Farhad Manjoo reviews the Kindle 2:

...the Kindle locks you down with more rules than the Army Field Manual. The Kindle won't let you resell or share your books. Anything you buy through the reader is fixed to your Amazon account, readable only on the Kindle or other devices that Amazon may one day deem appropriate. (The company has hinted that it'll build an iPhone app that can read Kindle books.) Even worse, you can buy books for your Kindle only from Amazon's store. Indeed, the device makes it difficult to read anything that's not somehow routed through Amazon firstyou can surf the Web on the Kindle, and you can convert some of your personal Microsoft Word or text files to the device's format, but doing so is slow and not very reliable. In order to read blogs, magazines, newspapers, and books, you've really got to go through Amazon's store first.

You can see where this is going: Kindle owners buy a lot of stuff, and the more stuff they buy, the more likely they are to stick with the Kindle in the future, even when/if someone else invents a better, more open e-book service. This restriction makes Amazon the prime market for book publishers. How can they resist giving over their entire catalog to a store that attracts so many eager, captive shoppers? Publishers' acquiescence in turn increases the Kindle's appeal to new buyers. If you're in the market for an e-book reader, you'll probably choose the one that offers the most books, and that means Kindle. (At the moment, there are about 240,000 titles available for the Kindle; the Sony Reader, its closest rival, has fewer than 100,000.) Taken together, these trends all point in one directionAmazon will come to rule the market for e-books. And as the master of the e-book universe, Amazon will eventually call the shots on pricing, marketing, and everything else associated with the new medium.

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