Size does matter: Kindle gets bigger

Amazon launched a new kindle last week, bigger and better than before. The bigger screen size will improve readability and graphics display, but it’s not just the size of the device that’s grown.

The selection of content has also grown; It was launched with 90,000 books, had 230,000 in February and now has around 275,000. It’s also become a favourite way to get newspapers with significant partnerships developed with New York Times, Washingtion Post and the Boston Globe. Partnerships textbook publishers and pilots with universities will also help sales – not to mention the state of student’s backs.

But perhaps the most dramatic change of all is in the sales figures. Where there is a Kindle version 35% of purchasers choose it.

I can see all the reasons for using an electronic book reader – and here I should point out that as I’m in Europe Kindle is not available so my experience is limited to using a Sony reader in a Waterstone’s store. It’s small, portable and you can store a lot of content on it. With the wireless delivery you can pick up newspapers at the moment of publication without leaving your home. There’s some discussion about it making life easier for those who need to carry a lot of documents – this argument I don’t buy, Kindle doesn’t let you work on the documents and I don’t think it offers any advantage over having a laptop and a passable internet connection.

Picture 34I just don’t like it.

I love reading, I love books. I like the feel of them, I don’t even care if they’re old or new. I grew up with them and have always lived with books. A house without books isn’t a home, it’s a hotel room.

I suspect this might be the piece of technology that reveals my inner luddite.

image from darwinbell via flickr

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3 thoughts on “Size does matter: Kindle gets bigger

  1. This is really interesting. I’m an English undergraduate in London, and a friend of mine on my course has an e-reader and he swears by it, claiming that bookshops will be obselete in 10 years. But I’m the sort who’d rather trawl second-hand bookshops for tangible copies of a book. I think it’s a lot like the difference between the cinema and a DVD rental, in that with a book/cinema you get an experience rather than just the text/film you get otherwise. I adore old books, the way they smell and feel and look – and I love the crisp feeling of a brand new book that you know has never been opened before, even if the words inside are of a classic.

    On the one hand, I believe it’s the text that is important – the words the author put there, the images and the message of it – rather than the format you enjoy it in. But an e-reader undoubtedly changes the traditional experience of a book. I hope they don’t replace books entirely, but if they encourage reading, especially in young people, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I think there is a place in the world for both.

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