Why I didn't buy a Kindle

The Amazon Kindle doesn't support the EPUB standard for libraries to lend e-books, making it a nonstarter for CNET editor David Katzmaier.

The Sony Reader and Barnes & Noble Nook let you borrow eBooks from participating libraries. The Amazon Kindle does not. David Katzmaier

Update September 29, 2011: Amazon has recently enabled library lending its Kindle products, both old and new . The author still has not bought a Kindle or other e-reader, however, mainly because he finds reading on his smartphone, via the Kindle and Overdrive apps, perfectly acceptable for now.

I normally write about TVs and related gear for CNET, but I figured some Crave readers might want to hear about my recent experiences as I considered getting an e-reader for myself. In particular, my good experience "borrowing" e-books from my local library--something I can do on a Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader, for example, but not on an Amazon Kindle.

First, some background. I read a lot, and in the last few years I've been taking advantage of the local library to get my fiction fix (for free!), rather than buying books. The idea of an e-reader never really appealed to me, mainly because I'd always thought of them as money pits designed to feed impulse purchases, and I didn't trust myself not to go on a buying spree if I got one. I was also skeptical that the reading experience could be preserved.

When my co-worker and fellow bibliophile John Falcone offered to lend me his Kindle 3 for an overseas business trip, however, my perception of e-readers changed. The little device not only preserved the experience of reading an actual book--in my opinion it improved upon it. I found it more convenient to turn pages, easier to stand upright (with this awesome cover) and read hands-free, just as easy on the eyes, and lighter and more comfortable to hold over time than many books. Reading books on the Kindle was, to my surprise, better than reading a paper book in just about every way.

I had to have one.

 

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