Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kindle IN at some Best Buys. Digital devices make bookworms 'cool' again. TV Ad Civil War

One commenter to the articles on Best Buy's preparations for selling the Kindle 3's (UK K3's) within a week, posted that these are already on sale at the Crossgates Mall's Best Buy in Albany (New York).

Hulik.Com's David Hughes references Engadget's early report and adds some interesting details.

The official start is next week and demo units are probably up in some locations such as the mall in Albany.  In the beginning, they'll be limited to demo units, unfortunately but there'll be units set aside for training employees, which is a good sign.  Best Buy is getting the iPad as well, it turns out, in yesterday's news, so shoppers going to those stores will be able to get a better look at the e-Ink readers: Kindle, Nook, Sony's new models, and the LCD screen'd iPad, all in one place.

While the Graphite models were still listed for September 24, just 2 days ago, and David Hughes writes today that the graphite WiFi and 3G model is listed for Sept. 22nd ship date, I now see, as I write, that Amazon has actually caught up, all Kindle 3's are in stock, and anything ordered today can ship tomorrow.

But Hughes wrote, when he looked, the Graphite model was out but the white version of the 3G/WiFi model and both colors of the WiFi-only were back in stock.  That could indicate higber demand for the graphite colored 3G/WiFi version but the difference here is only one day in getting back to "in stock" status, and his take is that ramping up the quiet delivery of all these Kindles to Best Buys, nation-wide, would have added to the supply problem.

While Engadget expects full retail availability at Best Buy this coming week, Best Buy itself has no word on its website confirming this (nor does it mention the Kindle device on that site yet, outside of accessories).

It'll be interesting to see if the devices are given better attention than they were at Target where employees hardly ever knew they were even carried there and they were often found in boxes in bottom shelves with no demo unit in sight.

I think Best Buy has quite a good opportunity to be THE place to go to decide which of these to buy in the coming Holiday season and it'll be to their advantage to be able to handle the collection well.

Digital devices make bookworms 'cool' again.
The Calgary Herald's Misty Harris writes that e-readers are growing in popularity very fast.

The Montreal Gazette version carries a huge picture of a couple who share reading, one of them with an iPad, the other with a Kindle.  From the current TV ad's poolside differences to co-existence -- it makes sense though, because the two types of devices are fully complementary, as the Kindle ad itself actually suggests.

Here are some points made in the Canadian article:
' Indeed, new media experts praise e-readers as being more in step with modern life, and for making bookworms cool again.  Environmentalists tout their sustainability.  Communication scholars say they're bringing us back to the pre-Gutenberg days when reading wasn't a solo experience.
"Nobody wants to have a 12-foot pile of Harlequin novels hidden in their basement when they can just load up 10, 20 or even 100 in electronic form."

Of course, dead-tree tomes, like vinyl records, won't disappear altogether. [I certainly hope not.]   But Lorimer predicts personal libraries will shrink drastically in size, comprising only the most meaningful titles.

"We'll continue to regard books with fondness because they're material objects, and the human psyche is attached to objects," he explains.
[Indigo president Joel Silver] predicts that within three years, digital books will represent 20 to 30 per cent of all titles sold, up from about six per cent in Canada now.

Media critic William Powers is among those watching closely.

"If this stays with us -- and I think it's likely it will -- there's going to be a different type of reader who won't be the 'bookworm' of legend," says Powers, author of Hamlet's Black-Berry. "Just acquiring the device is sort of a part of belonging today -- a part of joining what's hip and what's happening."

As of July on Amazon. com, e-book sales were outpacing hardbacks by a margin of 18 to 1.

[I missed that announcement, is that accurate?]

Nevertheless, Powers remains a champion of the humble hardback, which he says represents a rare chance to "quiet our minds and focus on just one thing."
"Readers have never cared whether it's cool or not; they just enjoy reading," says [Paul] Levinson, professor of communication at Fordham University in New York.  "But now that it's become a socially attractive thing to be reading on some kind of e-device in public, I think more people will be tempted to do so."

See the article at Montreal Gazette as I left a lot out of course.

Here's the story, which is quite entertaining.  Excerpt:
' Given Apple’s rabid fanbase, even a perceived slight at the iPad was likely to provoke a wave of outrage.  But that’s not all that’s going on here...

[Ad: "It’s a Kindle … $139 … I actually paid more for these sunglasses."

That’s the whole ad.  On paper, it looks forgettable.  But consumers are dissecting every second of it online.  There are more than 2,000 comments on the ad’s YouTube page, and 564 comments on Endgadget.  Many of them are too profane to be reproduced here. A high percentage seem to feature the b-word... '

There was no such fuss about the half-year of newsprint attitude toward the Kindle and other "just-e-readers" that were considered drab, dreary, retro, and uncool in a few hundred columns such as the one in which a Yr. 2010 tombstone for the Kindle was the lead image and another columnist actually wrote that a friend of his was now embarrassed to show his Kindle around anyone with an iPad and asked readers if they also felt that way about their Kindles now.

  The article quotes several of the comments on the TV ad but had to clean them up a bit. Apparently the Kindle's "underdog status" means this kind of rabid attention can only help.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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