Kindle 2, eBooks, and eBook Business 3

Amazon announced a new Kindle today. I have a Kindle, I use it and like it and recommend it. The new one doesn’t have enough sizzle to tempt me to dump the one I have and buy new. But if you haven’t bought one, this new one is better and slightly cheaper than the one I have. It has more memory, more battery power, and an improved physical design. Amazon will start shipping it later this month.

I was hoping for a Kindle at half the price, about $200. For that price I think it would be a must-buy for anybody who reads books. At $369, it’s kind of expensive, a nice luxury. I want to buy one for a voracious-reader daughter, and at $200 the difference between the Kindle price and regular price would pay for itself quickly. At more than $350, it’s not so obvious.

I think the Kindle is important because it validates books. Reading and writing books. Both are important to mankind. Both have suffered changing times, the flood of video, smaller-attention-span media, television, and so on. But I hope books remain important to the foundation of education and knowledge and humanity.

Cheesy? Sorry.

So the Kindle validates books in the future. Without paper. Less resource intensive. For that matter, so does the Sony ebook reader, and the ebook reader software on Palm Pilots and Pocket PCs and laptops and netbooks.

Which reminds me, here’s a very nice analysis of the future of eBooks, and the future of the businesses around the ebooks:

The once and future e-book: on reading in the digital age – Ars Technica

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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  • ‘Chelle Parmele

    My best friend wants a Kindle really badly but refuses to pay that much for it. Instead,she enters every contest that offers a free Kindle as the prize.

    I would like to try one out before I buy one. I feel like holding the Kindle would be annoying after a while.

  • Tim Berry

    Thanks for the addition Chelle, I kind of agree with your friend, the price is a bit high. Although I’ve been buying books for $9.99 that would otherwise go for $17-25 or so, so each purchase helps (except that I kid myself, I probably wouldn’t have bought them at $25).

    The pricing issue makes me think I need to do another post on it, because the world would be better off with a $200 Kindle, but from Amazon’s point of view, if they can sell all they can get made at $350, it’s not good business to go down to $200. I suspect a capacity constraint. It’s an interesting question.

    As to holding it, the original Kindle that I own is a bit awkward, but you get used to it. The secret is to buy interesting books.


  • Chris Kindle

    Just came across your blog on Google. Interesting post, you bring up a few good things to think about. Good luck with the blog.