Steven Heller gets the answer from designer Michael Cronan:

Jeff [Bezos, the CEO] wanted to talk about the future of reading, but in a small, not braggadocio way. We didn't want it to be 'techie' or trite, and we wanted it to be memorable, and meaningful in many ways of expression, from 'I love curling up with my Kindle to read a new book' to 'When I'm stuck in the airport or on line, I can Kindle my newspaper, favorite blogs or half a dozen books I'm reading.'" Kindle means to set alight or start to burn, to arouse or be aroused, to make or become bright. The word's roots are from the Old Norse word kyndill, meaning Candle. "I verified that it had deep roots in literature," adds Hibma. "From Voltaire: 'The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others and it becomes the property of all.'"

No other name could hold a candle to Kindle.

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