My quick review of the Kindle.

Glenn Reynolds mentioned that the latest Kindle is selling like gangbusters.  Having gotten one as a Christmas present, I thought that I’d give it a bit of a review.

I’ve got the one without 3G web access, so I can’t really speak about that; but it’s a darn convenient book reader.  This Kindle is easier to read than I thought that it was going to be, holds a battery charge for a long time, doesn’t have problems with sunlight that I’ve noticed, and is easy to carry around.  So far, I’ve been using it to pick up various collections of pulp and Golden Age SF/fantasy books on the cheap: mostly books that I’ve read before, but either don’t have anymore, or don’t quite know where they are at the moment.  It’s easier to read while doing something else than a regular book is; no pages to randomly turn on their own.  Also: as a bathroom reader it’s pretty much ideal.

Lastly, speaking as someone who is left-handed I very much appreciate that they set up the page-turning buttons the way that they did (top button on either side: backward; bottom button on either side: forward).  That went a long way towards making the thing intuitive for me.

Bottom line?  If you’ve got the cash for one this is a pretty sweet gadget; I imagine that I’m going to wish that I had the unlimited Internet access, so you should probably fork over extra for that.  I expect that this will become a standard travel accessory for me.

I Haz a Kindle.

[Forty-five minutes of swearing, struggling, three suppressed attempts to throw the damn thing through the window, and one general network failure later]

I haz a Kindle that works.

‘Course, I don’t have anything to put on it yet, but that’s Step 2.  Even with the slow erosion of Amazon.com revenues on the site, I can probably get a book out of it every month.  A couple, if I stick with some of the more obscure and low-priced ones.

*Finally*: e-books starting to come down in price.

So, the Kindle‘s now down to $189.  Not surprising: as I understand it, you need at least three viable choices of a service or product to get a price war going, and at this point there are apparently four.  So the price will probably go down some more.

I have to tell you: if (as per here and here) if people do offer a free Kindle (or other e-reader) as part of a Book-of-the-Month club deal that might be the tipping point for me.

#rsrh Being cheerfully mercenary in the e-book wars.

This article by Megan McArdle on the escalating war between the Kindle and the iPad over who gets to replace my print library (and thus, give me my basement back) is very interesting; unfortunately – and this isn’t Megan’s fault – I still haven’t decided which one I prefer, and thus can recommend.  Clearly what needs to happen is that each company should send me one to, ah, ‘analyze.’  Obviously, if one sends me one and the other doesn’t, that will make the results pretty much a foregone conclusion, yes?  I’ve even updated the Wish List on the Filthy Lucre page accordingly for said company representatives (and company representatives only*).

Oh, yes: do the same thing for Little Miss Attila.  After all, she brought this issue to my attention.

Moe Lane

PS: Seriously, why Amazon didn’t hand out more Kindles to New Media folks…

*My current readers already got me a new audio rig for phone interviews.  Which hopefully they feel that they’re getting their money’s worth on; I’m trying to get at least a couple in every week.

Kindle software now available for PC for free.

No actually, this makes a certain amount of sense. I could put it on my laptop and still be able to buy Kindle books to read.

Note ‘could:’ my major problem with the e-book thing is that while I wouldn’t mind transferring my two thousand book library to handy electronic form (I’d get a basement back, among other things), I don’t want to do that at ten bucks a book, or even one buck a book. Twenty-five cents a book for the genre science fiction from the Fifties and Sixties? Yeah, I’ll seriously think about making the switch. But I don’t like mixing formats.

OK, the real question on the Kindle is…

…not whether I pick up a Kindle 2. I already know the answer to that one: I don’t, for a while (if ever).  The question becomes, do I pick up a Kindle 1? I mean, with any luck the price for one of those will go through the floor and I can think about purchasing one. On the other hand, it may not get that way for a while, so I might as well contemplate saving up my money and getting the better option.  On the gripping hand, I like books.  I also like the way that they work even when there’s no reliable source of electricity around.

Probably one of my readers has a Kindle: what do you folks think about them?