I ordered my Kindle in November of 2007 when they first were offered for sale by Amazon. I didn't receive it until January, 2008 and I blogged about it.
I paid $399 for mine.
I've purchased more than 50 titles in the slightly more than 12 months since I received my first one. It broke by the way but Amazon replaced it for free as soon as I let them know about the problem.
I've also purchased 2 more Kindles. My brother and his family use one. My son uses the other. I think I am going to get my daughter one although the current economic crisis has caused me to postpone that decision.
My 50 or so purchased books for my Kindle cost about $450. I've saved between $500 and $750. My son and my brother share my library.
Amazon today announced the Kindle 2.
It is a little longer and significantly thinner. The buttons have been moved around a bit. I think that's likely an improvement although I've become quite adept at using the original buttons. It has text-to-speech so it can "read" to you. I might use this feature if I spent much time in my car. But I don't and I really don't like listening to books in general so I can't imagine using this feature.
It has more storage built in. With my first one I bought a memory card but honestly I don't use it. So I think the additional memory isn't a very big deal for me. I found that it is best for me to just carry around the books I'm reading right now on my Kindle. My entire library is at Amazon anyway so I can easily download a title anytime I want it which is not very often once I'm done with a book.
The thing that you notice right away though about the new Kindle 2 is how thin it is. That's not just compared to the original but compared to about anything - like - say a pencil.
Just look at this thing!
They are comparing it to a pencil!!
Now it looks really cool I think. Only thing is I don't know if I'd like it or not. Oh I'd probably become accustomed to it regardless.
But one of the things I do like about my original Kindle is its size. It kind of feels a little like a paperback to me and that is, strangely I grant, somewhat comforting to me.
So I'm not certain whether I'll buy one of the new ones or not. I am not much for fixing stuff that's not broken. And my Kindle is definitely not broken.
Sometimes people see me reading mine - usually in Starbucks - and ask me about it. Usually they want to know what it is. They have somehow missed hearing about it.
Of course that is a significantly smaller group since Oprah featured the Kindle on her show a while back: Oprah's Favorite New Gadget (10-24-2008).
It is reported in the blogosphere that some 200,000 units were sold right after that program. If true, and I suspect it is, then that means Amazon sold somewhere around 500,000 Kindles in 2008.
I've seen a graph where a guy compared the Kindle to Apple's iPod. So far he thinks that more people are buying Kindles than bought the iPod in the same year after announcement. And books for the Kindle are usually in the $9.99 range whereas songs for the iPod are in $.99 range. That's a big difference.
Anyway a lot of people believe the Kindle will provide Amazon with more than a billion dollars of sales this year.
So why do I like the Kindle so much?
Well, for one thing I like reading on it. It's the first e-book deal I've actually enjoyed using for reading. Apparently quite a few of us like it that way, too.
Then I like being able to carry all my books I'm currently reading with me in one small, convenient package. That's just so great.
I like having Amazon keep my library for me. Very handy.
I like being able to search books and add notes and "highlight."
I read my morning paper now on my Kindle. I like that. Costs me like $5.99 per month or something. Lots cheaper than getting the actual newspaper and then having to mess around throwing it away.
Yes, I could do that on my laptop but I don't always have my laptop and it is still a bit bulkier than the Kindle.
Maybe the best thing though is that if I hear about a book and decide I want to read it then I can usually buy it and have it on my Kindle in a couple of minutes.
I did just this very thing Saturday. I was reading my morning paper on my Kindle while I was sitting in the Starbucks at Fritts Farm. It was about 6 am. There was an article about this author, Harry S. Dent, who has written this book, The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History. He is scheduled to speak in Oklahoma City next week and my son and I signed up for tickets today.
The book came out on January 6th and is available in hard cover or audio. I checked Kindle availability when it first was published but it wasn't available. I clicked a link that let Amazon know I wanted it on the Kindle. When I checked again on Saturday it was available! How's that for good service?
Anyway I bought it and began reading. I never left my chair in Starbucks. I've done this much I'm already taking it for granted.
I'll blog about Dent's ideas over the next few days.