Kindle Update

News has been coming through all day. Firstly its well worth checking out the main Amazon.com Kindle page. Includes a video demonstration of the Kindle, interviews with Jeff Bezos and a range of high profile writers, a detailed spec, explanations of what functionality are on offer, lists of publications and blogs that can be subscribed to and, of course, the option to buy. As you would expect, its all very glossy, very slick. However some other views are also emerging. Booktwo points out some negatives. So, for example you can email documents to your Kindle. But you have to email them to Amazon, who then make the comptible, a service that will cost "a small fee". Plus you have to pay "a small fee" to read blogs. Annoyingly there has also been no announcement on whether the Kindle is Mobipocket/OPS compatible. If its not the then the software, the eBooks, the whole package becomes very proprietary, exclusive indeed and adds to the Tower of eBabel.

Mainstream media as also been picking up on the Kindle- have a look at what the Beeb has to say. Mobileread has a busy forum dedicated to discussing the Kindle. Much of the chat at the moment seems to indicate that while virtually everyone hates the looks, in terms of what it can do its the best eBook reader out there. I even have sneaky suspicion that the looks are so dated, so perverse that in a typically postmodern, ironical way it becomes a design classic. However two questions remain- are people going to want to read in this format, and will they want to do it from a dedicated device rather than one they already have. Teleread reports on a survey on digital publishing which suggests that the device people are most likely to read on (specifically books) is their laptop- no link at the moment as their website is down. It will certainly be very interesting to see how this plays out.