Kindled

I’m not a fan of DRM lock-in in any medium, but especially not with books because I like to keep and reread them, sometimes more than ten years later. With music, I didn’t start spending money on MP3s until Amazon came out with their DRM-free store.

That said, I ordered a Kindle.

Why a Kindle and not a Nook?

First, I tried out a Nook in the Barnes & Noble store a few weeks ago when they announced their price cut but the touch screen felt a little laggy to me. Second, I’ve tried out both the Kindle and Barnes & Noble software on my phone, using it to read some free samples, and I liked the Kindle version better.

So what changed my mind?

Well, I’ve been tempted to get one before out of sheer gadget lust, but always managed to make my saving throw. Until my wife asked me recently about what we would need to stream Netflix to the TV. My wife suggesting a gadget purchase is a rare event, so I was pretty excited. Thus, while I was on Amazon ordering a Roku box, I somehow ended up ordering a Kindle as well.

So I actually haven’t changed my mind, I do think that I’m taking a risk of having to buy some books multiple times because of DRM, but hopefully by being aware of that and making some decisions about what I buy in which format, I can avoid getting burned in the future.

I’m intending to be fairly choosy about what I buy electronically. If Amazon ever decides to get out of the ereader business, I’m at their mercy to remove the DRM from my purchases so I can transfer the files to text or to different hardware (assuming I don’t break the law and find away to do it myself). Honestly, that not something I see publishers ever allowing though.

Being choosy means that I will get Kindle editions for things like programming books, since they get outdated within a few years,  and any vacation reading, like the Burn Notice tie-in I read recently. Certain authors will continue to be hardback purchases: Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, and Patrick Rothfuss, to name a few. Basically, anything that I’m likely to reread or collect.

The big challenge for me will be the convenience and immediacy of getting Kindle editions. For instance, if I’m chatting on Twitter and someone mentions a book, I can order it from my phone and start reading it during my lunch break at work. Something I’ve actually done recently.

I still don’t like that you can’t use readers on planes during take offs and landings, but I very rarely travel so that’s always been a picked nit on my part.

I ordered the new Kindle 3 (wifi/3g) but they’re back-ordered right now, so I have to wait until mid September to see how much I actually like it. In the meantime, I’ve bought two BlackBerry development books and the Elemental game tie-in, Destiny’s Ember, and I’ve been reading them on my phone (which is great for downtime at work) and on my desktop PC.

6 Comments

  1. YeeboNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been lusting after a Kindle for a long while now. I’m waiting for the price to come down just a tad more before I get one. As reasonable as e-books can be, they are still nowhere near used prices and that’s how I get most of my fantasy reading.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Prices on e-books really need to come down some more, but their’s a pretty high convenience factor with them that offsets it a bit. It’s pretty nice when a book suggestion comes up in conversation to be able to buy it and read it almost immediately.

  2. Grats on your new Kindle. I’ve been thinking of getting one for my parents for Christmas, because they really are quite a good deal after the price drop. As for not being able to read on a plane during take off and landing…I know there are new rules specifically in place that say you can’t use them because they’re considered electronic devices. when I flew in Canada though, the flight attendants would still let me as long as the connections are turned off. I guess they’ll be a lot stricter about that from now on.

    I once saw a video review on different e-readers, and the nook and kindle were pretty much the only ones on the market worth considering. The Kindle still won out in the end, because like you said, customers found problems with the touch screen. And if you like to take notes or look up stuff while reading, the Kindle blows the competition out of the water. The new ones are so nice, I’m almost tempted to give my current Kindle (2nd gen) to my husband so I can buy one :P If I did I would probably go without the wifi to save even more money, since the Kindle display isn’t very good as a browser anyway.

    Yeebo makes a good point about the prices. Amazon used to make a point of not charging more than $9.99 for an ebook, but ever since the ipad the agency model has been adopted and the publishers set their own price. As a result new books are now more expensive, which is just ridiculous considering it’s digital content.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I considered going wifi only, but I wanted to try it out. If my wife likes the device and I get a second one, I may got wifi only for that one.

  3. oakstoutNo Gravatar says:

    A roku? Don’t you have an Xbox 360 which is capable of streaming Netflix? Course you could have gotten a Ipad which will stream Netflix and has the ability to download books and magazines. lol

    I know, my wife hates me too. lol

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I do have a 360, but it stays in my office and we needed something for the living room. I moved the Xbox out of the living room last year so I didn’t have to coordinate my gaming time with my wife’s TV watching schedule.