Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kindle My Heart*

David Pogue tackles the Kindle issue in this NY Times article. What's the new Kindle all about? What are the pros? The cons? And, most importantly, will it kill the book?

Pogue's answer: The new Kindle is nice, but it's never going to replace a real book.

"But as traditionalists always point out, an e-book reader is a delicate piece of electronics. It can be lost, dropped or fried in the tub. You’d have to buy an awful lot of $10 best sellers to recoup the purchase price. If Amazon goes under or abandons the Kindle, you lose your entire library. And you can’t pass on or sell an e-book after you’ve read it."

Not to mention the fact that a book just feels nice in your hands. I stare at a screen way too much to want to buy another screen to look at. And I think the book is really in no danger in the current economy, which is sending more people than ever to their public library. Why pay hundreds for a book-machine (and then another $10 for a "book") when you can check it out for free?

Even so, people are obviously buying the Kindle, mostly because it can hold thousands of books in one place. However, Pogue also points out:

"The point everyone is missing is that in Technoland, nothing ever replaces anything. E-book readers won’t replace books. The iPhone won’t replace e-book readers. Everything just splinters. They will all thrive, serving their respective audiences."

So the Kindle-lovers will have their ebooks, and the paperback fans will keep going to bookstores and libraries. Kind of like how TV hasn't killed movies, and the internet hasn't killed TV.

*Anyone who knows where this comes from, you rock.