Blog U › 
'Freedom' on a Kindle
September 22, 2010 - 10:00pm

5 reasons why I loved reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen, on my Kindle Wi-Fi, 6":

1. Amazing book - the device disappeared. No, really - the book is as good as the hype. If you are not reading Freedom right now you are going to miss out on some great conversations.

2. The retractable LED light that is built into my gorgeous leather Kindle cover. Perfect for reading in bed without disturbing my sleeping partner.

3. I was able to download and start reading Freedom moments after reading a review of the book.

4. The Kindle edition was only $12.99. Although I have to admit the hardcover on Amazon is only $14 - and I have prime. But in general I think Kindle books are considerably cheaper.

5. I've started to convert PDF documents for work to the Kindle format, moving more of reading I have to do to this platform. The conversion process is a pain compared to the great native PDF support on the iPad (Kindle PDF reading is lousy) - but I like the lighter Kindle better for reading. Having Freedom on the same device as work documents was convenient - less to haul around.

Don't think that I've totally drunk the Kindle Kool-Aid. Amazon needs to find a way that I can lend my Kindle copy to friends once I've done reading the book. This should be easy - one book one reader at a time. I lend Freedom to my friend Anthony, and it becomes unavailable to read on my Kindle until he "gives it back". Amazon should figure out that lending would drive both Kindle device and Kindle book sales, as lending operates under the economics of reciprocity.

I also think that Amazon is making a mistake by not offering a "digital bundle" for the book it sells. If I buy the Kindle book I should also get the Audible audio version, and vice-versa. Already my Audible books show up on my Kindle archived items, available for downloading and listening with the Kindle. It seems like a small next step to have the e-book and audio versions stay constantly synched, so the reader can switch seamlessly between formats.

But if Amazon is smart, and Bezos seems very smart to me, than I'm sure that the Kindle experience will continue to improve. We are not there yet, but the end of the future of the printed book format is in sight. The printed book will continue to live on, as either a high-end speciality item (as a tactile object and work of art) and a low-end mass market item, but the center for the printed book cannot hold. By the time my kids are both in college (2017), the majority of new book sales will be digital.

Is your campus ready for this transition?

What are you reading? (And on what device?)


Please review our commenting policy here.


  • Viewed
  • Commented
  • Past:
  • Day
  • Week
  • Month
  • Year
Back to Top