A little more on the Kindle. I like it. I really do. However, the Kindle and e-books in general do have their set of problems. Here is a short list:
- E-Ink technology provides for a crisp, non-flickering display that is extremely frugal with respect to battery life. Good, yes, but refreshing a page is tediously slow by today's expectations. It also flashes rather annoyingly. This makes the Kindle less suited for non-linear reading. I've read a couple of technical books on the Kindle and sometimes I want to look back a few pages. This is not particularly fun. And, even though an excellent feature of the Kindle is being able to add bookmarks, annotations, etc., navigating through a list of these is rather cumbersome.
- Another downside of the E-Ink technology is contrast. The screen is dark gray ink on a light gray background. For me, this is fine, but arguably not as easy to read for long times as high-quality printed matter.
- Due to DRM, you can't share a book or a newspaper. I understand the concern. If someone could buy a book in digital form and then give it to a friend, perhaps they would consider all the world to be friends and thus only a single copy of the book would be sold and the author and publisher wouldn't be happy. But, this means I can't buy a book, read it and then loan it to a friend to read. And, if I live in a household and subscribe to a newspaper, I can't share it with my housemates. They would each have to have a separate subscription.
- It is a high-tech gizmo and can be a target of thieves and can break if dropped. Regular books rarely have these problems.
- It is too expensive, but prices of the Kindle (and competing e-readers) will doubtless come down over time.
And so on. Yes, there are issues. But I sitll love my Kindle and recommend it to anyone who really likes to read. The positives, such as having a library on the go, being able to get books and newspapers instantly via wireless transfer, annotations, bookmarks, dictionary lookup, adjustable font sizes and on and on more than overcome the tradeoffs.