Converted to Kindle

I’ve just come back from a week away at half term fully converted to the concept of the e-reader.

I am a voracious reader. The fairly long journey to New York and back, allowed me to really get used to and appreciate the Kindle I was given at Christmas. For once I didn’t need to carry loads of books and magazines with me. And, deciding to re-read a favourite book on the route home “The Great Gatsby” only required a couple of clicks of the button to get it downloaded in minutes.

If only I could have downloaded some newspapers and magazines as well, of course I would have done. If only I could have had as big a range of titles on the e-reader as there is in the Amazon store I would have stocked up my Kindle much much more.

The e-reader needs to be like an incredibly well stocked superstore with easy access to familiar favourites and recommendations to new stuff (just like Amazon). At the moment it feels like a post office in a rural town, with not much range but the odd dusty quirky thing to discover. (The complete Sherlock Holmes stories are downloadable for a few dollars for instance and I hadn’t remembered what a great read they are).

If the e-reader in any of its forms is going to inject real revenue into the newspaper and magazine marketplace, then the deals and tie ups need to happen and happen fast. At the moment the whole thing is really too confusing. Consumers, as ever, don’t and won’t care where and how the financial infrastructure works. They will want to buy everything everywhere. For a real chance of saving the publishing industry, we need to avoid as much as possible the classic mistakes of the Vhs vs Betamax debacle.

I admit that I already have no idea of the relative merits of the Kindle, versus the Sony Reader, versus the much hyped i-pad (has there ever been so much hype about one device? By all reports the thing dominated the latest CES conference in Vegas by NOT being launched there, which meant it was all anyone talked about).

Just as I want all my radio stations through every radio set I use, and TV channels via every screen, then I must be able to access any print media through any electronic device, quickly, easily and conveniently.

Getting this sorted so that we can consume all the media we want via any device we want is an urgent and important step to a new, better funded, publishing economy.

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