Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Love of the Kindle

The last week or so has had plenty of hullabaloo about the new iPad and everyone seems very concerned about what Apple is going to do to the Kindle. Hate to break it to you Apple folk, but you are a little late and on the wrong side of the eReader game.

I'll never use the iPad for reading. I use plenty of Apple products, but the Kindle -- at this juncture is the dream book.

Those issuing the death knell of the Kindle obviously don't read, so they don't have a clue. The virtues of the Kindle have been expounded by its acolytes, but I'd like to offer five great reasons that the Kindle is here to stay in a Gutenberg-ian sort of way --

1. Real bibliophiles are ecstatic about not needing to lug thirty books with them when they travel. My carry-on is so light these days.

2. I actually get the newspaper delivered to me without the annoying and unreliable paper boy -- and it is the New York Times.

3. As I'm reading my NY Time's Book Review on Sunday Morning in my slippers and bath robe, I see a book I want to read and I click the convenient shop button, type in the name of the book and two clicks I'm reading the book instead of the review. I spend more money on books (and I spent a lot before).

4. I can lay in bed and read without flipping back and forth like a rotisserie chicken -- just hit next page.

5. Oh, did I mention that I like being read to -- even in the mechanical voice?

Actually I think one problem with the Kindle and "Death of the Kindle" crowd is the people saying this aren't really readers. How the hell would they know what a good reading experience? This is the same crowd that was saying reading was dead just before Harry Potter sold a gazillion copies and every adolescent girl on the planet purchased Twilight.

Seth Godin in his marketing blog encourages marketers to "disaggregate" and he starts off his blog post with this gem, "The typical American buys precisely one book a year". He points out the obvious that based on the statistical analysis, between Seth and me at least 950 Americans didn't buy a single book last year (Seth bought about 400 and I bought about 450-(250 on the Kindle)). Ok, that may have been a little hyperbole.

The people who say the Kindle is dead or dying are the same people that haven't bought a book of any kind for a long, long time.

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