The Kindle makes another convert

64-year-old British writer Max Hastings, a self-professed technological traditionalist, has a new best friend—an Amazon Kindle. He first encountered it in Kenya, of all places, and after he expressed an interest a friend bought him one.

After a month of using it, he finds himself completely hooked.

Some friends ask sceptically: ‘But isn’t it hard to read on screen?’ I do not find it so. There is a magic about being able to flip between authors from hour to hour and even minute to minute, as if let loose in a giant’s library. On impulse, in the middle of nowhere one can suddenly decide to buy a book, online. Inside a minute, there it is on screen – instant gratification.

Hastings talks about how the Kindle works, how to get books, Amazon’s liberal replacement policies, pricing, and so forth—mostly stuff we already know.

But it is a great reminder of why Amazon is doing so well in the e-book market. They’ve done enough things “right” that the Kindle’s appeal reaches across all demographics. Now, if they could only make it cheaper…

2 Comments on The Kindle makes another convert

  1. Alexander Inglis // April 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm //

    Max Hasting’s article is a terrific read and a welcome balm after the assault of geeks more interested in video than text. Kinda resets the scales, for a bit. Thanks, Chris!

    “But it is a great reminder of why Amazon is doing so well in the e-book market. They’ve done enough things “right” that the Kindle’s appeal reaches across all demographics. Now, if they could only make it cheaper…”

    Yup, customer service, online shopping, personalised recommendations, depth of catalog and database … Amazon has no direct rivals and has created a significant entry bar.

    But cheaper? Well, yes: everyone wants things cheaper — count me in! But you know: 6″ e-ink screen, keyboard entry, text-to-speech, embedded dictionary, 3G access worldwide, free sample chapters for virtually all titles, Wikipedia world wide, and all the perks US customers get — is there any other e-reader which packs as much in $259? Cheaper from other vendors comes strictly with trade-offs. The single vulnerability is ePub library support.

  2. Yes. A bit cheaper AND add non-DRM’d ePub reading capability (a must). A big boost for academic/business users would be their getting the full Adobe license in order to allow editing of PDFs.

    Thanks, Chris, for the pointer to the terrific piece.

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