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Monday, November 26, 2007

re-Kindle your Bible reading

Every once in awhile some new device comes along that catches on with a lot of people. is hoping that Kindle, a wireless reading device, is one of those. Kindle will allow you to read any e-book that you buy from, as well as having free access to Wikipedia.

Of course, we can already read e-books with other devices, including our laptop computers, iPods, iPhones and some other cell phones, and PDAs. But Amazon is hoping that Kindle's lighter weight than a laptop and larger, clearer screen than on smaller devices, will make us prefer to read books on Kindle.

Bible versions which are available so far for reading on Kindle are KJV, NIV, TNIV, The Word on the Street, and Young's Literal. But expect to see the ESV available for Kindle very soon, since the Crossway blog and technology team is keen on using the latest technology to promote the ESV.

Kindle can accept documents transferred from your computer in popular formats such as Microsoft Word, PDF, etc. So any Bible version, such as ISV and NET, already available for download in those formats, may be readable on Kindle.

UPDATE: Michael Hyatt, President of Thomas Nelson Publishers, describes how computer-to-Kindle document sharing works:
You can put your own documents on Kindle. And, contrary to many reports on the net, I was able to add PDF documents with no trouble. You simply email the documents as attachments to your email address. Amazon converts the document to their proprietary format and sends it to your Kindle. They charge 10 cents for each document. Alternatively, Amazon will return it to the email you address you sent the document from and you can load it on the Kindle yourself via the USB connection. (I haven't tried this.)
UPDATE: Rick Mansfield notes in a comment what others have said, including Sean Boisen of Blogos, on whose blog I first learned of Kindle, that the price of Kindle is high, $400. That's too high for the general book-reading public (or is that now an oxymoron?!). But its price and the price of look-alikes will come down if there is enough demand for them, just as the price of the iPhone dropped soon after it was released.

HT: Blogos


At Mon Nov 26, 11:32:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

There's one major downside to the Kindle that you failed to mention, Wayne: the whopping $400 price tag. You have to spend a small fortune to buy the device, and then you have to buy books on top of it.

I have no doubt that there's a strong future in devices like these, but I look forward to the day when they will sell for about $20. Although I have a sentimental fondness for physical books (and I'm leery of reading electronic devices in the bathtub), I've learned simply through accumulating Accordance modules over the past decade how valuable an electronic portable library can be.

You know when Amazon first started, the business plan was to create a loss for the first few years in order to gain a market base. I think they ought to give away the Kindle for free with a $100 electronic book purchase or something along these lines.

Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson has written a number of posts about the Kindle recently:

He believes electronic books are the future, and I would have to think that his opinion on this subject is pretty significant.

At Mon Nov 26, 12:11:00 PM, Blogger DaveW said...


There are a number of Digital Rights Management issues with Kindle. So cool technology but worth checking you are comfortable with the restrictions on "ownership" and the privacy issues.

At Mon Nov 26, 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

You might also want to read a well-thought of Silicon Valley newspaper's review of the Kindle. (San Jose Mercury News)

At Tue Nov 27, 01:17:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I would like to see a device with a general build like this which is also a general purpose PDA with Wifi and perhaps a phone, which can be used to read or view anything on the Internet or on a host computer, not restricted to what is in a particular proprietary format. I might pay $400 for that.

Why, at the very least, doesn't this come with a general purpose web browser? Perhaps because it has a 4 level grey scale screen only, but well designed websites should be readable on this.

At Wed Nov 28, 01:28:00 AM, Blogger Iyov said...

Well, I'm sorry to interject my opinion here, but unlike some other commenters here, I actually own a Kindle -- I've had it for exactly a week. I must say it is absolutely fantastic for travelers, the ergonomics of the device are far better than reported, and the whole package is well thought out. (By the way, there are more translations available than you listed, but at least one of them is a Bible with a name I intensely dislike, so I will avoid mentioning it.)

I can't imagine using this instead of a regular book if one is at home with one's library, but on the road, in the office, waiting at the DMV or doctor's office, or in any other place than home, it is fantastic.

At Thu Dec 06, 11:29:00 AM, Blogger Antoine said...

Peter, there are several devices that fit what you are asking (Dell Axim, Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets, Palm TX, and a few HP handhelds). All you need to do is go out and get them.

I tend to write about these electronic devices a good bit, the Kindle while a great shot, won't be the impact just yet that the iPod was because of its design and user experience hurdles. A second version should be cheaper, and much better all around (my assumptions).

FYI: I've killed the last 30+ minutes after lunch at work here reading this blog. This is a very good resource, and please do keep writing. Its encouraging to get some "by the way" instruction on how to understand the Bible better.


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