Getting the Kindle 3

booting up the Kindle 3

Image by The Shifted Librarian via Flickr

I took a little birthday money… Okay, more than a little (Thanks again Helen!)… and plunked it down on the new Kindle 3 which will arrive Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

I went with the less expensive WiFi only version and passed up on paying another $50 for the 3G version because I’m almost never without wireless and the places and times where I am are generally not particularly conducive to shopping for “books” anyway.

Besides, I have such a backlog that I’ll have plenty in my TBR (To Be Read) queue, so waiting until I have WiFi again so I can pile more on really won’t be an issue. At the same time, I’ve been able to live so far without the ability to buy a book while sitting in a random place, so I don’t see it as an issue now either.

So why a Kindle? Well, my love for consumming vast amounts of information has long found it’s nemesis in the lack of mobility in carrying around books. And yes, that’s plural, because I’m often reading more than just one thing. Though usually they are disparate subjects.

At the same time, my time is limited so not being able to go rummaging in a bookstore has been another dampening factor on my reading habits and when it comes to buying books, I’ve always been keen on the immediacy that waiting for a FedEx/USPS/UPS shipment just didn’t give me. Even with an expensive next-day option.

Not to mention I don’t have the added bonus of going to a bookstore in tax free New Hampshire now either, so I’d be looking at not only forgoing the discount I’d get online by buying in a store out here, but there’s also the addition of sales tax, which is also higher out here as well. *sigh*

Another thing is that my move across the country exposed a serious flaw in my storage plans. Even after jettisoning a huge and somewhat painful chunk of my library I still ended up carting a hefty load. Though admitedly it did help my Jeep keep traction while driving on an insanely windy road through a snowstorm in the Rockies when I was heading in to Taos.

So that’s basically some of the reasons that brought me to looking at an ereader, but why a Kindle?

I’ve read a few things on my phone, but as a reading device it’s just not there. And while it’s ok for the quick occasional spat of reading, I certainly couldn’t see using it for a reading library of any sort. Especially as the main interface to said library. However, from the sounds of all the reviews, at least the one’s that aren’t trying to compare it to the iPad (which is just stupid), the Kindle 3 is a device that pretty much is ready for such a thing.

There are three big players in the ereader market, the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony’s PRS (?) models.

From the looks of it, depending on who you ask, the Nook is either junk, just misguided design-wise or might almost on par (on-par-ish?) with the Kindle 2; which obviously means it’s now behind the curve when compared against the Kindle 3. Though it does have support for ePub, which the Kindle does not, so kudos to them.

In my view though, with B&N being dependent on their book stores it makes me weary that they would ever let their support of ebooks eat into their primary business, which is their brick and mortar stores full of dead trees. It seems to me they are more in the ereader and ebook market as a way to keep from losing market share than they are because they believe in ebooks being the future of reading.

On the other hand Amazon has long been diversifying themselves and now that they sell pretty much anything and everything so they don’t depend solely on book sales (Nor do they have stores for that matter). Also, as an online only retailer, it doesn’t matter to them whether you buy a physical book or download it, the point is that you buy from them.

Actually, that’s probably not quite true. I’m sure they probably would prefer that ebooks eventually kill off the need for them to ship books altogether so they can save money on the logistics of boxing and mailing them. So in that sense, they’re probably more likely than B&N to develop for, invest in and otherwise support ebooks and related devices in the future.

But what about the Sony? #&@% Sony, I’m still boycotting them for installing Rootkits on people’s computers and a bunch of other nasty corporate junk they’ve been pulling under the banner of the RIAA and MPAA (a.k.a. collectively as the mafiAA). I didn’t even look at their specs and only vaguely heard that at some point in the past they had some nice screens, but that you need to install their software to download and load books onto their readers… yeah, like I’m going to install anything from Sony on a computer. pffft

In choosing the Kindle, I realize that it’s a bit more restrictive and proprietary than the kind of devices that I prefer to support. But I’m not some sort of zeolot and there are a few things that negate or work around the closed nature of it to some extent. Besides, everyone knows that 99.9% of the reason behind all the restrictiveness and the terribleness of some of the pricing is due to the misguided and greedy publishers but I wouldn’t hold my breath that they are going to drop their [insert unkind words here] DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) any time soon. (See my distaste of Sony above) If I were to wait for that to happen, I might be able to pick up an ereader from a post-apocalyptic supply store in 2073, but probably not any sooner.

In buying the Kindle, I’m voting with my wallet for the technological means of reading books in the modern era, but I’m doing so regardless of the content issue. When it comes to the content, I intend to vote with wallet accordingly there as well, but they are two seperate things.

I should also mention that I’ll still buy the ocassional fallen tree or two. The Kindle, for all it’s magic, does not do image laden books well (think Photography section) and for technical manuals there’s usually a need for lots of page flipping and simultaneous cross referencing that an ebook just isn’t suited for.

Besides, I’d really hate to forget how to hold a book if this techie Kindle thing doesn’t pan out 😉


~ by ghendar on September 18, 2010.

One Response to “Getting the Kindle 3”

  1. Another plus, Amazon makes more than a handful of Kindle eBooks available for free (for a limited time) each week. The genres are all over the place, but I’ve downloaded a fair amount that interested me (and that I wouldn’t have ever gotten had they not been free).

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