A huge part of me loves the experience of reading a book, holding the BOOK and turning the pages. However, I'm just enough of a techno-geek that I'm in a fair way to being seduced by the idea of the convenience of carrying MANY books with me, all in one device. Can you say Star Trek? I thought you could. :) There's also the temptation of being able to load all my knitting/crochet patterns and jewelry tutorials in pdf format and make them way more portable so I don't have reams of printed patterns. And (at least in theory) I can highlight and annotate them too.

And I've been considering the Kindle DX, given the larger size format and larger capacity and the native support for pdf files. However, I'm definitely on the fence about actually sucking it up and buying the device for several reasons.

1. Cost. $489 is a lot of money. In fact, my laptop, which has way more storage capacity as well as a dvd-rw drive, was only $200 more. Granted, it's not quite so portable, but still, nearly $500 for something that pretty much does one thing is expensive. In addition you have to pay for the books you're loading on the device, and the Kindle editions I've looked at so far are not all that much cheaper than their print counterparts -- and several of them are books I've already purchased in print form -- so that's an added expense. Given the lack of additional investment or work required from the publisher and the likely paltry royalties paid to the authors for this format, the cost to the consumer seems...well, extreme. And please, before anyone jumps on me for bitching about the cost of these "books," keep in mind that I do know quite a bit about royalty structures and the publishing process since I wrote and negotiated publishing contracts for 15 years.

2. Lack of backup options. Amazon will keep your purchases on their web site so you can download them "at any time." Sorry, I'm just not that trusting. If I've purchased content, I want to be able to back it up in any way I see fit including on my computer, an external hard drive, flash drive, reading media, whatever. I paid for it, it's mine.

3. Files are in Amazon's proprietary platform, but you don't get the software, so you can't convert or store or read any of the files, except via Kindle. If I've purchased the reader and the content, I should be able to convert/store/read it however I want.

4. If I want to upload my own content, I can't upload it directly via USB. I have to email it to myself at amazon so that they convert the format and send it to me wirelessly "for a small fee" which is apparently $.50 per MB pre-compression. Or I can email it to myself for conversion (at a different email address) and THEN upload it via USB cable. See #2 and #3. Oh, and my content isn't backed up on Amazon...I have to go through the process AGAIN if I need to re-load the file. WTF?

5. It's white. I still don't understand why white is the first color they make these devices in. They attract dirt and become dingy. And they're, well, WHITE. Why not black, which is much cooler?

I've also looked at the Sony PRS-700, which is more user friendly and allows direct uploading, ability to store or back up data on reading cards, etc. It's price is comparable to the current Kindle2. It's smaller than the Kindle DX (I'm jonesing for that larger screen) and there isn't as much content available.

So I'm really torn. And at least at this time, I'm unlikely to actually purchase either. So I guess I'm stuck toting books and printing out pdfs for a while longer.
Wrong and bad and extremely funny. Gold lame Hammer pants. It just doesn't get any sillier. :) So of course, I had to spread the love.



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