Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amazon Launches Paperback Of The Future?

Jeffrey Bezos has been know to be the visionary who set up the multi-billion dollar retailer - he does it yet again with Kindle in the hopes the ebook reader will do for books what the iPod did for music.

In this review by The Guardian's Danny Bradbury, he quoted Jeff Bezos, "we knew we would never out-book the book," he explained. "We would have to take the technology and do things the book could never do."

Kindle has 30 hours of battery life, 2-hour recharge time, it lets users instantly receive newspapers and magazines subscribed to via Amazon. Making more than 90,000 books, blogs, magazines and newspapers available to any reader anywhere in the world - at a fee of course. But will this ebook reader device make it to mass markets? His article mentions many possible flaws to the device.

Other publishers worry that the whole ebook concept is flawed. Like many, HarperCollins is currently in the throes of digitising its content. "We're partly digitising because we are saying that we're not as interested in the book as a content delivery mechanism," says group digital publisher Clive Malcher. "We want to start with the content and deliver it in the most appropriate medium."

In a letter from Jeff Bezos posted on the homepage of, it took them more than 3 years to develop it. Kindle is wireless, patterned after the cell phone technology without the bills, the software and contracts. The screen is nothing like a computer, it's said to be on electronic paper and weighs only 10.3 ounces (less than a paperback), with the content of 200 books.

Will their analogy to music really work? I'm not sure. I still want to hold a book when I read and flip pages, and even smell the paper. It might be worth considering though now that everyone's going green - environmentalists will love this product.

I'm not sure ebooks will fly as well. They have been around for awhile but they haven't really stood out as a replacement for the real tangible book. And I doubt they ever will. For some reason, being published in print is just not the same with being published online

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