Oh, I did that headline to spin his head a little bit.
He does not fetishize his Kindle.
But he does love it and strikes back at the anti-eBook people with his post:
This point I liked:
But I believe it’s worth noting as a pre-requisite for Kindle discussion that people who fetishize books as books are just that — fetishists.
Oh, he made other good points, but the weird love of paper gets under my skin too.
One thing Rogers wrote, however, I cannot allow to go unchallenged. This:
The DRM is indeed evil, if you ever want to transfer those books to another mass-market reader. Of which there are none.
Emphasis added by me.
The Sony Reader created the damned market for eInk eBook readers! Sony has sold well over 300,000 of them. The Sony Reader is in England, France, and coming to Germany, The Netherlands, and Italy. The Sony Reader is in physical stores, where people can fondle it. The Sony Reader has been through three generations. The Sony Reader still has an SD slot. The Sony Reader can read ePub. The Sony Reader can borrow books from public libraries, for free!
I detest the Kindle. Let me spell out why again:
1) You can buy only from the Amazon Kindle eBook Store. Can you say monopoly and restraint of trade? (Yes, I do have the same issue with the iPhone App Store, so STFU.)
2) Because Amazon has a distribution monopoly, it can act contrary to the interests of both publishers and readers. Like a — say it with me — monopoly.
3) Amazon owns MobiPocket. Amazon screwed all of their MobiPocket customers by tweaking that file format for the Kindle. Anyone who invested in DRMed MobiPocket eBooks over the past five-plus years has to buy them again for the Kindle.
4) The Kindle cannot do ePub files. Again: the book publishing industry has finally settled on a standard to foster a mass-market: that’s ePub. Amazon could have included ePub support in the Kindle 2. Amazon instead chose to still ignore the existence of ePub.
5) The Kindle cannot borrow eBooks from any public library. Note that among the eBook file formats offered by public libraries, a vast selection are in Amazon’s own MobiPocket format! So the Kindle screws customers twice here!
6) Amazon grabs a thieving 65% of the sale price of an eBook. Robber baron, anyone?
7) It’s fugly. Both Kindle 1 and Kindle 2.
Don’t tout the wireless feature of the Kindle. Really, have you no ability to delay your gratification? The iPhone can also grab eBooks wirelessly (and will soon do ePub too!). The Sony Reader will have wireless at some point (probably this year) — and it will allow people to buy from any eBook store, not restricting them to Sony’s own store.
So, Kindle? Um, no.
John Rogers is an executive producer and co-creator of one of the best new series on TV: Leverage. Don’t hold his Kindle love against him. Watch the show!