I remember the original kindle with the blocky edges. My boss, at that time, @rickeames bought one. As a fellow early adopter, I was sorely tempted. But I had my reservations. I already loved books to pieces and the Kindle was NOT going to replace the sheer joy of rustling paper and dog earing a hard cover or a paper back. I also had philosophical problems with the issue of ownership. My Dad’s library was a big factor in my love for books and I wanted to make sure I could leave a legacy of a library to my offspring and I wasn’t sure I could do that with the Kindle.
So I waited for the next gen. And while I was waiting, the kindle went cross platform on Windows, iPad, Android and more. So I could dip my feet into the Kindle store without buying a device and that is what I have done since then. Because when it comes down to it, e-readers have underwhelmed me. They took away a ton of the tactile pleasure of reading & owning a book and replaced it with conveniences that I only had a so so appreciation for – lugging a book around is not that painful and you can only read one at a time really. What I really wanted was adding more value along non-traditional dimensions:
How about embedding the sounds from a scene into an e-book to make it more immersive? Almost like a light score that changes from chapter to chapter or scene to scene inside a book… Or how about olfactory sensors that can help you smell the grit in a scene? Of course these advances should be subtle and tastefully expressed and the file formats for e-books should allow easy encoding of these additional elements. Additional advanced features could include social reading. Why can’t lovers who are a continent apart or even a block apart read a book at the same time and share their enjoyment in real-time? Or a group even.
It just seems like there should be more™. And when it comes, then it will be easy to make the decision to buy a dedicated e-reading device instead of emulating it on a phone or a tablet. Now, it’s more a toss-up.