I bought a Kindle. This was the culmination of a long decision-making process, capped suddenly by an impulse buy. Once I started reading I felt immediately happy with the device, and I suspect I’ll be using it a lot.
If you’ve read Litkicks over the years, you probably know about my history of mixed feelings about this device. On the day the Kindle was announced (with a lot of manufactured fanfare, including the cover of Newsweek) I called it a loser, loser, loser. I was mainly referring to two big problems: it cost $400, and it was gigantic.
Three and a half years later, Amazon has solved both problems. The device now costs $139, and it is small enough to fit in my jeans pocket. Therefore, I don’t think I was wrong when I originally called the Kindle a loser. I think Amazon listened to me and fixed the problems.
Still, looking back over the years, I suppose I have displayed deeply conflicted feelings about the Kindle and about e-book technology in general, and I must admit that I have occasionally changed my mind. I once objected to the fact that e-book readers feel cold and glassy in my hands, but I’m happy to report that the new Kindle does manage to feel warm and (slightly) flexible, which makes a difference. I still don’t care about missing that book smell; I never sat around sniffing my books in the first place. I also care about DRM, and I care about keeping my books when I change devices; I’m still not sure how these concerns of mine will play out over time.
Regardless, it’s a fact that electronic publishing is hot and getting hotter these days, and that many independent or entrepreneurial authors are getting excited (maybe overly excited) about it. I am too, and I’m probably going to start doing some e-book publishing of my own soon. I’m not going to restrict myself to the Kindle format — I hope anything I publish will be available on the Kobo, Nook, iPad, etc. etc. as well. But I guess the Kindle will be a good place for me to start experimenting.
And, just for the record, this is not the first e-book reader I’ve owned. I’m way ahead of all of you. I’m one of about ten people alive today who owned a RocketBook Reader (they gave me a free one, and it was terrible) back in 2001.