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My name is Martin Glassborow and I am a gadget addict! 

My name is Martin Glassborow and I am a book addict!

So, my name is Martin Glassborow and I have a new Kindle!

I wasn't going to buy a new Kindle, I have a perfectly good iPad which makes a pretty good eReader and I also have an iRiver Story, which is an eReader. So why did I go and buy a new Kindle, I really don't need one!? I blame Ian Foster and the like! But now I've got one, I'm pretty happy I did!

I got the new Kindle v3 with WiFi+3G and it's a little slab of reading happiness! The E-ink screen is fantastic; much better than on my iRiver and the refreshes are quick enough that after a while you no longer notice the screen flash. Actually the size of the screen and the way text is formatted on it seems to suit the way my eyes scan and I read even quicker than normal, this may or may not be a good thing; I'm not sure! 

But it's not perfect and rather than focus on the great things, I'm going to list what enhancements and improvements I would like to see.

Library management sucks! Yes, there are categories but adding books to categories on the Kindle itself is painful and slow; the keyboard is absolutely horrible. The ability to manage your books and put them into categories needs to be driven from the 'Manage Your Kindle' page!! Once you've got more than 30 or 40 books in your library; you really want to be able to manage and categorise them on the website.

The keyboard is horrid! I cannot imagine doing very much annotation using it and hence I think this limits the use of Kindle by students. Personally I think some kind of touch-screen would be better but obviously this needs to be done without compromising the quality of the E-ink screen. 

It's great that you can have a number of Kindles attached to an account but this needs to be enhanced, certainly for families. My credit card is associated with my account and I really don't have a problem with my beloved wife buying books on my card; what's mine is hers and what's hers is her own and all that. However, do I really want to let my daughter lose with my card? I am not convinced but I would love her to have a Kindle and actually, it would be kind of nice for all the books to go into one big family library.

However, I would like to be able to restrict what she reads to a certain extent; I feel slightly uncomfortable with this idea as I had an adult library card at a very early age but even so, I would like to think that the librarian would have stopped me taking out books that were completely age inappropriate. At the very least, I would like to see what books she was checking out of our Kindle library.

I would like searches to have the ability to search not just the books currently on the Kindle but to search all books in my Kindle library. This I can see being extremely useful in the future. 
I want my Kindle to be waterproof, so that I can read it in the bath without fear! 

I would like to be able to choose the voice when I get the Kindle to read books to me; it would be nice if it could read fiction in my Grand-mother's voice sometimes or perhaps Shakespeare could be read in John Gielgud's voice or perhaps dear Larry's voice etc, etc…you get the picture.

And finally, a general industry observation….why are e-books so expensive? Surely the cost of publication is massively reduced and surely this should be reflected in the price? I can see no real reason for pretty much parity pricing with dead-tree volumes! 


  1. Ric says:

    WRT e-book pricing, I’d suggest reading these:
    In summary, printing on dead trees is a small part of the cost of a paper book.

  2. abc says:

    Have you tried reading any PDFs on your kindle e.g. EMC documentation? If you have how does it render any diagrams?

  3. Barry Whyte says:

    Having worked in a bookshop, the actual cost of producing the dead-tree bit is virtually ZERO.
    Almost all of the cost is in the publishers cut, and the royalties to the author, and the distributers.
    So I guess the distribution chain is the only cut out!

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