Monday, December 06, 2010

Why the Kindle Is Losing Me

Strangely schizophrenic article Why the Kindle Is Losing Me from Sarah Lacy. She begins with a glowing tribute to the Kindle and its' virtues.
I really loved my Kindle when I first got it. I love writing books, and I’m for anything that helps people consume and purchase more of them– I don’t care if I make a fraction of the royalties off electronic sales. 

I was especially struck by how much I wished I’d had a Kindle in college. As a literature major I read about five books a week, not to mention all the textbook reading for other courses. There were so many great touches in the UI that elevated the experience from just putting a book on a screen. There’s the Kindle store and its friction-free, one-click purchases from anywhere, say, a cafe the night before the exam when you still haven’t bought the book. There’s the freedom from lugging around a heavy backpack of books. And there are so many features that are designed specifically for collegiate reading like the ability to easily highlight, annotate, store those annotations in a specific file, and be able to easily search around within the book and find certain quotes or passages. I thought, this isn’t a beautiful piece of hardware, but it is clearly designed by someone who knows high-volume readers.

The I heart Kindle quickly deteriorates into diatribe on the lack of page numbers and the resulting difficulty in creating footnotes for the book she is working on.
So how the hell is it possible that the Kindle doesn’t have a feature as obvious as page numbers? You know what happens when you don’t have page numbers? You can’t do a basic footnote for anything you’ve read. Yeah, that’s going to be a slight problem for the college market.
footnotes from a Kindle edition have been a nightmare. I have had to either use Google books to find page numbers or, worse, repurchase them in hard cover just to do footnotes.
Amazon needs to fix this now.

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