If you would have asked me about e-readers a year ago, I would have told you that I knew Sony made one, the Kindle was pretty awesome, and there were a bunch more that were too expensive and far out to deal with. If you asked me three months ago, I would have told you that I had Kindle 2 Fever, and the Sony reader didn’t hold a candle to it.
My dad asked me a few months ago about e-Book readers. He had a stroke a few years ago and doesn’t have great control of his left hand. Books can be a bit difficult for him. I whole-heartedly recommended the Kindle because I thought it was amazing. It still is to some degree, but Last Friday the Kindle book fiasco happened. You’ve probably heard the story: Amazon found out that one of the books they were selling wasn’t properly licensed, so they yanked it from the store and from every single Kindle. It’s an invasion of privacy, personal space, and property.
Suffice it to say, It would take a bit of a miracle for me to buy a Kindle. Amazon’s CEO, JEff Bezos, issued an apology, but I echo the comments in response to that. It’s great that you recognize it was a mistake, but what are you going to do about it? Where’s the guarantee that you’re not going to play reading police again?
Yesterday, My wife and I went down to the Mall to the Sony store (Which is called Sony Style for reasons I cannot fathom) to check out their eReader. It’s a 2008 device, compared to the Kindle 2 which is just a few months old, and it has a few shortcomings. The reading library available to it is significantly smaller than Amazon’s and there’s no wireless option… at all. Sure, I can’t go out and buy books wirelessly, but also no one can come in and take books wirelessly. There’s also no annotation options. If I want to make notes about books, I’m going to have to do it on paper.
Still, I kind of want one. I like the technology, and I doubt I’m going to give the Kindle another shot. Still, I think we’re on the eve of a bigger tech war than it seems right now. Several days back, Barnes & Noble announced a deal with a company called Plastic Logic, to sell books in connection to that device. Plastic Logic expects to release their reader towards the end of this year, or early next year. I also expect Sony to update their reader pretty soon, or they’re going to start looking like their standing still. Hykel said she might buy me a reader for Christmas. If I get enough fun money before then, I might buy one myself…
I’m hoping that Amazon’s fumble, and the introduction of Plastic Logic’s device will spur Sony to update their reader to new heights. If there’s one thing I like, it’s competition. Competition drives products to be better, and benefits the consumer.