Brief discussion on Kindle at TWIM

Finally catching up on the podcasts from December this week.

I caught episode 120 of This Week in Media to find that their first story was about a New York Times article on the Amazon Kindle from December 23rd by Brad Stone and Mitoko Rich. The most interesting part of the discussion is the personal opinions these early adopter/ media savvy people have about the device and how their comments are in line with a lot of what I hear from people who use the library's device. I'm beginning to think that Amazon really created a great reader to get my parents comfortable with digital books.

The discussion is only about 10 minutes long at the most. After that the show goes back to focusing on the media they usually talk about- TV, film, online video, etc.

Here's the direct link to the show- TWIM 120



Kindle- Day 1

About two months ago I was asked to participate in the development of a professional staff grant for the college on getting Amazon Kindles. Earlier this month the grant committee approved our grant request for two Kindles.

The idea behind the grant was to start playing with Kindles to see what issues and problems they present to a library. We also hope to explore the opportunities electronic readers may present.

The Kindles arrived today! And we added 4 titles from Amazon as samples.

I took one of the Kindles home and used Stanza to upload some PDFs for reading on the Kindle.

I hope to start using this blog to record my experiences with the kindle.

Initial reactions:

  1. The reading experience is really smooth. I started reading The Story of Edgar Sawtell on my ride home and quickly read through several pages. The reading experience is even better than I thought. I know e-ink provided an experience well beyond what the old e-readers did, but I'm still surprised at how nice it looks on the screen.
  2. Converting PDF is going to be a big issue. Stanza does not do a great job and Amazon's conversion is "experimental." I'll have to try Amazon's conversion later. Stanza does provide a way to get the content on the screen but all the formatting is lost or altered. This is not a fault of Stanza as it is a beta program and I will continue to use it for the trial period, but it's still not ideal and not something I would feel comfortable using on a device I would lend out to patrons.
  3. Staff seem interested in using the Kindle. I was surprised how many people just wanted to hold the device. There's still a strong sense of novelty about the device. I hope to quickly get beyond that response and see how the reader is as a work-horse.
I'm planning on bringing in the camera tomorrow and taking some pictures of the Kindle in it's holding area before we release it into the wild.