But I have gotten a wicked lot of classic for almost nothing and I look forward to reading them all. So, I'll have to get back to you all on final thoughts once I play with it and read on it some more, but I would love to hear what you think about this newest form of technology that is sweeping the globe.


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