Original post made
by bookwork, Crescent Park,
on Jan 31, 2011
This column by Jon Carroll explains two reasons to avoid Kindle: Web Link
Amazon strongly fights efforts to pay sales tax in California - how's that for a level playing field against local businesses -- and will not allow downloads from other bookstores -- the iPad allows Kindle and many other ebookstores.
Amazon's decision to overprice their reader and restrict distribution was a valid business decision, albeit an ultimately failed one.
Electric Books will ultimately become a commodity and restrictive marketing will ultimately fade before the free market - but in the long run we will all be dead, so...
I like my Kindle ... I finally broke down and bought one, but in reviewing that decisions and looking at the big picture I regret that I did.
I don't think books are priced fairly on Kindle. There is not material charge for the Kindle book, no shipping charge, no paper, no ink, no storage charge, no risk that merchandise is going to get stolen or roughed up in the store. The profit from that alone is enough, but there is a more insidious side to the Kindle.
When you buy a book you have some residual value. You can always sell your book, or give it away and claim it as a deduction on your taxes. The used market keeps sales of new books down to some extent, and with the Kindle, there is no used market, there is no value to your book once you have read it.
Put that together with the Kindle reading experience which is sub-par compared to reading a book. A book is like a record ... random access. You can open it and search it. You have a material sense of where something you just read was located or if you want you can browse ahead or back. With a Kindle you really do not feel that when you read. It is almost sequential. There are no page numbers.
Sure you can highlight, and bookmark, but the screen is so small that you can only see a very small number of highlights or bookmarks at one time.
You can search, but the small keyboard is clumsy to do anything complicated.
The one advantage of a Kindle is that on "SOME" books you can have the Kindle read to you ... which is the sole reason I got the Kindle. I like to read while I am on the treadmill, and so I can turn on the text-to-speech and listen and read along ... which does work for me.
The price is high. They did recently lower the price of the Kindle, but it is so clunky to use ... even clunkier than the iPad version of the Kindle, which does not have text-to-speech.
I am sorry to have supported a business model that I do not care for. Much as I like Amazon.com, the Kindle business unit is not as good as Amazon and I wish they would fix some of things lacking in the Kindle and the computer and portable Kindle clients.