I never thought I would see the day, but I am a believer. Amazon's Kindle book reader, or amazonkindle as it says on the device, is better than books. The form factor and light weight are better and the reading experience is better. If only the store experience was better.
Not that the store experience is bad because it is is not. But Amazon chose to make a separate Kindle store instead of making Kindle editions part of the principal Amazon bookstore and the Kindle store has but a pale shadow of Amazon's regular search and recommendations capabilities.
That separation from Amazon's regular inventory may have something to do with the relatively limited availability of Kindle editions. Relative in this case means 300,000 books instead of millions, but that is still a significant deficit for a multiple books each week reader like myself who is generally seeking things from the intermediate space between expired copyright and current bestsellers. Which is of course precisely the area where the Kindle inventory is understandably the weakest.
That said, I was able to find four books of interest in my first day in Kindle's kingdom and I have gone on from there. Multiple books in a single device - the new generation of Kindle holds about 1500 of them at a time - was the reason I began thinking about acquiring a book reader. The $299 (about 210 Euros) price is the tradeoff for a ten ounce book reader that replaces five or ten pounds of carry-on reading material on a long distance flight.
Once past the initial pain of the device purchase, Kindle books are about the cost of a paperback, so there is no obvious ongoing economic penalty to digital books. Delightfully, new reading material is downloaded quickly, wirelessly. In fact, my initial orders were in the reader when I opened the box. And did I say that the reading experience is better than books?
Now if only they can do something about that bookstore.