I got my new Kindle from Amazon today . Of course, the first thing I did was search for myself in the Kindle store. Imagine my surprise when I found that I’d put three books on there and was charging over seven pounds each for them (that’s more than they are asking for Tony Blair’s memoirs – so they got that bit right). Either I’ve uploaded them and set the price in my sleep, or there is something strange going on here. I’ve asked Amazon to find out what is going on.
As for the Kindle itself. It is a perfectly formed device that is going to spell the death knell for a lot of paper books. I got a Sony E-Reader some time back and quite liked it, but loading books was a pain and the display was useless for anything interactive.
The Kindle fixes both these problems. You can even use it to browse to my blog and the pictures look strangely wonderful in grey scale. As a paperback replacement it is fantastic. It is ultra-portable (at the moment I’m using an A5 envelope as a case) and the screen is really easy to read. The integration with Amazon is impressive to the point of scary. I got the one with the built in 3G phone and stuff just arrives as though by magic. It also has WiFi which works fine at home but not on the university campus. This is because the Kindle doesn’t support the WPA2 Enterprise security that we use at Hull.
It is a bit glib to say that the Kindle will do for books what the ipod did for music. But I don’t think that it is far from the truth.
One reason for getting the Kindle was to experiment with page layouts that work best on the small screen. I’ll be putting properly a formatted version of the Yellow Book on the Kindle store soon.
But the ones there are the moment are not from me.