Thursday, July 29, 2010

At long last . . .

. . . the full-fledged e-book reader has come down into my price range. Yesterday, in another price-war salvo, announced its third-generation Kindle, a wi-fi-only (no 3G wireless) model with a six-inch screen for $139. (If you must have 3G, it's $189.)

There are other sweeteners, such as a claimed 50 per cent improvement in screen readability, and a smaller and lighter overall size (8.7 ounces). But it's the price that most caught my eye. I can afford that. And so, I suspect, can most other folks who like to read books.

I've been reading e-books for more than a year on my iPod Touch, and it has done very well, especially in dim light, for it's backlighted. The thing is easy to carry on a belt, and it does e-mail and light Web surfing, too.

But the three-inch screen doesn't lend itself to all-day reading. The iTouch is best for stop-and-go "snatch reading" such as a few minutes in a coffee shop or an hour in the doctor's waiting room.

So early this fall, I'll be buying myself either the new Kindle or perhaps its chief competitor, Barnes & Noble's $149 Nook. The Kindle will start shipping August 27, but by nature I'm not an early adopter, preferring instead to let the impatient discover kinks to be ironed out.

I do believe that this is the tipping point for e-books over dead-tree books. Already sells more e-books than it does hardcovers.

Let the stampede begin.

1 comment:

  1. While I'm not an author, I am a reader, and for the most part I've watched this trend over the last few years. I've purchased E-Books, not because of the price necessarily, but because of the succinct content and for the most part I've not been dissapointed at all. I'm considering an electronic reader, but so far I've been able to avoid the purchase and download those I purchase to a .txt file on my computer. I personally don't see the lower price having much influence as to how I read a book, but I do have a physical library that is at the overflowing stage. For what it's worth. Chuck