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Kindle-Feature

Pretty much the moment the Kindle (which is to e-readers as iPads are to tablets) debuted debates broke out amongst the literati if Kindles could ever replace books. With Amazing just releasing sales figures of over a million Kindles devices sold (or more specifically that customers have purchased over a million Kindles per week for three straight weeks).

Whilst this is probably going to fan the flames of an even more tedious Kindle vs iPad debate (an apples to oranges comparison if ever there was one), hopefully Kindle vs real books conversations should slowly wind down.I enjoy a regular book as much as the next person. In fact I have a personal library of literally hundreds of physical books from my literature degrees, found gems from second hand books and old copies from press reviews. I even have a original copy of Starks Jamaica guide, published in 1902 that I cherish. So I get it.

But theres well-meaning nostalgia and theres obstinately standing in the way of progress. And with millions of Kindles flooding the market over the holiday period, its pretty clear that e-readers in general and Kindles in particular are they future. And if you really miss the tactile feel of a book you can always get a nice Kindle cover.

What sort of future? Who can say. Maybe one with more freedom for artists. My best friend just published his first brilliant, yet commercially unviable philosophical page turner (Kirkegaardes Apple -go buy it here). And its hard not to mention stand-up comedian extraordinaire Louis CK’s successful independent publishing experiment in the field of video where he put out a professional produced comedy special, so it direct to fans and turned a profit.

Its hopefully a brighter future for consumers. With everything stored in the cloud you cant really lose your library. Moving house is a lot easier when you dont have hundreds of tomes to lug from building to building. And with a huge selection of content at your fingertips its never been easier to catch on classics old and new (although Im aware of the flip side of all this which is the tyranny of choice).

The new Kindles lose their worst feature – the big clunky keyboard wasting a quarter of the screen and let you focus on reading. Its handy to be able to buy books on the fly but you can also buy things from the website at a real computer and push that to various reaches of the Kindle-verse so youre not really missing out. And with faster page turns and longer battery life I expect a lot more of these things will fly off the shelves over 2012.