Monday, July 27, 2009

Kindle in Great Detail

It's a little tedious at times, but Nicholas Baker's much-mentioned (today) New Yorker piece on the Kindle digs up a lot of interesting points on the Kindle Experience. I recall my partner opening his Mac products and being aware (and ever so pleased) with the actual design, not just of the product but the packaging. He also walks us through what it is like once you have the thing, and you are ready to start reading.

I didn't know Amazon had a campaign wherein they enlisted users to share their readers with potential customers:
To find out more, I went to Freeport, Maine, to talk to Eileen Messina, the manager of the British-imports store just across from L. L. Bean. Messina, a thoughtful, intelligent woman in her thirties, has all kinds of things on her Kindle, including “Anna Karenina,” Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore,” books by Dan Simmons and Abraham Verghese, and the comic novel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” She is so happy with it that she has volunteered, along with about a hundred others, to show it off to prospective purchasers, as part of Amazon’s “See a Kindle in Your City” promotion. Her Kindle was in her purse; she’d crocheted a cover for it out of green yarn.

This partially answers my ongoing question about how a potential customer can test drive the thing.

One unexpected running threat in the article is how excited people are not to have to deal with used books, either purchased or borrowed from a library. I had not idea of the resentment! We all get annoyed if someone has written or damaged a book, but claims that books smell like smoke, that you "don't know where they've been"? Really? That's nuts, and half the fun!

Baker also does a nice job untangling all the other readers. The end result, it seems to me, is that the technology just ain't there yet for most of us. So Kindle readers can keep flipping the ol' Kindle "control nipple," as some call it, but I'll be over here with Christopher, readin' good old-fashioned books... for now.

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