1 in 10

More Kindle statistics

“An August [2010] poll by Harris Interactive showed that 1 in 10 Americans currently owns a device such as the iPad or Kindle, and that another 12 percent plan to purchase one by year’s end.”


Kindle skins

Oooh, I’ve just discovered the wonderful-looking world of Kindle skins. Although I have to say that, at $17.99 in the US, they’re not cheap and there’s plenty of scope for Fashion Disasters. And none of the Kindle 3 skins are currently available from Amazon here in the UK, only old Kindle 2 skins. However, iStyles sells Kindle 3 skins into the UK, and at reasonable prices (£15.63 inc. shipping).

CSS-like styling for Kindle -2- print-on-demand

I’m thinking that big players like Amazon will partner with print-on-demand services to seamlessly offer one-time printed hard copies, if needed. The results might not be pretty when such a service first rolls out, but before long I suspect we’ll have software bots that elegantly and automatically style the plain text so that it looks just like a proper book when printed – much as CSS does today for a plain Web page.

Annoying paper books

Perceptive article this week at Theakers’ Quarterly, on some of the subtler factors to do with reading on the Kindle

“In the past, I would see a book I wanted and buy it right away, because it would probably be gone the next day. Even now, with Amazon, new books can go out of print very quickly. With ebooks it’s a bit different. The publisher may eventually withdraw the book from sale, but they’re not going to run out of copies, or dither over whether to reprint. I don’t need to hoard books any more. So instead of buying everything I see, I download a Kindle preview, and once I’ve actually started reading the book – and if I like it – I buy it.”

“when I finish a book I’m rarely sitting in my study surrounded by my print books. I’m usually lying in bed. Sometimes I’m on a bus or a train, or at the in-laws, or at a friend’s house. If print books aren’t handy during that crucial handover from one book to another, they’re locked out until the next time I finish a book; my ebooks are always close to hand.”

There’s also a long list of the things that make paper books annoying.

eBooks outsell print on Amazon’s bestsellers

Another peek into Amazon sales figures for Kindle books. An Amazon press release said Monday…

“Amazon customers are buying Kindle digital versions of the top 10 best-selling books more than twice as often as print copies, the online retail giant says.

“Kindle books are also outselling print books for the top 25, 100, and 1000 best-sellers – it’s across the board,” said Steve Kessel, senior vice-president of Amazon Kindle.”

Why move to the Kindle?

USA Today has a long article surveying the reasons why people are moving from paper books to the Kindle. With the unabridged H.P. Lovecraft biography on the way to me (2 volumes, “enormously heavy” according to the forums), I can appreciate the weight issue. The Kindle just feels the right weight in the hand.

“In Pearl River, N.Y., Kathy Miscioscio, 58, a marketing consultant, loves her local library’s digital download center, which saves trips to and from the library”

Nice idea. I might be asking my local library if they offer that. Hey, and wouldn’t it be great if the British Library would accept Kindle ebooks as deposit copies, by email?