An odd development occurred recently: My aunt got me a Kindle for my birthday… I’m unsure how I feel about it. While I am certainly excited to have a new gadget to play with I have some issues with this particular device, it’s unnecessary. Like even more unnecessary than the Chumby I also own.
To start with, I’m not much of a reader, however I really believe good design for function is about boiling something down to the essentials… Books are already as simple as can get, they are a beautiful example of functional perfection. Amazon doesn’t look at it this way though, the Kindle is a replacement not for the book, which needs no replacement, but for one’s personal library. The Kindle is a replacement for our bookshelves… and in that regard it’s a beautiful example of simplification of an idea… except most people don’t have a problem with owning too many books. Those who do are often passionate readers who are happy to loan or give away their books, and some people buy books simply to put them on the shelves as part of a collection. The Kindle misses all of these functions.
So what appeals about the Kindle to me?
The free lifetime wireless internet access. The latest version of the Kindle is global… the web browser kinda sucks, but it could seriously come in handy the next time I go to Europe and want to Tweet or catch up with my RSS feeds. Assuming I can get a handle on my RSS feeds to begin with…
We’ll see what I think after a few months of owning the thing.