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A Public Service Announcement for Frequent Travelers...

I've been seriously considering buying a Kindle to keep the weight down when I travel. But it's got a pretty hefty price tag, even though I hadn't seen any seriously negative reviews...until now.

H/T to Professor Reynolds (as usual) in bringing this to my attention. Hats off the Ms. McArdle for the post.

9 Comments

I'll considering respecting DRM when they allow me to use any given digital download "just like a book..."

Please note that -by law- publishers are required to allow public libraries the ability to provide free copies to any and all.

I'll also note that very darn few electronic display devices (Kindle included) give the same resolution and contrast of a printed page...

 
I tried out the ebook thing by going with a lower cost device. Mine is the Ebookwise gizmo from Ebookwise. It's a Rocket Ebook renamed, iirc.

I like it. The ONLY problem I have with my newbie level gizmo is that the offerings are rather slim at Ebookwise.

My suggestion to you would be for you to go and poke around in the Fictionwise selection, or some other larger distributor of ebooks to see if any of them are carrying the titles you're interested in. Then, if you do find a place that sells the books you want, find a lower cost gizmo, either from something like Overstock or ebay that is in the needful DRM format and go that way.

Bean Books offers a crap ton of ebooks. The Bean Free Library is a good place to check out authors you may have never read before. But that's only if you like sci fi and fantasy type stuff. I do. I got lots of their books on my gizmo. Another nice thing about Bean, is that once you buy an ebook, you can download it as often as you like, but also in whatever format Bean books are delivered in. You don't have to pick a particular format and be stuck with it. I'd look for that option too in where ever you go poking around in ebook distribs.

Also, with ebooks, make sure it can use html and txt. All the old classics, from ancient Greece to whenever, are available for free from such places as Gutenberg Project. Poke around in that place some. There's many and muches of real gems available.
 

John, at the bottom of that post there's a link to an update. Seems there was a lot of confusion at Amazon customer support. I've had a couple of go-rounds with them myself. The subject of digital rights is a complex one, so I'm inclined to give them a break. This will work itself out over time.

I've had a Kindle for about 3 months now and would never go back to printed books for "regular" reading. I travel a lot, and it's been a whole new world.

If I'm going to be away for a longer period of time, I don't have to decide which 5 or 6 books to bring along - I have them all with me.

Many times I've had about 50 pages left to read in a book but was getting on a 9-hour flight, so obviously had to bring a new book with me. Not any more!

I also tend to read more than one book at a time. I can still do that when I'm traveling now that I have a Kindle.

It's so small and light I keep it in my purse all the time so I can take advantage of short snippets of reading time. For example, when in a doctor's waiting room I don't have to read the ancient copies of People magazine, I can read one of my books.

I think the resolution is great. And because you can adjust the font size, I don't even need my reading glasses any more!

Ever since I learned to read as a child I have always loved my book collection. But I finally got sick of the clutter and decided to let go.

I'm a fan in spite of the price. My only regret is that I didn't buy one sooner.

 
Whoops! Sorry, Dusty :-)
 
Okay, MaryAnn..I have been on the fence about buying the Kindle..
No more!!  I'm ordering one this week!
 

A lot depends, too, on the kind of book you're reading.  I work for an academic publisher, and it almost isn't worth our while to produce ebooks because the electronic rights can be such a headache.  We can't put out an electronic version of one anthology, for example, because half of the reprint permissions specify print use only; some publishers would charge a second, larger fee for e-rights, and some never grant permission for e-books as a matter of policy.

 
We at work thinking about the A4 format iliad from irex of 5 to 600 euros! We will use it for work related pdf's offcourse, so DRM is not an issue, but I think the iliad isn't linked to DRM. Look at every DRM story and you will find that in the end you are left with nothing, because the provider of you DRM books went bankrupt or something. Happened already more than ones.
 
Ain't technology great? I was wondering about  that original Xerox Palo Alto Weekend Conference.  I think it was in the early 70's. Can you imagine, if Xerox acted like today's microcomputer industry? If I remember correctly all of the pioneers attended that conference. I know Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, plus their banker was there, from Apple and you had Bill Gates and others from what is now Microsoft. There were others, but they fell off to the wayside and became obsolete. I wonder if Xerox claimed some level of ownership of everything that went on at their Center, or at least some percentage. Armorer, I'm relatively sure you remember the big debates on connectivity. Was it going to be dumb terminals connected to big mainframes or minicomputers/microcomputers connected with a dumb network? Well, as we all know, there is nothing here dumb. This debate went through the 80's and 90's. Here we are in 2009 and really, in some aspects the answer is not complete. *It never will be.* Xerox, Thank you.

By the way, that Xerox Weekend Palo Alto Conference, many believe was the birth of the microcomputer industry. Just a thought.
 
Heh, when I saw this post I thought MaryAnn would be the person to ask about this, she had us sold on it at the MB Conf. but I see she's weighed in.  :)