Thursday, December 6, 2007

I heard about Amazon's new Kindle today (here at Amazon and here at Wikipedia). The thing looks ridiculous. I actually heard about it via a Rick Steve's blog post (required reading in my book), and he was going nuts over it even though he's not much of a tech head.

I'm not exactly an 'early adopter' but I want one of these things bad. But I have one big question - how will the library system respond to this? I mean, you can borrow almost any book for free from the library, yet bookstores still exist because they give you ownership over the book and they can guarantee it's in stock when you want it. Those are the advantages. With Kindle, a library can significantly reduce its costs by hosting its books electronically, but this completely negates the advantages bookstores currently have. What the hell is going to happen? I feel like Amazon must have struck a deal with the library system to keep them away from electronic books or something, because the invention of Kindle seems to transform the library system into a potential government-authorized Napster. Crazy.

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