Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kindle, e-book reader

I've been thinking about an e-book reader for a while now. I really like reading, and especially re-reading favourite passages, but I hate storing books. They turn all moldy and brown and silverfish swarm all over, and it takes up lots of space. E-books are fine (I've been reading little books on my Axim for a while now) but it's difficult to read in sunlight generally. Plus battery life might be a problem. And the books I want to read may just generally not be available.. And it's difficult to do cross-referencing between pages.

So I've been looking with interest as the Kindle, Cybook, and other e-book readers get good reviews.

Communities Dominate Blogs linked up an article on the number of Kindles in circulation. And of course Tyler Cowen has been writing about the Kindle (since he bought one) saying that it's better for fiction than non-fiction, noting the low, low price of an e-book, and that sales of e-books are going up. That last post also linked an NYTimes article about how Kindle might affect the book market as a whole. Preetam Rai also reviewed much earlier the Cybook Gen 3, and the photos he posted (plus the Kindle photo in the NYTimes article) assure me that the screens can be bright enough for good reading. The usual tradeoff for that is battery life, though the article on Electronic Ink posted by Preetam suggests that it does not drain power as long as the page is not updated. (As a note, Wiki says that Kindle is also e-paper based.)

Hmm.. i-Phone? Kindle? Gosh... not earning enough...


Preetam Rai said...

Hello Zim, Thanks for the mention. I too was looking to get a Kindle. The price of the books on kindle is very tempting. The bug though is you need a US credit card to buy the books and Kindle is tied to the sprint EVDO network. The book downloads are over the air.
There is a possibility of buying books on the computer and then downloading to the Kindle via the USB.

Between iPhone and Cybook, I prefer reading shorter material on the iPhone. For longer articles and books, Cybook is better.

Zim said...

Ah.. I was thinking more in terms of downloading via PC... Still very "yesterday" in terms of technology usage. I think Communities Dominate Blogs would have argued that we would be moving towards mobile downloads simply because of the ease of payment in that case. Which is probably the advantage which the iPhone has.