I was given a Kindle by a friend. It and I are trying to get along. The promise is beautiful, a storage and reading device for books and newspapers. Seamless wi-fi downloads from Amazon at a reasonable price and at lightning speed.
From an entirely pragmatic standpoint the package is irresistible and if reading were a totally pragmatic issue there would now be no books or newspapers. The fact is that this is not the case. Quite apart from the clunky nature of the Kindle as an object the aesthetics of media are every bit as important as the content.
The Kindle interface reduces everything to the level of reading a perfectly reproduced fax having first extracted all the design, font and layout components from the original. If this sounds rather unappetizing then it is. Interestingly one of the real joys of Kindle is that it reaffirms just how important the design of media is to the experience and to confirm just how miraculous it is that the brain processes on almost infinite dimensions. It really is pretty cool being human.
Part of the disappointment of Kindle is that things like Zinio (albeit flawed) already exist and this makes grey scale rather disappointing.