Change. Hope. Torture Cover-Ups. | Main | More Fun with Christian Bale
February 09, 2009

The Many Problems with Kindle

Allah, the technojunkie, is swooning over the new improved Kindle. I'm not, and I don't think most will.

For one thing it costs $360. Quite an investment.

For another thing, books are not precisely difficult to carry around, especially on the places where you'd read a book outside your home -- subway, airport, Starbucks, park. The Kindle is a bit thinner and lighter, but who's sweating the weight of a book?

For yet another thing, books are intrinsically pleasurable as objects. People like books -- the feel of paper, the smell of them. Kindle is not going to replace that attractiveness anytime soon.

But here's the big reason Kindle will never catch on, as a friend explained to me:

"How do you know what to read?"

By which he meant -- without the pleasant ritual of going to a book-store, browsing the stacks, picking up a book and reading its back cover and first few pages -- how the hell do you know what you want to read in the first place?

Netflix has the same problem -- It's a pretty convenient service. They certainly get your movies out quickly. But I have trouble figuring out what movies to rent based on their interface. For whatever reason, the video store stacks continue to be a much easier way to find movies I'd like to see. The Netflix interface offers lots of pictures of from the video boxes, but still, I never know what the hell to order from Netflix. Mostly I order movies I've already seen twenty times just because I can't think of anything else.

Netflix is great, but they need to improve that interface so that -- somehow -- it's more like browsing the stacks at Blockbuster. How? I have no idea.

And Kindle, one would imagine, has the same problem. Sure, there's a huge collection of books you can buy. Sure, you can book-covers and probably read a few sample pages. And yet it's still going to be difficult to buy a book without actually getting to see that tangible thing and hold it in your hand.

Kindle solves a problem which is not in fact a problem -- no one ever really says "Crap, I'd like to read a book but I'd sure like to avoid all the hassle and unpleasantness of a book store." A lot of times people will go to bookstores with no real intention of buying anything -- they just want to browse.

So what is the point? Yes, immediate delivery-- but you can have immediate delivery, pretty much, by driving twenty minutes to a book store, too.

Well Here's Something I Know I Want to Read: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the classic book of romance, now with a zombie apocalypse to make it awesome.

Thanks to MattM.

In Defense of Netflix: Dan-O writes:

do you rate the movies? If not then you should, their user interface kind of relies on that. Once you start rating movies (you need to do a few hundred of them), then the "suggestions" and the movies that it puts in front of your face start getting much better

Nope, I didn't. Netflix never suggests I rent anything I want to rent. I rented a few action movies earlier and now Netfix seems to think I have a hard-on for Steven Segal and Vin Diesel. I guess that's because I don't rate them. I'll try that.


digg this
posted by Ace at 05:12 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
garrett: ">>OLs are the smartest as a group of athletes. ..."

The Mass Media can EABOD: "Kermit Gosnell cured me of my luke-warm, pro-choic ..."

Maritime: "It really is sick the blind spot the Left has for ..."

Bruce: "So women that look like the men mother warned them ..."

Roc Ingersol : "When talking to someone who claims to be a Christi ..."

Don Q.: "I still believe that the States who want to limit ..."

BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b]: "Greetings fappers and fappees. What fresh hell ..."

Alberta Oil Peon: " Iceland cured Downs. * shakes head * Posted ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Booking Agent, Aero Pinochet: "112. Not up on JP history, but i thought they wer ..."

Huck Follywood, critic de Cinema Verite: "In fairness it wasn't just the black population sh ..."

joe, living dangerously: "Correct. It was "undesirable populations". Which S ..."

USNtakim prfoundly deplorable!/infadel in training: "Fact- If the developing baby is a growing human be ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64