Friday, November 30, 2007


Amazon has just sent me an e-mail pointing out that, as an Associate, I can help drum up sales on the Kindle or Kindle books...and make some money out of it.

I'm torn by this -- on the one hand, I do like money. And my boss has a Kindle, so I got to look at it in person briefly this week. It does look pretty spiffy and even I'll admit that it has some very attractive features.

But I still think it's a seriously flawed product, so I can't wholeheartedly recommend it.

But let me try to construct a picture of the ideal Kindle customer:
  • the Kindler is well-off; he can spend $400 on a device to read books simply because it's neat
  • along the same lines, he's clearly an early-adopter; probably someone who takes pride in being an early adopter
  • he does not already have a large stack of books to read, or is willing to abandon that stack and/or pay again for them
  • DRM schemes don't trouble him; ease of acquisition of reading material and ease of use of the reader are of greater importance
  • he probably travels frequently -- at least extensive commuting -- and wants to be able to carry more in a smaller space
  • he's probably a picky reader, someone who's prone to abandon a book in the middle if he's not enjoying it
  • he probably also doesn't care much about keeping books once he reads them, having books as physical objects, or lending them to friends
I think that all adds up to (mostly) urban, young, well-paid, and at least mildly geeky. If you fit that profile, by all means use the link and buy a Kindle (or try to; they're sold out at the moment). If not, I suspect the Kindle will be disappointing to you.

In that case, I would recommend that you buy this Kindle to aid you in reading your books.

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