Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Monday musing — What’s So Great About a Kindle?

Written By: Tracy - Jul• 25•11

I read something really interesting recently. When Jeff Bezos and amazon set out to develop the kindle, they looked at the iPod. What would it take to make the iPod of books?

Several people told Bezos that it couldn’t be done. There were already several eReaders on the market. EBooks have already been out for a decade without really taking off.

In order to make the proposed Amazon eReader a success, Bezos and his team went back to the book to see what about it people clung to, and how they could mimic that in an eReader. What they found was that there is something magical about books: when you read them, they disappear. People who read don’t focus on the paper that they are printed on or the ink. Instead, like Harry Potter in a Pensive, a reader falls into the world of the book.

This is the experience that the people at amazon sought to recreate with books. When you pick up a kindle, it is very like reading a paperback. The reader is book sized, with ink that resembles paper. When you want to turn the page, you tap a button, and the book appears to flip a page with an audible rustle rather than scrolling.

There are a few authors who are talking about creating ‘DVD extras’ for their books as a way of drawing in readers. I will be interested in seeing if these extras enhance the reader’s experience and become a standard, or if readers will still prefer the immersive experience of the unobtrusive book.

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