Kindle: Kinda Like A Book But More Expensive
Megan McArdle heartily endorses Kindle: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device which, for $400, lets you carry your entire library around with you and read it whilst hanging onto a rail and propped up on one arm (unless you happen to be in a bathtub).
It does sound like a handy invention, especially for frequent travelers or those who commute via public transport and have a lot of away-from-home reading time. The features Megan describes, which combine many of the best features of the Web to most of those of a real book, are enticing.
On the other hand, $400 seems rather steep for a virtual book reader. And the fact that e-books are still priced at 50-80 percent the sticker price of the hardcover books strikes me as outrageous, given that the cost of materials, production, transport, and so forth have gone away and one doesn’t end up with a nice objet d’art for one’s shelves.
UPDATE: Erstwhile OTB co-author Professor Chaos (not his real name) isn’t impressed, either, and notes that Kindle is inconvenient for other bathroom applications as well.