Top Ten Reasons Why the Kindle Won’t Be an iPod for Books

Open Culture:

Top Ten Reasons Why the Kindle Won’t Be an iPod for Books

  1. When you buy an iPod, you can transfer all of your current music onto it. With Kindle you have to start buying all new books.
  1. The paper-form book (aka “dead tree version”) is still the best technology for reading: fully portable, a nice thing to own and put on shelves, great for sharing, good in bed, at beach, etc. If you lose it or get it wet, no big deal—easily replaceable.

. . . .

  1. Books: they’re better!

Can I get an amen!


I have to feel the book when I read it. Staring at a screen for hours doesn’t have the book experience. And why would I buy something just to read, when I can do it for free (excluding book cost)?


  1. Books never need batteries or recharging.

I have a Sony Reader, not a Kindle, but for this discussion they are about the same.

I agree old books on my shelves cannot be transferred to the Reader.

I paid $300 two years ago, and now have purchased 200 books, and downloaded 100 free books from Gutenberg. I saved about $1.50 per book when considering the lower price and sales tax savings. So, not even counting Gutenberg, I figure it has already paid for itself.

There are thousands of books available on Project Gutenberg for free. If it is out of copyright, and relatively well known, I have found it is on Gutenberg.

Of the 300 books on the Reader, about 100 are unread, so I always have a fulll library of unread books to immediately choose from.

The Reader is definitely not good for technical books or anything with charts or graphs. If you are likely to be turning back to previous pages to look at figures, it doesn’t work well. Nor can you easily underline or make margin notes.

It is great for basic narrative. Fiction, history, etc.

Not having to find shelf space is a blessing, not a drawback. I guess this depends on how many feet of empty shelving one has.

It is not good for sharing.

It’s physical form makes it easier to handle. This is not soemthing that is obvious until you use it. There is no need to use fingers to keep pages open. For eaample, it will just sit on your knee in a deck chair without having to stick a thumb between pages to keep it open.

New models have a LCD light they have somehow managed to integrate into the screen. So, it can be used in bed without bothering the other person.

The screen is not the same technology as a computer screen. The screen is not backlit and there is no computer screen eye fatigue.

Power is used only when changing pages. So, battery life is not a problem.

Bottom line: It’s a question of personal tastes and preferences. If one likes the feel and smell of a book, it doesn’t do that. I have now reached the point where I browse through the book store, note titles, then download then to the Reader. So, I guess my behavior reveals my preferences.

I think Sony and Amazon have just started on a price war. The Reader is $200, and Kindle $300. Look for more discounts.

I agree, Willie. I’ve had my Kindle for a year now, and I think it’s wonderful. My advice to anyone who reads a lot (and you know who you are) is to try a Kindle or Sony reader for a few hours. Just try it. You’ll be hooked.

I had a huge book collection before I got my Kindle. I’ve always loved books and reading. But IMO the Kindle is superior is so many ways:

  • I can actually read faster and for longer periods on the Kindle. The e-ink technology is nothing like a computer screen. Also, you can make the text a variety of different sizes (great for us older folks), and you can hold it in one hand easily without straining, cracking the binding, etc. Plus, all the text is in a single plane – you don’t have to keep adjusting your position to bring different pages into comfortable view.

  • It saves space. I had so many books that I was running out of room. They were stacked in piles in my basement. Now I can keep adding to my collection without needing to find space for it.

  • The classics are CHEAP. I got all of Dickens for about $4.00. I got all of Aquinas’s Summa for $0.99 – that’s right, 99 cents! And so on.

  • Wherever you go, you have a complete library with you. I can read a few chapters of the Bible, read some poetry, read a new novel, etc., without carrying around a stack of books.

I’ve been donating my old “dead tree” books to the local senior center, which has been happy to get them. The only ones I’m keeping are art books, gardening books, some reference works, and valuable editions.

E-book readers are wonderful things. Really.


Willie & Langdell –

All good points but I think I’ll wait for the next entry or couple entries into the e-reader sweepstakes. I’d really prefer one where I d/l to my computer then transfer books rather than by cellular (like Kindle) or wi-fi.
Another Kindle “benefit” – self-publishing. There’s a site where authors can make their books available for Kindle, sort of a literary YouTube.

But a lot of books I’ll always want on my shelves, “late adopter” that I am. Besides, the $$$ for a Kindle needs to go into my new PC fund.

Be not the first by whom the new is tried
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside
~Alexander Pope

Fair enough, Didymus. There’s no need to rush.

Love the Pope couplet!


The Sony reader does link to the computer and download from the computer. It uses the same model the IPod uses. Download to computer, then move from computer to Reader. The Reader has no wifi.

The Kindle has wifi and can download directly without going through a computer. However, if one does want to go through the computer, and use the iPod model, it is available.

Reason #11. Kindle is not useful as kindling.

You’re right. If I had the money and had to buy one right now, I’d probably go with a Sony.
I know, a co-worker has a bunch of books on his iPhone or iTouch (forget which it is). I keep hearing that Apple is going to come out w/a iTablet that will blow the Kindle away.
But by the time I have the extra $$$ we’ll be a generation or two down the line so I’ll probably have more choices than right now.

Great advice. :slight_smile:

I always like to wait on these things, too. I figure I’ll get some type of electronic reader eventually, but it’s nice to let the first few generations go by so they can work out the kinks and so that the price will drop. Rather than get a 5 GB ipod right from the starting gate, I waited (several years) and ended up with an 80 GB ipod for the same price.

I’ll let other people put down their money to be the guinea pigs. :wink: I suppose someone has to foot the bill for the startup costs that go along with any new technology. But it won’t be me!

Check this out, it’s pretty funny:

Apple usually does a great job on everything. For any reader, I’d carefully check the type of screen it uses. My eyes get much more tired using the normal laptop backlit screen than the Reader screen. Both Reader and Kindle use a different technology called Digital Ink. It isn’t backlit, and reads just like a printed page. It’s probably a function of each individual’s eyes and how long one reads at a stretch.

hmm, I’ve been looking at getting a Sony Reader (probably this more than a Kindle, but who knows) in the future. Only because I would cut down on the amount of items I take on trips. It was soooo nice having my iPod classic with me when I went to WDW back in May. I didn’t have to haul my portable dvd player on the plane + its nice for car rides.

I tend to take a lot of books with me on trips (except for that May WDW trip) and a reader takes up less space, but a lot of the books I read are probably not available in that format.

Not all books are formatted properly for the Kindle and except for a few that specifically mention that they are Kindle friendly, one doesn’t know until it is purchased. But, since almost all that I get are classics at 0-99 cents, it is no big deal. I have a complete (and formatted well) Douey-Rheims for, If I remember correctly, for 2 bucks or so. The e-book is here to stay but so are books.

. . .gee, I LIKE having books around! :slight_smile:

It’s hard to speed-read with Kindle.

But you can carry a lot of “books” on an airplane with Kindle.

I have a Sony PRS-700 for about a year now and I’m very happy with it.

What file format does the Sony Reader take? I’d love to find something that I could load .pdf files into and take them around. It’s be a lot cheaper than printing them out. It’d save a lot of trees, too.


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