Could I have an ebook reader that doesn’t suck?

This is going to be a total bomb. And I’ll tell you why. Lots of people are calling it the next iPod, and I am going to focus on why it won’t be.

  • It’s ugly. Really ugly. Like, generic computer from “We Got Us Some Computers, Ltd.” in 1986 ugly. The iPod was not ugly.
  • It’s complicated. Why does an ebook reader need a keyboard? Seriously? Do you guys think you can charge by the button? “You can search books!” I can search books now without a keyboard. It is called an index. Put an Index button on it, and let me thumb through the index. I have no problem searching on my TiVo without a QWERTY keyboard. It isn’t like I do it all day long. Most days.  A D-pad in the middle and a button on each side would have been fine.
  • Nobody cool is selling it.  The iPod had Steve F-in Jobs selling it.  Jeff Bezos may be a big shot in the business world, but he’s not a tech rock star.  He runs a bookstore.  Not only that, but the iPod had its users to sell it.  Cool people were spotted all over wearing white earbuds while they went around being cool.  Where are you going to see this being used?  Some guy waiting on a bus?  And who is it going to be?  Some nerd reading a book.  An electronic book.  That’s a no sale.
  • It nickels and dimes you.  Literally.  I get taxed a dime to email myself?  Seriously?  Buying a song for $.99 is one thing.  I can get the buying books from the Kindle Store.  But this is like if Apple wanted to charge you a dime to get the cover art with the song.  Amazon isn’t selling me anything when I email my own stuff to me.  They are just skimming a tax off the top.
  • They want me to move in with them, not move in together.  If they decide that you violated their terms (and they have a lot of them) then they want to kick you out of the Kindle Club.  Oh, and steal all the books you bought from them, too.  See, it turns out that you are just renting the books.  Until they think that you might have cheated on them, and then they are kicking you out of their house.  Or until the whole thing goes belly up, and they stop letting you have the books you already rented, like what happened with the DRM wrapped MLB videos people bought.  Oh, and in the automatic updates part, they have decided that they are going to load whatever software they want on it over the cellular network, whether you OK it or not.

So that’s it in a nutshell.  It’s ugly, complicated, uncool, it comes with its own tax, and it might stop working whenever Amazon gets tired of supporting it.  I won’t be rushing out to buy one.

One Comment

  1. mexigogue says:

    I like my books real. Reading an E-book on the toilet just wouldn’t be the same.