Kindle Sells Big for Holidays

Kindle DXAmazon’s announcement that they sold a lot of Kindle 2 ereaders comes as no surprise. The big news was that, according to Amazon, the Kindle was the best selling item ever on Amazon.com.

Okay, that’s big news for several reasons. For starters, the obvious is that the reading public seems ready for another tech toy, even if it’s kind of expensive and primarily a single-use device. It’s also big news for Barnes & Nobles, which seems to have missed a big opportunity by not being ready with their Nook ereader for this holiday season.

I went to the B&N store near my house and checked out the Nook. It was, as I expected, just like the Kindle. I mean, other than the somewhat minor difference in navigation (that little color strip at the bottom), it looked and felt like my Kindle. Except…well, except I couldn’t buy one on impulse. Ironically, I did leave purchasing a Sudoku book as a Christmas gift. Print, for my analog father.

Borders recently announced that they’d be selling ebooks. It’s sort of sad, though, since the Borders near my house is now going out of business. I’d purchased a lot of books from that store over the years and I’m sad to see them go, but Borders is starting to look like a casualty of a much larger war being waged among bigger, better armed opponents.

And, addressing the 800 pound gorilla in the room, everyone is talking about the eagerly anticipated Apple tablet. The tech press thinks that it will be dubbed the iSlate or iTablet, since Apple seems to own the domain name iTablet.com.

Anyway, if Apple actually enters the tablet PC market — and offers ebook reading software — this could have a significant effect on how we read and consume books. And if you read comics, a color tablet will quickly change how you buy and collect comic books. The aspect ratio of a vertical tablet will complement how current comic books are formatted.

If the iTablet is like a giant iPod Touch or iPhone, as some experts predict, it will be an amazing, game-changing device.

Lots of excitement out there. Sad to see Borders go. Looking forward to the iTablet. Hope the Barnes & Nobles near my house stays in business.

  • admin
  • I am amazed that people will buy the Kindle or any other “e-book reader”. I had two of these and they both failed well within the warranty period.

    Then I bought a ten-year old tablet PC for a fraction of the cost of either reader. Now I can view all 800+ of my ebooks, watch videos, listen to music, and even surf the web via the wi-fi.

    True the display is not up to current standards, but there are netbooks and notebooks with great displays. Far better, cheaper, and more useful than e-ink devices.

    BTW, all 800 of my ebooks, including current novels, I downloaded for free from the internet. Amazon and others charge far too much for an ebook and I would never patronize any of them.

  • admin

    James – I think that your expectations for a quality product are not unreasonable. I mean, if you plunk down your money, you should be able to get a product that lasts at least as long as the warranty. But you are comparing netbooks (which are just small, underpowered laptops) with an ereader. The laptops have been around for 15+ years, so they’ve worked out most of the basic hardware kinks. But a Kindle? Heck, it’s what? A year and a half old?

    If you used a laptop in the first two years it was invented, you would have found that it was unreliable as well. That’s the double edged sword of being on the cutting edge of technology.

    BTW, I checked out your blog. Very interesting stuff. Good writing. I will be checking it out again for more reading.