Will the new Kindle put books on the endangered species list?

Posted by andreaitis on May 5, 2009

On Wednesday, Jeff Bezos will unveil the Amazon Kindle DX.   There has been much speculation and hype about the DX, including the question that has quickly turned trite:  Will this save newspapers?   A silly question, really, because A) it won’t,  the point of the Kindle is that it’s paper-free and  2) newspapers are long past saving, at least  in their current state.   What about the other question that has also quickly turned trite: Can it save the news industry?  Well, no…but it can provide an outlet for additional reach and experimentation with revenue models.

There is some potential here.  The DX has  a 9.7-inch display (the current Kindle is a six-inch unit), a built-in PDF reader, and the ability to add notes and highlights.  Engadget is reporting that the New York Times will offer a $9.95 / month subscription, a little lower than the current $13.99.

But one of the more interesting angles here is that the Kindle could become the new super-charged textbook on college campuses, saving students time, money and back-aches from dragging around backpacks that weigh more than a keg.   And if it works for college students, the trickle-down effect could lead to Kindles in the Kindergarten class.  Forget newspapers…could this be the end of good old-fashioned books?

Amazon Kindle

Chief information officer for Cleveland-based Case Western Reserve University — the college whose president will be taking the stage with Jeff Bezos — Lev Gonick said select students are being issued the new, larger screen Kindles (doesn’t specify DX) in the fall semester with pre-installed textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar. Five other universities including Pace, Princeton, Reed, Arizona State, and Darden School at the University of Virginia are also said to be signed up for the trial.

Amazon Kindle DX to feature 9.7-inch display? Update: Pictures!


4 Responses to “Will the new Kindle put books on the endangered species list?”

  1. Here’s another Kindle review:


    For the life of me I don’t understand why they haven’t gone color yet. I’ve used a friend’s Kindle and frankly it feels as update as using an Apple Newton.

  2. wfriedwald said

    the kindle is NOT exactly a literary version of the iPod/iPhone – for me the dealbreaker is that you CAN take your existing CD collection and easily put it on your iPod. However, you can NOT do the same thing with your book collection – is even possible, with great difficulty even, to “transfer” a printed book to an electronic format? So you’re forced to buy something from their stores in their format… if the price of the kindle included copies of every book I own, I would buy one!

  3. andreaitis said

    Good point, but I think of the Kindle as the shape of things to come. Imagine how our libraries might transform or how our children will learn to read. Moving forward, it becomes a different experience for us, both in the way we spend and the way we consume.

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