So Amazon’s Kindle just dropped to $299.
Which gives me the opportunity to post on how much I love mine. The 1984 weirdness aside (and hey, Jeff Bezos apologized!), I absolutely love mine. Never thought I’d need the ability to electronically highlight, bookmark pages, clip and save text, search books for keywords, and make use of a built-in dictionary (put the cursor over any word in the text and a definition pops up; click on the definition, and a longer entry from the Oxford English Dictionary appears), but they make reading much more interesting. They’re also incredibly useful if you’re a journalist or in some other research-oriented field.
The Kindle library is still early in its development. I’m finding that roughly 2/3 of new titles I’m interested in are usually available, and about half of the older books I’ve looked to buy in Kindle form.
(Side note to book publishers: If you send me review copies of new books in Kindle form, I am much more likely to read and possibly review them than if you send me hard copies. When I travel now, I usually just take the Kindle. The thing holds 1,500 books, plus I can instantly download all of the national newspapers and many of the magazines I read (including Reason). I’m much more likely to put your book on the Kindle and look it over on a train or a plane than I am to schlep a hard copy around.)
The e-ink reads the same as an actual book, so it doesn’t trigger migraines the way staring at a monitor can. It’s also perfectly readable in bright sunlight, though if you want to read in darker environs you should invest in a book light.
I really only have one complaint, and even here I may just not be aware of how to get around the problem. But the Kindle has its own odd method of notating locations within in a book. That is, it doesn’t use the same page numbers a hard copy would use. So while the search, text clipping, bookmarking, and comment functions are wonderful for research, if I’m writing a book or paper that requires citation, I’ll need to go out and buy the hard copy to cite to specific pages. Or at least until citing to Kindle’s location system becomes an acceptable form of notation. And again, there may be a way around this. But if there is, it isn’t intuitive.
Finally, if you’re thinking of getting a Kindle, you can make me a little money by buying it through this site. At no extra cost to you, of course.