August 11, 2009

MARKETWATCH: Kindle in danger of becoming e-books’ Betamax: Competitors adopting shared format to challenge Amazon’s leader.

I used my Kindle a fair amount last week. Some thoughts: (1) Battery life isn’t bad, but the battery runs down even when it’s turned “off.” (2) When you’re going to the beach or the pool, a $7.99 paperback is something you don’t worry about like you do a $300 gadget. (Yes, you can put it in a Ziploc bag. But it can still be stolen or stepped on.) (3) It’s nice to be able to order another book on the fly when you’ve finished the last one and don’t feel like reading something else you’ve got. (4) I can use it to check my blog and make sure I haven’t left open tags or something without needing a computer. Okay, this last isn’t of general utility. . . .

Related: A reader asks for a final review of Steve Carter’s Jericho’s Fall. I’d give it three-and-a-half stars out of five. It started out well, and held my interest to the end, but I found the conclusion unsatisfying. And there seemed to be a lot of muskets over the mantle that never got fired, to use Chekhov’s phrase. Not bad, but it seemed as if it was building to something better than it actually delivered.

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