It’s now been a decade since Amazon unveiled the first Kindle to the world. The first model seems ridiculous in retrospect–what with the giant keyboard filled with slanted keys, the tiny second screen just for navigation, and the mostly pointless scroll wheel–but was wildly popular, selling out its initial inventory in less than six hours. Since then, the device has torn through the publishing landscape. Not only is Amazon the most powerful player in the industry, it has built an entire book-based universe all its own. “Kindle” has become a platform, not a device. Like Amazon tends to do, it entered the market and utterly subsumed it.
Interesting article about the Kindle. But I don’t see much supporting the “Can it change books?” question in the headline. The author points out the influence Amazon has in the publishing industry, but the only suggestions of change are vague and nebulous.
The Kindle they’ve always imagined is thin as paper, as light as paper, as flexible and durable as paper.
Perhaps, but a sheet of paper isn’t that durable, and I don’t think we’ll see a Kindle that thin for some time, at least until some sort of battery technology is invented that allows for paper-thin batteries. But the ideal Kindle wouldn’t be paper; it would be, perhaps, like the latest Kindle Oasis, perhaps a bit thinner, but still sturdy enough to hold on to.
Ebooks have been taking a hit recently, but I think this is cyclical. I know lots of people who swear by their Kindles, and many others, like me, who are avid readers and use read both the Kindle and print books. I find myself using the Kindle more and more, as publishers seem to be shrinking font sizes recently. Since a smaller font means fewer pages, and less expense, they are tempted, but they’re often making print books unreadable to those of us with aging eyes (the majority of readers). The Kindle allows me to set the font to a comfortable size, even one large enough so I don’t need to use reading glasses.