I’m not so sure about this Kindle Kraze.

See, despite my long-held love affair with all things online, I just can’t bring myself to jump on the Kindle bandwagon.

Why? In short, I’m a bibliophile. I own well over 200 books; half of which are either first editions or signed–some, even both. I have read, I am certain, well over 1,000 books in my life time (I catalogued my massive reading list on Shelfari.com, a social networking site dedicated to readers that is now owned by Amazon).

Oh, I’m sure that the publishers and authors are lovin’ it–the Amazon business model requires every reader to buy his own book. No more sharing, giving or selling used books.

But, I wonder, what kind of cut the authors get from the publishers? I wonder how much money the publishing companies are saving from printing? I wonder how many print houses will close down, following the path of our newspapers?

At least the publishing houses are a few steps ahead of the newspapers: might save a few more jobs.

Toby, Greg and I were discussing Amazon’s business model at lunch the other–yes, we do actually meet in person–and wondered if Amazon would change its business model to allow for monthly subscriptions so you could rent a couple of books per month. Or maybe sell household accounts.

Personally, I won’t even consider buying a Kindle until they display in color, include easy e-mail access and phone capabilities and, essentially, replace my phone. If you knew me, you’d know I’m the same way about computers and TVs–I’m waiting for one machine.

Amazon will get there, I’m sure, within the next 5 years.

The upside? In five years, the value of my book collection will have doubled 🙂

  • Lisa –

    I am with you. There is something I like about the permanence of books. I like having a physical library. I like having books lying around.

    I am still cataloging my collection, but already have over 600 books in my home library: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/dougcornelius
    (I greatly prefer LibraryThing over Shelfari)

    On the other hand, I recognize the limitations of books. They do not get updated. It is hard to search through them. It is hard to even find them. The Kindle can hold more than a bag full of books.

    The economic model for a Kindle may even be better for the publisher and the author. They would not have to inefficiently publish lots of copies that may lie unsold in the bookstore bargain bin. I think Kindle model does endanger the publishing house. they larger take the capital bet on printing the book and hoping it gets sold.

    No kindle for me either in the near future.

  • Well, I absolutely love my Kindle, especially the simplicity of the whole thing. True, it doesn’t give you that tactile feeling of holding a book, but it does give you the ability to access that next book at 2:00 AM or when your on the bus.

    My biggest complaint is that the cost ($359.00) is too high. The price should be in the $99-$149 range so that it can be put in the hands of more users. The more users, the more demand place on publishers, bloggers, newspapers, magazines, etc. to put their information out via Kindle. And, to those publishers, there is actual money to be made in the process of subscribing to your publication (unlike your online model).

  • Ha-ha! I was rereading this post to prep for a new twitter on a UK biz will be providing iTunes-style service to download digital books.

    Out of the 3 of us, I bet Greg’s the only one that has a Kindle! LOL