Tuesday, June 28, 2011

eReaders Arrive

After writing about the Kindle for some time, I can let you know that I am now a proud owner of one. I can also tell you that it is a wonderful device, even more wonderful than I imagined, when used for reading the right kind of book, that is, the page-turner kind of book where you start on page 1 and keep turning pages until you get to the end. The other kind of book, the kind of book where you start with the index or table of contents and then jump around has been subsumed by the web with search and hyperlinks to the point where it is redundant anyway. Thus the Kindle is the perfect device for reading the only kind of book that is left, the kind of book that you read straight through.

I am not the only person who has recently bought an eReader. Today a Pew Internet research study showed that eReader ownership has doubled in the last 6 months. It is now up to 12% in the US and is currently growing faster than Tablet ownership. eReaders have been around for longer than the current incarnation of Tablets, and seem to be arriving at the period of mass adoption. Also, given the current price there is little reason not to own one.
An objection to the Kindle has always been that it is not a converged device. It is good for reading one kind of book and little else. Many commentators wanted it to be good at everything, and argued that otherwise it is just another device that you need to carry around. I particularly like that it is not a converged device. When I am reading a book on my Kindle, it will not interrupt my train of thoughts to announce that an email or twitter has arrived, or tempt me to play a silly game or fiddle with a Facebook page. With the Kindle I can walk away from the computer and read a book without all those interruptions and distractions that make life a disconnected stream of consciousness

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