Friday, November 23, 2007

Like a moth to a Kindle

Amazon's Kindle - the new e-book reader (and more) is out, well, sort of, initial demand out paced supplies. Curious:

First thoughts; great use of mobile phone platform to support the networking of electronic books. While it will be interesting to see how people adapt to this new form of book, what impresses me is the scope of Amazon's content delivery service.

Note that besides being a key resource for buying new and used print copies, Amazon has been moving into electronic copies for quite awhile; besides acquiring a French company that produced Mobipocket , which targets book sales for PDAs and phones, Amazon added some articles, chapters, e-books, etc. from publishers to their online marketplace.

Why I say scope...
Amazon's is working with the complete content distribution picture - besides marketing new & used print...

From the digitization services (as provided by Kirtas & Amazon: )

To the reprinting services (really a publishing service) as provided by Amazon's BookSurge - which reformats electronic books to those of us who want to write in the margins with pencil/pen. By the way, BookSurge services can have a very significant impact on library services, such as ILL borrowing; buying reprinted medium-to-rare books in lieu of significant efforts to borrow an original, and even collection development / ILL - for selection and finding sources for self-published works.

OK, back to the Kindle...
It will be very interesting to see it and competitor products; Sony's e-reader, smartphones and various distributors, such as Fictionwise: .

How will these new devices and services drive new behaviours and opportunities for both our users and libraries?

It is also very interesting to see the free access to Wikipedia via Kindle. Essentially, Kindle is not a free web browser, however, you have to wonder why free wikipedia? Is it because it provides valuable context and connection for the worlds of books and life? Is wikipedia a selling point?

Lastly, one has to wonder...
Will Kindle be a 'free' 10 ounce interface to the Amazon marketplace, so we can carry an online world store with us everywhere?
& secondly, what additional fee based services may be tacked onto the Kindle over time?

Looks like I will just have to wait to find out - best wishes.