Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Media and Publishing Issues: Kindle VS Books

Caption: Kindle takes over books. (

By Christmas this year, Amazon will release an international version of its popular Kindle e-book reader to be functional in 100 countries and will use high-speed mobile telephone networks to download books, magazines, newspapers or personal documents. The latest version of Kindle is an asset for to increase book sales as well as battle the increasing number of competitors. This ‘15cm screen device that displays shades of grey, can store 1500 books and has the ability to download books wirelessly’ is the noted future of books and print media publishing. (Harvey 2009)

5 Reasons to Use Kindle (Biggs 2009)

- Excellent for travellers; no more carrying excessive weight of paperback books.

- Insert any documents into it; easily email DOC, TXT, and PDF files to your own Kindle email address for conversion to the Kindle (at a small cost of 10 cents)

- Works in inclement conditions; whether by the pool or at the beach, you do not have to fear your books getting wet or damaged.

- In-Line dictionary; quicker access to definitions

- Bookmarking and highlighting; it effectively enables users to select text and add notes or bookmarks.

Issue: Threat on Print Media Production.

Caption (above): Original printed version of book (news.cnet)
Caption (above): Kindle application for IPhone version of the book above (

The debate here is whether the rise of Amazon’s Kindle will affect traditional print based books. In this technologically advanced era, users may find Kindle to be more compelling than the usual ink on paper; this may pose danger to print media production and the income of book publishers. While the Kindle does help save the trees, it eliminates the aesthetic value of printed books; sometimes the feel and smell of a printed page arouses readers to pick up a book; as Reichenstein (2007, p.27) describes, the ‘physical presence’ and the ‘magic of printed text’ of a book is one thing Kindle cannot offer.

In my opinion, despite the rapid development of Kindle and e-books, conventional print based books will continue to be part of the world today. This is because the tangible production of print media enables it to be kept as historic ‘keepsakes’ for future reference (Kitch 2009); the physical worth, in terms of content and publication design of print media productions are of great significance in time to come. Hence, this feature secures the existence of traditional printed books as we head towards a paper-less environment future.

Biggs, J 2009, ‘10 reasons to buy a Kindle 2… and 10 reasons not to’, Crunch, viewed 18 November 2009, from <>

Harvey, M 2009, ‘International version of Kindle out for Christmas’, The Australian, viewed 18 November 2009, from <>

Kitch, C 2009, ‘The afterlife of print’, Journalism, vol. 10, no.3, pp.340-342

Stein, S 2009, ‘Old, real book vs. Kindle alternative: Which wins?’, CNET News, viewed 18 November 2009, from <>

Reichenstein, O 2007, The Future of News: How to survive the new media shift, Information Architects, Japan

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