The paperless library

Rupinder Sidhu

With the end of the last century, digital distribution has become somewhat of a phenomenon and music, motion pictures and video game industries have all matured in this new form of distribution.’

Amazon’s invention of the Kindle intended to continue this revolution into the realm of books.’ Originally released in 2007, Amazon’s e-book reader wasn’t the first product of its kind, but it was the first to offer a download service backed by America’s largest online book retailer.’

Continuing on the original Kindle’s success, Amazon released the revised Kindle 2 on Feb. 23, 2009

Not being content as just a simple e-book reader, the Kindle has a variety of unique functions.’ The most notable is its connectivity to Amazon’s Whispernet which allows it to access more than 240,000 titles on the Amazon Store, all wirelessly and directly from the reader anywhere in the United States.’ Amazon touts Whispernet and the Kindle as being completely stand-alone, meaning no Wi-Fi, no PC and no cables are required to use either.

With the Kindle 2, Amazon took to improve upon its original creation.

The design has been completely redone.’ Coming in at just over a third of an inch thin and weighing a little more than 10 ounces, the Kindle 2 is thinner than most cell phones.’ When combined with a 25 percent longer battery life and an improved electronic paper display, Amazon shows that they weren’t interested in simply resting on the laurels of the original.

Ian Freed, Amazon’s vice president and head of the Kindle unit, said ‘The most important thing for the Kindle to do is to disappear.’ Freed said Amazon has always had one main goal with the Kindle’mdash;making the product as invisible to users as possible when they are reading. Certainly the revision of the Kindle makes the device easier and more unobtrusive.’ It truly was intended to be simpler in every way.

Easier and simpler is exactly what every student wants to hear.’ Easier is getting your textbooks cheaper.’ Easier is not having to worry if the bookstore will have your textbook in stock.’ And easier is getting your textbooks instantly anywhere right in the palm of your hand.

The Kindle certainly does pose some exciting possibilities.’ Imagine that every major newspaper, every magazine and every book from the New York Times Bestseller list was within your fingertips.’ Imagine your backpack contained only a notebook and a device thinner than a pencil that contained every single textbook you ever needed. Every piece of reading material needed would be right in your pocket.