» iPad vs. Kindle vs. Future of ReadingLandon Howell | A blog about startup marketing

iPad vs. Kindle vs. Future of Reading
Apr 12, 2010

One of the best summaries yet.

Almost everyone who described the iPad as a Kindle killer chose to ignore the fact that no matter how nice and shiny Apple’s screen technology is, it’s still not designed for reading books. Without e-ink, such as that found in the Kindle, you eyes get tired after a few pages – which is fine for replacing a newspaper, but is basically useless for a book.


The iPad is emphatically not a serious readers’ device: the only people who would genuinely consider it a Kindle killer are those for whom the idea of reading for pleasure died years ago; if it was ever alive. The people who will spout bullshit like “I read on screen all day” when what they really mean is “I read the first three paragraphs of the New York Times article I saw linked on Twitter before retweeting it; and then I repeat that process for the next eight hours while pretending to work.” That’s reading in the way that rubbing against women on the subway is sex.

And yet, and yet. There’s no doubt that the iPad is a beautiful device for almost everything else. It’s perfect for reading newspapers – Alan Alan Rusbridger’s space-filling fanfic not withstanding – and it’s perfect for email and web browsing and movies and games. If you have to carry around one device – for your commute to work, for an hour in a coffee shop, or on a long-haul flight – then the iPad is the one to carry. Which is precisely why I’m so worried for the future of books, and for reading.

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filed under: books, gadgets


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