From this week’s Newsweek:
“Music and video have been digital for a long time, and short-form reading has been digitized, beginning with the early Web. But long-form reading really hasn’t.” Yet. This week [Jeff] Bezos is releasing the Amazon Kindle, an electronic device that he hopes will leapfrog over previous attempts at e-readers and become the turning point in a transformation toward Book 2.0.
Just another ebook? Judging from the look and description of this gadget, the Kindle probably has a huge advantage over previous e-books.
- it’s somewhere between the size of a paperback and cloth-bound book
- uses an easy-on-the-eyes “e ink”
- has built-in wifi enabling it to download new material by itself
- has a starting inventory of 91,000 available titles and 11 major newspapers (all sold separately)
- and is backed by Jeff Bezos and online giant Amazon.com
It’s almost like an iPod for books. I’m hoping our library will buy one ($399) for our technology “petting zoo”. Over time, we’ll see how well it works and whether it becomes a new standard in the industry. One can only imagine where this new device will lead.