Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Loving the Kindle

Andy Murray, Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X, is an early adopter of the Kindle and never leaves home without it. He is the greatest evangelist (second only to Oprah, who showed it last week and drove her viewers straight onto where Kindle sales are once again going through the roof). Andy’s after me to get one and somehow he has convinced himself that the retro design is cool and Atari 80's-like. He also finds it emotional and sensorial. Andy has always been a voracious news reader and tells me he now downloads, free everyday, the Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Onion, Slate, Time, BusinessWeek, and Newsweek. Without commenting on Andy’s somewhat conservative reading taste (!!) I wonder if anyone else out there has any views on the Kindle? I love to read but I still love the physical fix you get from newspapers. That’s why I still buy CDs which I then of course, put onto my iPod. Am I being a dinosaur? Should I give in and Kindle?


Phil Jones said...

Hi Kevin,

We've met a couple of times at Michael Taylors gigs, interested in this blog, so I'm posting.

I've just been reviewing an e-viewer prototype myself and I think you would get used to it.

Like when you gave up vinyl, nothing could ever replace it, you still keep it for nostalgia however i-Pod now rules.

I get the feeling Kindle and other sites which will download content to e-viewers will take off in a big way. Yes, they're static, no you can't really do the SISOMO thing with them (you can do the SI), however you can carry dozens of books with you on e-paper viewers, so dip in and dip out of different reads as the mood takes you.

It's also a major contributor to reducing your carbon footprint further. It has to make sense long term, content is king! Give in and kindle.

Kai Strieder said...


I had been one of the early adopters of the 1998 Rocket eBook. Besides giving me a tennis elbow, I spent uncountable hours reading with that device and still enjoy books I bought for it.

Even with its bulky design, where form followed battery (contours), it had a great display. I do love books, the real paper ones, and the feel and haptic experience, the smell and the marks of dead squashed mosquitos on the back, but reading with an ebook is quite easier (on the eyes) and more immersive.

Give it a try, but be easy on the mosquitos with the Kindle.

Amruta said...

I am a college student and a voracious reader too but I still haven't warmed up to the idea of the kindle. I prefer the feel of the actual book or paper and that's why I don't even like ebooks.
So, I do not think you are a dinosaur for not adopting the kindle. It just depends on each person's taste.

Sophee McPhee said...

I'm with Phil on this - just like email, Kindle/e-books are doing wonders for the environment, reducing waste and keeping more trees on the planet.

Having said that, e-info would definitely be more enticing and satisfying if people had the ability to smell and feel through their eyes (considering humans' growing reliance on sight, evolution might very well make this possible!).

Barry Siff said...

Still agree there's nothing like vinyl (just got the new Guns 'n Roses in vinyl!); but, love my Ipod, i'm learning to text, and even play with facebook a bit; however, having tried reading the paper online, i still sit each morning with my 2.5 cups of coffee, dog by my side, NPR on the radio, and flip through 2 newspapers. When I travel, I try reading my local (Boulder) paper online, and always feel like I'm not getting the whole experience. Technology is awesome; but, with some things, it's the "experience" we sometimes need to feel; and, to an extent, this goes toward defining us.

Sophee McPhee said...

An additional thought...

My mum is a die-hard newspaper fan. She gets incredibly ticked off when – for whatever reason – she can’t get her daily newspaper fix and feel. It’s like watching a person get progressively cranky as they continue to go without food.

The act of wrapping her fingers around a crisp Courier Mail and then navigating her way through its freshly tousled pages is a vital part of mum’s morning ritual. She loves the anticipation of reaching her favourite section (Real Estate) and feeling the black ink transfer onto her fingertips – it’s evidence her daily urge has been satisfied.

Each Sunday, mum meets her girlfriends at the local breakfast cafĂ©, where they all share, read and discuss the Sunday Mail. I can’t imagine them all sitting there with their just wouldn’t be right.

Mum will never Kindle. At least not on Sundays.

Piotr Jakubowski said...


Though technology is still taking off at an alarming rate, I'd have to agree with Phil. Although vinyl is irreplaceable, most people have moved to digital music. That being said, vinyl hasn't disappeared yet. There's just something about curling up with a book and flipping through the pages one by one. I love bending the corners of pages that have great insights, quotes for me to look back to later.

One thing I do really think would be great is to have RSS feeds on something like the kindle. I am considering updating my iPod Touch software to include applications and an RSS Reader, so that I could update my blog posts while I shower and read them on the way to work in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I just got a Kindle and love it! Someone once said it was the "thinking man's ipod." I think we live in an AND world so it is not about books OR Kindle, but what about both? Kindle is great for when I'm traveling and want to take several books but don't want the wait. I now have 20 books downloaded and feel comforted to know I can sink into a novel, re-read a classic, or catch up on 100s of newspapers.

Don't take away my Kindle and Ipod! ;)

jemster said...

Interesting dilemma; lovemarks meets sisimo.

Me I'd go with the book everytime. David Abbott once told me that every book has two stories: the story in the book, and the story of the book.

I love that thought.

There is a sensuality and intimacy about words on paper; especially so if someone has given you the book once read, which to me is more 'giving' than giving a new book. I think I love second hand bookstores for the same reason, to imagine the people who read this book before.

The same cannot be said of secondhand newspapers! Which is why the kindle might work for newsprint, but even then imagine reading the local paper in a local french cafe vs wipping the kindle out. One is an experience, the other isn't.

For all it's convenience and despite the technical brilliance of kindle it lacks, for me, essential intimacy. I can't, couldn't, engage with it. My wife told me she loves the smell of a book: smell a kindle, get arrested.

Same thing with CDs even more so with Vinyl (though I have given up the ghost there).

Lovemark vs Sisimo: this time the Lovemark wins.


Maximus said...

I've recently purchased a Kindle and can tell you first hand it is an amazing device that is now my new lovemark! I love paperback/hardback books too, but more importantly, I love to read. I also like vinyl records but I love music more so i use an Ipod.

Sharon Simms said...

Yes - you're a dinosaur.
Yes - you should give in.
Yes - you should buy a Kindle.

I bought one a year ago, and I never leave home without it!

1) Though I haven't converted newspapers and blogs to the Kindle (as they are available online), I am so used to reading books on Kindle that I get really upset when the occasionaly book isn't available in the Kindle version.

2) It's really all about the content of the book you're reading - you quickly get involved in it, and how you're reading it is irrelevant.

3) I think it's more about where you can read than how you read. If I had to sit in front of a computer, I wouldn't want an electronic version. But I can still read it on a park bench, on the treadmill, at the beach, on the plane, in bed, curled up on the couch, out in the hammock - and it's really easier to hold (or prop) than a book which you often need to hold open.

4) If you travel, it saves lots of pounds in your luggage. I still browse in airport bookstores, but I can have a new book downloaded in the bookstore before my daughter gets TO the checkout, much less THROUGH it.

So yes, yes, yes, Kevin. Get a Kindle NOW!

Kevin Roberts said...

It seems everyone’s pretty passionate about both books and Kindle – not surprising, given they’re both major contributors to the sharing of great stories. I remain firmly in the and/and camp here!