Why I love the Kindle

by phil on Monday May 4, 2009 5:50 PM

I'm a sadist when it comes to the creative destruction of technologies. I guess I'm that kind of modernist.

So I found myself at Borders today with an hour to kill. I wasn't really in the mood for new books, but I walked to the self-help stacks anyway looking for something interesting. From a distance, all I saw were the covers of flat-facing books, none of which I recognized. I thought about just picking one up and diving in, but I didn't trust the process. I wanted to see little 4 and 5-star icons of user reviews before believing what I was reading. Instead, I just felt like I was looking at ads for books that the publishing industry was flogging.

Unmotivated, I withdrew from the stacks, slunk into a comfy black sofa-chair, and dove into my Kindle iPhone app. I opened up What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage, and continued where I left off. I lost myself in flow for 30 minutes, and when I came up for air after finishing a chapter, I reflected on how odd it was to be reading an eBook at a bookstore.

Feeling a little guilty for using Borders, I got up and wandered around the stacks. I then bumped into a hilarious and addictive book, Random Kinds of Factness, which has little Snapple-cap-style factoids like, "Before it was painted white in 1814, the White House was called 'the Presidential Palace.'" Normally I strive to borrow books from the library, but here was a book I knew I'd read all the way through, but spread over a couple months. Also the book was cheap, $12.99. So I told myself, "Why not?" and walked to the register.

As I was holding the book, and feeling its weight, I thought, "Hmm, I wonder if it's on Kindle?" I did a quick search on my iPhone, turns out it was. I checked the price, and it was $9.99. "Cheaper AND more convenient!" I then did a 1-click—or rather, 1-tap—purchase from my phone, and bam, before I made it to the register, the Kindle version was mine. I then put the real-world book back in its shelf.

"Funny," I thought to myself, "how I could spend an hour Borders and end up giving $10 to amazon." As I walked out the door and looked back into the store, I noticed the emptiness of the place. It was then that I realized Borders was screwed.


Sarah said on June 21, 2009 10:38 PM:

OMG, LFR is for you.


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