Well there has been a lot of dissing of the Kindle out there, but let me just say - I LOVE my Kindle! OK, I admit it - I am a gadget freak. I was one of the few people who had a Newton and saw the potential for a real PDA. Yes, there is room for improvement - and I am confident there will be improved versions soon - BUT for me it is one of the best devices I have owned. It IS proprietary, the forward and back buttons could be smaller so you don't accidentally turn pages when you grab it, etc. BUT it is the greatest thing for someone who travels (and reads) a lot.
How many times have you packed several books and weighted down your bag so you won't run through all reading material you have with you? This is especially true for traveling abroad to non-English speaking countries.
How many times have you brought a new book with you only to discover that you don't really engage with it? Do you just throw it away??? Buy something new? Just hope this doesn't happen on a 7 hour plane flight.
What I particularly love about my Kindle include:
- I can enlarge the size of the type when my eyes are tired.
- I can try out books for free - if I like the first chapter then I will buy the rest of the book
- I can carry LOTS of books with me
- I can have searchable access to documents I create or that others send to me (again great for travel)
- I love having ready access to a dictionary to look up words as I read
- I really like access to Wikipedia while I am reading
- It fits in my purse easily and doesn't weigh me down
In short there are enough good things about this device that make me love it now and look forward to improvements to come.
I think a device like this has the potential to fundamentally change the way people interact with text and thus have a HUGE impact on Libraries.