Flunking Sainthood

KDX_and_K2.jpgIt’s time. It’s finally time! This fall, I am going to buy an e-reader.  I want your advice. Kindle or Nook? Or — wallet gulp — iPad?

I know a lot of book people believe in their stout paper hearts that digital books will never take the place of paper, but I think we’ve reached a cultural tipping point:

  • In June, Amazon announced that Kindle sales had surpassed hardcover sales in the second quarter of 2010.

  • Amazon is now selling three times as many Kindles over this time last year.

  • Google Editions will eventually make format considerations less significant, as ebooks will be available and not device-specific. It’s going to be like utopia! The anti-apocalypse! 
  • In 2009, a flat book year, sales of ebooks soared 176.6%, and the ebook’s overall market share grew to 3.3%. In 2010, will it have doubled or tripled again?

kindle.jpgEbook customers appear to be very satisfied, and are moving away from print. A quarter of those who have bought ebooks in the last year say they’ve purchased fewer print books; an additional 15% say they have stopped purchasing print titles altogether.

Here’s what I want:

  1. Ease of purchase. Kindle seems to take the prize here.
  2. Availability of titles. The Kindle again seems to have the advantage here.
  3. A color screen. This is where the Kindle falls short. But the iPad is hundreds of dollars more . . .
  4. Large screen, but weighs almost nothing. I’m just dreamin’ here.
  5. Can make julienne fries.

I’m flexible about the last one. Mostly, I want ease of use, durability, and something that won’t exacerbate the scoliosis I seem to be giving myself with all the hardbacks I carry around in my purse. What do you recommend?

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