Tuesday, May 5, 2009

e-book readers are back!

Amazon's Kindle is getting a lot of, ummmm, well, "press" lately. Kindle is an e-book reader and seems to be in the online news quite a lot lately.

I own one of the original e-book readers, the Rocket Ebook. I bought that little device, what...5 or more years ago or so? Back in the days when I had some aspirations of being an early adopter of neat gadgets.

I *loved* my e-book reader! I haven't used it in a long time, but I'm tempted to charge it up and start perusing the 40 or so books still stored on the device. I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to buying books. They're stacked all over my home -- I just don't have enough space to store them, I never get around to giving them away, or trading them, or selling them. An e-book reader gives me the option of feeding my addiction in a practical way. I can buy books, read them, but not have to use up what precious little space I have left to store them. And, I will never run out of reading material, no matter where I go.

Because of issues about price, reluctance of publishers to stand behind the technology, and proprietary formats, my e-book reader went the way of the dodo bird. Publishers no longer made books available, the service disappeared, and that was the end for a very long time.

Then, suddenly, Kindle appears. It's not even as good as my original - no backlighting from e-Ink, the technology that's behind all those lovely online words. Backlighting was great because it was easy to read in the dark). In many other ways, the Kindle is very, very similar to my original Rocket Ebook. But, it's selling and the Rocket just never caught on with a large enough crowed. Right idea at the wrong time, I suppose. Timing...so important, especially when it comes to profitable products!

Maybe, when I'm fully employed again, I'll treat myself to yet another new gadget. Yum.

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