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I learned something very valuable about myself when I got my original Kindle in terms of page numbers. It turns out that that information, as well as the constant visual feedback about how long in pages the book actually is and how many of those I am into it are more important to me than I had originally thought. They improved the ui component that gives you that status for Kindle 2, but I still do find myself doing a quick search on Amazon to see how many regular "pages" the printed book contains. How old fashioned and quaint of me huh?


My biggest concern about the Kindle--and about digital publishing platforms in general--has to do with privacy and the permanence/impermanence of the written word: http://urbzen.com/2009/02/09/amazon-kindle-privacy-fail/


The touchscreen would also obscure the display... The grey on grey issue is a bit irritating as well.

The lack of ability to share subscriptions in the same household is the worst part of it, that and not being able to link amazon accounts, forcing my wife and I to create a third amazon account just for our kindles.

Miguel de Luis

Given that you can do a search in a ebook, it is perfectly possible to use the quote and the ebook identification as a cite.

Tom Landini

You can subscribe to RSS feeds on a Kindle, a big plus I found out about this week. ">http://www.feedbooks.com> and http://kindlefeeder.com/ format feeds for Kindle compatibility. You get them on your Kindle via email or USB transfer. Just be sure to choose a full text feed.

Adam Khan

Isn't reading while eating a meal one of life's great wrongs? I do it. It's wrong. I think it's one of those Anglo-Saxon traits. Nothing is ever enough. Not food. Not reading.

Marc Beaudin

Hmm. Am I the only one skeptical of Kindle? For the opposing viewpoint, see my recent blog "Kindle or Kindling?"


By the way, can't wait to pick up a copy of The Invention of Air. Sounds great.


I'm reading "The Invention of Air" on my Kindle... loving it, but have a question. Are the proof readers for the hard copy book as bad as those for the Kindle format??? Early on (location 248-54 on font #2) the paragraph mentions that Priestly, "by the late 1850s... had cobbled together enough savings..." Well for a man of 125 or so, let's hope he had some savings! Should I keep looking for these typos?

John Branch

I guess I don't really want Steven to become a mere product reviewer, but I do wonder whether he found a way to compare the Kindle with the Sony Reader, or how he decided on the former. Sony's product has been thoroughly demonstrated for me in airports, and I'm pretty fond of what I saw, but I wouldn't buy one without getting my hands on a Kindle--or reading a comparison.

Joseph Primm

I have a hard time still not holding onto a book with the feel of paper. Not against a kindle device or such, just need to get over my 'irrationality' and get on with it.


Sorry to go a bit OT here, but re: your tweet about Kindling Zadie Smith: In case you haven't seen her piece in the last NYRB, it's lovely:


Also, saw your terrific NYPL talk about remix culture, as part of the Sunny B. contingent. Maybe Kindle-like hardware, remixes, and open APIs can save journalism.

James Poniewozik

I'm coming to this post late, but am curious what you think of Kindle for iPhone. I like it a lot so far; it has touch screen; and there is the considerable advantage of not having to buy and carry Another. Damn. Thing.


Just got linked here by... someone... Andrew Sullivan maybe? Too many tabs. Anyhow, love the review. I just got a Kindle as a birthday present and am enjoying it quite a bit. A few thoughts.

2. As someone who gets pretty bad eyestrain, I will say that the display is amazing. Seriously amazing.

6. This bugs me too, but I suppose I'll get over it. And it makes sense. The implications for research citations are fascinating.

7. So true. I find it slight heavy for one handed reading (wrist problems) but just setting it on my lap or on the bed or whatever is great.

My own point of frustration is the operating temperature. The manual says not to operate it in less than 32 degree weather and not to store it in less than 14 degree weather. This is really, really limiting for someone who lives in Minnesota. It's 32 degrees or under for a good 5-6 months of the year, and 14 degrees of under for 2-3. The idea of a gadget I can't even take outside in my bag during January is a serious bummer.


Yes, the typo in _The Invention of Air_ is present in the print copy as well, on page 20.

I, too, am bothered by the lack of page numbers in my Kindle. I'd like it to display the current chapter and page number somewhere, or at least to have a way to get it from the menu.

I'm not prone to eye strain from looking at LCDs but the Kindle is a *lot* easier on the eyes.

And the problem I've found with the iPhone Kindle app is that it only reads your books purchased from Amazon. Any third-party books you've loaded on your Kindle aren't accessible, and periodicals like a Times subscription aren't available.


I suspect the market at large will see the Kindle for what it is, and reject it. You paid a lot of money to sit on your side of the walled garden and now Amazon is going to nickle and dime you to death selling you the ability to read hideously converted copies of your own PDF files and the like.

Kindle is the mistake. Someone else will provide an answer.


stylistic quibbles: don't use "by definition" if you're not actually referencing a definition. it's not a synonym for "necessarily".

and "begging the question" doesn't mean what you think it means.


thought is everything and i hope a person who uses his thought in the work can get success in the field of work.

