Feb 27, 2009, 09:36AM

10 and 10

Ten reasons in favor of the new Kindle, 10 reasons against.

The line has been drawn:


1. It’s great if you travel. If you travel, the Kindle is a godsend. I’m the kind of guy who stocks up books for even short trips, fully expecting to finish War and Peace, Notes from Underground, and four Clive Cussler novels on a plane trip from Pittsburgh to Columbus. With the Kindle you have a full complement of books available at any time.

2. You can put anything you want on it. You can easily email DOC, TXT, and PDF files to your own Kindle email address for conversion to the Kindle - but that costs 10 cents.

3. It looks great. The Kindle 2 is an amazing improvement over the Kindle 1. If every manufacturer took cues on build quality and product life cycles from Amazon, we’d all be better off.


1. It’s bad for research. I’m working on a book right now and I wanted to use the Kindle for all of my research. Sadly, this is almost impossible. The book is a physical object - you can move through it, skimming for notes and important points - and there is something in our education that gives us a sense of space inside a book. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but you know how you can pick up a book and show someone what you’re looking for in a few page turns? You know it was halfway through, maybe a third of the way down the page, and it was near another set of words. The Kindle is not conducive to that kind of mental map-making… yet.

2. It’s horrible for reference. Don’t buy a Kindle of you just read programming manuals. Programming manuals offer something different. While it seems counterintuitive that a document you can search programatically wouldn’t be good as reference material, you’re better off looking up function calls on a website and using the physical book as a guide to building your programs. This is a corallary of point 1, above, so this could change.


  • Many of this guy's points are asinine and the entire article just was so smug and tech-y that I almost lost my lunch. This is one of these reviews where the reviewer's ur-expert take on the device seems to be woefully out of sync with what people might actually use it for. And his bratty line about flight attendants is just idiotic. I mean, I've written no less than three articles about fountain pens for this site, but at least I don't pretend that they're important or that I'm making major points about Technology and Society.

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