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I want a proper e-book reader as

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 19, 2007

I want a proper e-book reader as much as anyone, but Amazon’s Kindle sounds underwhelming (and unfortunately looks, as a friend put it, like “the Pontiac Aztec of e-readers”). Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says:

This isn’t a device, it’s a service.

That’s CEO-speak for “yay, we can charge you for buying this gadget again and again”. That emphasis makes it seem like the Kindle is less of a “read any text you want on the go” device and more of an interface for purchasing Amazon’s e-books, e-magazines, and blogs (yes, they’re charging for blogs somehow…). E-ink is a genuine innovation but until someone without some skin in the media game takes a good crack at it, e-book readers are destined to be buying machines and not reading machines.

Update: Here’s a list of all the blogs that Amazon is selling for reading on the Kindle. Subscriptions are $0.99-$1.99. No kottke.org (thanks, Amazon!!). Are the bloggers getting their cut of the subscription fees? Can I put kottke.org on there for free…or at least at cost? I suspect bloggers are getting a cut, with the rest taken by Amazon for profit and the conversion of the blogs’ text into whatever goofy format the Kindle uses. Would have been a lot cooler to put an RSS reader on there and just let people read whatever blogs they wanted.

Update: Joel Johnson has some more information about the Kindle after playing with one for a bit. The device service (sorry!) has an experimental web browser, on which you can browse whichever blogs and sites you wish (on Amazon’s dime).

Update: Engadget says, among other things, that “blogs that are aggregated by the Kindle get a revenue share with Amazon, since it costs money to get those publications.” (thx, daniel)

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