What We Need on a Kindle


In the Personal Tech section of the New York Times there is an article titled, What We Need on a Kindle

It starts: Amazon hasn’t even begun to ship the new Kindle. And, indeed, I haven’t even seen one yet, only photos.

But I can’t help but start thinking of all the things I’d have done differently if I was Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon. Or if I was Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony, the maker of the competing Sony Reader.

The article then details those suggestions. The article has a comments section.

Here was one of the comments:

How about the ability to borrow books from your local library and read them on your Kindle? The inability to do that is the only thing that’s preventing me from buying one.


one format before libraries adopt ebooks. MP3s dominates audio, but other electronic media, like video and ebooks have multiple formats and nobody can settle on one.

You are correct, one basic format that all people can use. However, that is not the way of free enterprise.

Look what happened with reel to reel tape, beta movies, televison...and now we have cdr's, mp3's and iPods. Hmm, which one to choose?

With economic times, the library will be hard pressed to purchase physical materials let alone make the choice of electronic formats.....all which there is no charge for.

I believe that eventually (with this newest budget crisis) the libraries will have to choose one over the other, as they have chosen discs over tape. Then what will happen? Who will win the war of electronic media?

yes, that's a cup holder.

The Kindle is great for convenience (although I still think a lot of the downloadable media is overpriced), but I'm surprised more people aren't talking about the potential security/free speech implications of the digitization of books.

Our library system has e-books and they are available online if you are a registered borrower....but they do not transfer to sony reader or Kindle.. Many people who carry laptops happen to use our service.

I've borrowed ebooks from Overdrive through our library. It took me a while to figure out how to get it onto my Sony reader though, since it doesn't work if you don't download the proper software to do it.

I thought the book info on the reader was neat - it shows you how many days are left on your loan, and doesn't let you access the book any more after that date.


I knew buying a Kindle would give me a good motivation to start reading more books. Forsikring

Yes, this! Or at least an option for a monthly subscription service (think Netflix). I think it's silly to spend ten bucks a pop on books I'm probably going to read only once.

I fear we in libraries still don't begin to 'get' the concept of e-book delivery and where all this leads. The Amazon Kindle is not just an e-book reader. It is a prototype of the library of the future. It is a library front end. In essence the Kindle is the library. A vast, but still personal library, where the reader chooses a book (and may even read the first chapter of that book), pushes a button and the entire book is instantly delivered for reading. Right there. On the device, in their hands. Now. I find this very, very significant.

Books are easy to locate on the system. Access is seamless and can happen on the bus, sitting in a park - anywhere. It is instant. Until we can provide exactly this experience into the hands of our users we will fail again and again in the delivery of e-books. For us, the solution may look vastly different from the Kindle, but one way or other, the experience will be the same. Easy, seamless anywhere access.

Until we provide this, as far as I'm concerned Amazon is eating our lunch.

Jake White
UW Libraries, Seattle
(my opinion only)

Until my public library asks me for $10 each time I want to read a book, I--and tens of millions of people who have recognized that money isn't growing on trees much any more--will put up with the awful, horrible, dreadful inconvenience of driving five minutes in order to get all the books I want, for a modest prepaid annual sum that also means those with *no* money can get books, and employment advice, and internet access, and story time for kids and...

But if everybody really does want to "buy" (really lease with limited first-sale rights) everything and sees no other uses for libraries...you may be right. I don't believe that to be true or likely, particularly if we're returning to some economic realities.

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