20th October, 2009
Working in the same way as the ipod, plug it in, charge it, download your first book and you're away. Then subscribe to a digital edition of a newspaper and it is wired to you in the morning, via the Kindle's "whispernet" 3g connection. The Kindle isn't the first digital reader. The Sony Reader, which in its Touch edition is also quite an impressive device and will give the Amazon Kindle a run for it's money.
Amazon and the Kindle together make quite a formidable force to be reckoned with, cornering the market with the sale of the Kindle and the sale of the books to go with it. This is why the analogue text industries are twitchy.
OK the Kindle has the upper hand in some ways. Being lightweight, it is an easier read than a huge hardback, and if you fall asleep whilst reading, it will remember which page you were on. There is no glare and the text is visible on a cream background just like the real thing.
Newspapers are not such an interesting read. It is tricky to navigate and just provides you with walls of text. So reading a book where you navigate from page 1 in sequence is easy, whereas a newspaper is more of a scan affair... read what you want and gloss over the other articles.
I really don't think from a personal point of view that this will replace books. I for one would hate to not have my books out on display. Nothing can replace the feel of printed matter and the smell of the ink on the paper. For me, if books went out of print it would be a travesty and I am sure that there will be millions of book collectors worldwide who will agree. Used alongside books it can be great but for me, you could never replace the excitement of opening up the pages of a book for the first time.
So, will thousands of bookshops be forced to close their doors? And will the already struggling newspaper industry be further compromised? I dont think so!