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Because of my research methods, I am obsessed with an easy mechanism for grabbing a paragraph or two from a book and getting onto my computer so that I can archive it in Devonthink.

Anthony Baker

Hey Steven,

I'm planning to get a Kindle and am particularly interested in your note here:

3. Because of my research methods, I am obsessed with an easy mechanism for grabbing a paragraph or two from a book and getting onto my computer so that I can archive it in Devonthink. The Kindle has a very simple mechanism for this that works great, though selecting the text would be much easier with a touchscreen.

As I do the same thing. Can you elaborate? Didn't know you could get text snippets OFF of the KIndle.

Nick Gould

I'm a couple months into the new Kindle as well and I share some of your reactions -- particularly the odd anachronistic impression of the screen. Still, I'm loving the device. The one-handed reading on the subway is a joy (no need to let go of the pole and risk the interpersonal faux pas of crashing into your neighbor if the train lurches).

Regarding your touch screen comments, I guess I agree... the joystick is a little quaint for my tastes. I wonder if a touch screen is even possible with the no-power screen? Even if it is, I would think that keeping the screen clean (especially if you read while eating!) might be more difficult if you are also using it as an input device.


I've been using the Kindle for over a year. I can't imagine going back to printed books. My favorite things about the Kindle:
1. Having so many books with me, with out the hassle of lugging physical books.
2. Simple to buy a book wherever I am. Even on international trips, I can use the PC and transfer the purchase using USB connection.
3. Cost! I didn't expect this one and didn't factor it in the purchase decision, but I'm amazed at how much I've saved even when considering the cost of the Kindle.

The iPhone app is relatively new; though I've found it a excellent option to taking advantage of quick bits of time here and there to read when I don't have my Kindle with me.

The selection of Kindle books is impressive, but I have found a few books I wanted to read that are unavailable.



I have published a book, Web On-The-Go in Amazon Kindle version.
Here is the link for the book.


This book is all about innovative ideas for developing applications for wireless web.
I'll be very glad if you could review the book, Web On-The-Go.
Your review comments will be very valuable.


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People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said... but they will always remember how you made them feel.Did you agree with me ?

Kjetil Kringlebotten

The Kindle locations always refer to the same place. What is changed when one changes the font size is just how many locations are visible on the screen.

I usually use a ‘slightly altered’ version of the APA style. Here is an example of what I would do, with the example of a book by Scott Hahn.

In the bibliography:
Hahn, S. (2009). Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI. Kindle Edition. Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Brazos Press [Retrieved from Amazon.com, March 26th 2010]

In the reference or footnote:
Hahn: 2009: chap. 6:6
Hahn: 2009: chap. 6:6; loc. 1918-1924

If this is the first time I cite or quote a Kindle or Mobipocket book, I also write this:

(This is a book published in Kindle/Mobipocket format. All quotations from, or citations of, such books refer to chapters, sections or precise locations (loc.) in the text, and not page numbers.)

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    • I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of eight books, and co-founder of three web sites. We spend most of the year in Marin County, California though I'm on the road a lot giving talks. (You can see the full story here.) Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

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    • : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

      Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
      An exploration of environments that lead to breakthrough innovation, in science, technology, business, and the arts. I conceived it as the closing book in a trilogy on innovative thinking, after Ghost Map and Invention. But in a way, it completes an investigation that runs through all the books. Sold more copies in hardcover than anything else I've written.

    • : The Invention of Air

      The Invention of Air
      The story of the British radical chemist Joseph Priestley, who ended up having a Zelig-like role in the American Revolution. My version of a founding fathers book, and a reminder that most of the Enlightenment was driven by open source ideals.

    • : The Ghost Map

      The Ghost Map
      The latest: the story of a terrifying outbreak of cholera in 1854 London 1854 that ended up changing the world. An idea book wrapped around a page-turner. I like to think of it as a sequel to Emergence if Emergence had been a disease thriller. You can see a trailer for the book here.

    • : Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

      Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
      The title says it all. This one sparked a slightly insane international conversation about the state of pop culture -- and particularly games. There were more than a few dissenters, but the response was more positive than I had expected. And it got me on The Daily Show, which made it all worthwhile.

    • : Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

      Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
      My first best-seller, and the only book I've written in which I appear as a recurring character, subjecting myself to a battery of humiliating brain scans. The last chapter on Freud and the neuroscientific model of the mind is one of my personal favorites.

    • : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

      Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
      The story of bottom-up intelligence, from slime mold to Slashdot. Probably the most critically well-received all my books, and the one that has influenced the most eclectic mix of fields: political campaigns, web business models, urban planning, the war on terror.

    • : Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

      Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
      My first. The book I wrote instead of finishing my dissertation. Still in print almost a decade later, and still relevant, I think. But I haven't read it in a while, so who knows what's in there!

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