E-books are the New Auto Industry

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7 May 2009

Well, not really.  I just find “Kindle DX” to be a funny name, like the different models of Honda Civics that were out there when I first got my driver’s license. 

The DX is otherwise known as Kindle 3, the latest e-book reader from Amazon.  If you look at the image, it appears to be about the size of an 8 x 10 picture frame (in fact, it’s 9.7 inches on the diagonal), though much thinner than most picture frames.  “Lighter than a thick fashion magazine,” they say.  Supposedly it lends itself better to newspaper reading (though the deals Amazon is offering to news organizations do not seem to be particularly… mutually beneficial, according to some editors).

There are also rumblings (where did I read that?) that Apple will be unveiling its own new-and-improved digital reader soon.  Unlike the Kindle, it will integrate ipod/itouch features and, knowing Apple, will be cooler and sleeker (moon roof, seat warmers, etc.).

I’ve been told (a la the low expectations viewpoint from the 5 May post below) not to expect much in e-book sales — it’s still a best-selling authors’ game.  But with the technology and marketing expanding at this pace (didn’t Kindle 2 just come out?), one wonders if this thing is going to take over sooner than later.  According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, of all books which are available on Kindle, Kindle editions (e-books) comprise 35% of copies sold.  This is up from 10% in February.  (However, it seems to me this could mean that fewer books in any form are being sold at all; and thus the Kindle percentage increases as a share).

“E-reading” is now an official category on this blog.

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3 Responses to “E-books are the New Auto Industry”

  1. Chris K. Says:

    Hi Sonya,
    I have this mammoth library at home that is only growing. I’m not a book collector, just an avid reader and (god willing) a writer someday. Every time our family has to move there seems to be fewer and fewer friends available to help move said mammoth library. So, I’ve taken to hiring moving companies to help our efforts. Even these paid professionals shoot me death stares as they move book box number say, thirty, for example.
    The Kindle/ Sony reader seems tempting: compact, portable, can store thousands of books, backlit(?)I don’t know- I just can’t get exited about curling up with a screen. Anywho- that’s how I feel now. I’m a guy and my gender is known to succumb to cool electronic gadgets over time. Maybe if they come with skins that feel like cardboard and there is a scent you can add that makes it smell like paper, eh… I don’t know.
    Okay, last thought: Books aren’t connected to the internet; this fact I love. The only competition for my attention when I open up the covers of a book is from the characters.

    • sonyachung Says:

      Chris, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Kindle is everywhere. Your last thought is the most compelling to me: reading is very much an “unconnected” experience, I agree. The ability/temptation to click away from the book is not a positive thing, in my opinion. Except when it allows the reader to sample and then immediately BUY the book (which is good for the author). Sigh.

  2. Chris K. Says:

    I sadly agree. I’m trying to work out in my little lizard brain how I can weave a kindle into my life. I think I might have a answer. When a favorite author publishes something new, I normally buy the physical text, and the audiobook on CD or MP3/ audible for my commute. (I believe in doing my part to support my authors). Maybe I can part with another 10 clams and buy the Kindle ed. to, what, keep it in the car ? I don’t know. (As you can see, I’m in the rationalization part of the process. ) Still, I see this as an add-on. I’ll never stop the text or the audio purchases. Question: Kindle or Sony Reader? Who’s winning? I don’t want to own a Betamax. ;-)


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