I have my Kindle 2 for over a year now and since the launch of iPad in April, people keep asking me a boring question, that is – “Why Kindle ?”. And of course, the question always follow by another equally boring one, that is – “Why not iPad ?”. In most cases, I answer the two questions with another question – “How many books have you read in the past 12 months ?”.
“Errh … may be one or two.” is the typical answer. And I think they answer their own questions.
Late last month, Amazon launched the Kindle 3 and Jeff Bezos was interviewed by the acclaimed interviewer and broadcast journalist, Charlie Rose. And now I know, what’s the best answer to these questions.
Straight from Jeff Bezos:
“I would say something though like we’re trying to get out of the way. We’re not trying to create an experience. We want the author to create the experience. You know, if you’re going to read Nabokov or Hemmingway or we want us creating the experience for. That’s not our job. Our job is to provide the convenience. That you can get books in 60 seconds, that you can carry your whole library with you so that you don’t get hand strain, so the device doesn’t get hot in your hands, so that it doesn’t cause eye strain, so that the battery life lasts a month, so you never get battery anxiety …
Now people say why don’t you add a touch screen? Well, the reason we don’t want a touch screen is if we’re going down that decision path, we say, okay, a touch screen and the current technology for touch screens — it’s called capacitive touch — it’s a layer that goes on top of that display. It adds glare. The first thing that you do when you add a touch display is that you add a little extra layer of glass or plastic and a little bit of glare. So it’s very easy from an engineering point of view to add a touch screen but it’s not the right thing if you’re making no compromises and that’s our point of view on this. We want a device that’s for uncompromised reading and guess what? Our approach is working.”
Yes, if you read lots of books a year, in long-form reading style, then you need Kindle. Period.