Kindled hopes

John Holbo is wondering if the Kindle could be the one.

I’ve always wanted an eBook reader I could really want. I think most academics feel the same, probably most people do, who spend any serious time reading onscreen. And, like most people, I have sized it up as a consumer confidence Catch-22. No confidence-inspiring device, however snazzy, until a critical mass of customers settles. No settling until there is a confidence-inspiring device. It sounded, at least initially, as though Kindle was sure to be born a clinker: speaking selfishly, it wouldn’t have the sorts of features that would make it a wonderful thing for academics, as any eReader has to be. You wouldn’t be able to read PDF’s. (Total deal-breaker for any academic.) I guess they’ve worked that out; quite a few customers seem to be reporting in, happy. I don’t really care if the thing looks a bit homely and of course the price will come down eventually. Could Kindle be it? The phrase ‘bestselling eBook reader’ hasn’t had much occasion for use before now. It’s been the tech phrase I’ve been waiting to hear. Please report, CT-reading Kindle-owners, especially academics.



I confess, I too have been casting longing eyes at its box-it-came-in styling and thoroughly un-ergonomic design. I'm going on vacation in a couple of weeks (the first one since last August), and I really don't fancy hauling the eighteen pounds of books that are necessary to keep me occupied for an entire week. Also, I am out of bookshelves, with no room for more; my apartment is a funny shape with not so much in the way of open walls.

Talk to me, Kindle owners--should I get my hopes up?