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News & Opinion

Kindle vs. Reader and Beyond

Aaron Schleicher

December 21, 2007

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I recently spent some time with the Amazon Kindle side-by-side with the Sony Reader. Having never used any type of virtual book device before, it took me a bit to adjust to both (both have slightly awkward hardware characteristics), but once I settled in, some big things became apparent. Kindle is very connected to a large world beyond the text you're reading on the screen.

kindle.jpg I recently spent some time with the Amazon Kindle side-by-side with the Sony Reader. Having never used any type of virtual book device before, it took me a bit to adjust to both (both have slightly awkward hardware characteristics), but once I settled in, some big things became apparent. Kindle is very connected to a large world beyond the text you're reading on the screen. With services like Wikipedia and Dictionary connection, and their experimental "NowNow" service - where you type in a question about ANYTHING, and a rep from Amazon will upload 3 related links to your Kindle in response - a reader has a pretty robust reference library at their fingertips. But that's not all. Because it's connected to Amazon, all their features also apply - book recommendations, preferences, etc., making it really easy to buy new eBook titles. Sony's Reader is a fine reading device. The text on the screen is just as legible. But it's all the things that Kindle is connected to outside itself that makes it more compelling. I actually pictured myself using one beyond this test - something I never imagined considering. All in all though, I'm mostly interested to see where this goes. I don't think it'll die like some think, but it certainly isn't the answer for everyone. Future devices will find ways to improve this connectivity to a larger world, and will give it broader appeal. In the meantime, I'm cherishing my signed, leather-bound Thomas Ligotti books with crimson type and black page edges.

About The Author

Aaron Schleicher is the director of sales & author services for Porchlight. You can usually find him hidden under a baseball cap, feet kicked up on his desk, talking with authors, publishers, agents, and business people from all walks of life. Call him to find out how Porchlight can help you get your book into the hands of readers around the globe. Outside the office you can find him relaxing on his front porch enjoying a cold beverage with friends, gardening with his wife and two dogs, listening to records, or hosting private secret garden concerts during the summer months.

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