Recently I noted that Amazon.com has reformatted two of my books for the new Kindle device that is being marketed so heavily. The Kindle is a hand-held device, about the size of a mass market paperback, that can store dozens of books, allowing a reader to carry an inventory of reading in a vest pocket.
It's not a bad idea (there are many others out there of similar concept). But what readers want in an electronic device has not yet been developed. In short, book readers still prefer a book to an electronic gadget for three simple reasons:
Essentially, these hand held units just can't tolerate any water (so that rules out reading in the tub or in the bathroom--I won't say more about that). And the beach is a no-no due to sand and intense sunlight, which tends to wash out the screen resolution. As one friend stated so truthfully in a recent conversation, "I'm not going to buy a $200 device, take it to the beach, and get sand in it." No, that's why we take cheap, used paperbacks to the beach. If they get destroyed, it doesn't matter.
There's a big difference between a Kindle and my swimming trunks. If I get sand in the Kindle, it's a gonner. If I get sand in the trunks, well . . . I just jump in the water and rinse. It's how I begin every day. And, since I like to read in bed, too, I don't think I'll take a Kindle under the covers. That's what my wife is for, and she's a lot cheaper!