That Was Fast: Amazon’s Kindle Ebook Sales Surpass Print (It Only Took Four Years)

That Was Fast: Amazon’s Kindle Ebook Sales Surpass Print (It Only Took Four Years).

Long live Kindle.

I hope they will start selling soon academic books also in Kindle format.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “That Was Fast: Amazon’s Kindle Ebook Sales Surpass Print (It Only Took Four Years)”

  1. I have been using my Kindle for about 6 weeks and I must say that it took me only a few hours to totally fall in love with it. I curl up in my lounge chair with some hot tea next to me and get lost in a world of reading. The size is very appropriate for reading and I can read with only one hand since I use a thumb to press the next page button. This leaves my other hand free to sip my tea or pet the dog.

    Fabulous Features:

    * Wireless downloading of books – I can look up a book, read a summary and/or a few reviews and then buy it right away. This will cause some financial issues down the road because it is just so easy but is sure is a powerful feature. Entire books really do download in just a few seconds.

    * Readability – I am lumping several features under this category. The one-handed reading, the overall size of the reader, the crisp text and the variable font size all work together to make the experience while reading just fabulous. Several times while reading late at night, I pushed the text font button and upped the font size because my eyes were getting a bit tired. A younger reader in our household was comfortable with the smallest font size, while the slightly older readers really appreciated one of the middle font sizes. I used the largest font size when I had the reader propped up on the treadmill. In the past, I have not found a good way to read while using the treadmill because the pages flip and the font was too small but that excuse is gone now.

    * Subscription content delivered while I was sleeping. Another bad habit in the making – I stayed in bed and simply turned on the Kindle and was able to read my morning paper without setting foot outside.

    * Incredible amount of content with me at all times. Since the unit is the size of a basic paperback, I slipped it into my purse and had it with me all the time. Whenever I was waiting for more than a minute, I would get the unit out. It initially started up on the page where I last left it, but with one click on the home button, I was brought to my multi-page list of available books and documents. I am the type of reader who usually has about 5 different books going at once and I could just pick the one that interested me at the time.

    * Kindle NowNow – You pose a question and hit submit. Within a few minutes, you get several responses – for free sent to your Kindle. This was extremely helpful when I was away from a computer and just needed a quick answer. This was actually easier than googling because I got three very good answers for every question that I asked.

    Good Features:

    * Battery Life – The battery life indicator goes up and down at various rates depending on whether you are actively using the wireless. I didn’t realize this at first, so I thought that the battery life was short, but when I just used the Kindle for reading, I went several days without needing to charge. Charge time is really quick – an hour or two at the most to get a full charge but I can still read for an entire evening on a very low indicator.

    * Plays mp3 files – but this feature needs some work. Currently, the files are played randomly, so you can’t select specific music to play or use it for mp3 audio books and lectures. I put some instrumental mp3s on my SD card and it was nice to have background music sometimes.

    * Subscriptions Revisited – I still read a “real” newspaper. In the online versions of subscription content, I miss the extras like photos, comics, puzzles, letters to editor and such. All of the articles are included, but the complete experience of a newspaper is not quite duplicated in online content – this is not only for the Kindle but also for web based news.

    Missing or Negative Features (the reason for losing one star on this review) –

    * Content – I expected to be able to download ebooks from my local library (for free) and read them on my Kindle. I also expected to simply copy all types of text to my Kindle using either the SD card or the USB. I have found a work-around for my pdf files using the MobiPocket Creator. This works really well except for the Table of Contents – which didn’t quite translate properly. I translated several of the free books that I downloaded from wowio. The text came over just fine, but some of the fancy text/graphic chapter headers became separated. Also, some of the books that I wanted are not available in the Kindle store yet. I have used the email conversion and that worked okay.

    * Pricing Structure – I am a cheapskate in general and frequently buy my books from thrift stores, library sales and used book stores. I have several issues with the pricing and hopefully, the market will correct some of these issues. I can’t share the books that I purchase and there isn’t really a “used” market for ebooks. I must admit though, that the longer I used the Kindle, the more I was able to justify the book prices in relation to the convenience of having them on my device. For things like textbooks and other books where I want a “real” copy of the book, I would like to see a purchase option that includes a Kindle version for almost nothing if I am purchasing the title in book form. I also wish the entry point was cheaper since I am spending so much on content.

    Summary:

    I love my Kindle. I keep it nearby at all times and I am finally getting a chance to catch up on some reading since I have a whole collection with me whenever I get a few minutes to myself.

    Update – 4/5/08:

    I would change my rating to 5 stars based on how much I love my Kindle. I am reading on it about 2 hours or more per day. My reading includes a newspaper, some magazines, blogs, books from the Kindle store and some classics. I also have sent myself several pdf documents that I am glad to have available away from my PC. The ability to make use of short bursts of time for reading is amazing. I am very pleased with how much more reading is a part of my busy life now.

    I have ordered multiple Kindles to use in our family. We easily share books using the Content Manager. I do wish that subscriptions could also be shared, but it has not been a big issue in our family because of the different reading habits of the Kindle users.

    The Sample book feature is wonderful. I have tried many books and purchased a few based on these samples. There were differences in the various samples. Some samples gave me a couple of chapters and really drew me into the book while a few samples were little more than the table of contents and a few pages. The Save for Later feature that is available when browsing the Kindle store has been very useful as a wishlist. An improvement would be to have this list available on my PC when browsing the Amazon site.

    One continuing annoyance is the shorter battery life I get when I am using the wireless feature. When I browse the Kindle store or use Wikipedia, the battery life seems to go down in a very short time. When I am strictly reading though the battery life is a couple of days.

    Now that I have many more books and materials on my Kindle, I have noticed shortcomings in the organization methods. I am hoping for a software upgrade to take care of this problem. Currently, I sort my available materials by “Most Recent” and this keeps my current reading projects at the top of the list.

    Overall, the Kindle has been life-changing for me and even some issues that originally bothered me or continue to bother me do not take away from the fact that I have a library of material with me in a wonderfully convenient format – definitely a 5 star e-book reader.

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