So far I’ve not yielded to the thought that I ought to have a Kindle. Despite usually being an early adopter, and liking to read, in practice I barely keep up with newspapers and periodicals, much less make it through a book. Though I did experiment. I downloaded Kindle for iPhone about a year ago and have since assembled an odd collection of four books: Dreams from My Father, Googled, Not Everyone Gets a Trophy, and The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science. I enjoyed the first, have barely started the second, and the latter two were recommended to me as ones that could help me guide contemporary grad students and so are more reference works. The experience on the iPhone has been fine, but clearly not matching those reading on the real thing.
Then in the course of the past three weeks some unrelated triggers. Ron blogged about the Kindle experience with Fly by Wire; I thought I would enjoy the book. Our friend Dan Lowell received a Kindle as a Christmas gift and he isn’t quite ready to admit it, but I think he is enjoying it too. But the iPad announcement was coming this week. And so now the decision is more complicated. Nonetheless thinking about the decision resulted in an impulse to get my fifth Kindle book today, Fly by Wire. Reading it on the iPhone would be fine and if I later decided on either a Kindle or iPad, the book would be readable (for the Kindle for iPhone app will run on the iPad).
Not so fast, need to examine my assumptions. The publisher of Fly by Wire is Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a subsidiary of Macmillan, and Amazon and Macmillan are at odds. As of today I can’t buy the book–hard copy or digital–directly from Amazon. Time will tell, but can you say VHS-Betamax?