Print 20 comment(s) - last by androticus.. on Jun 4 at 10:45 PM

Amazon's Kindle reader gets an infusion of book titles.

After announcing in April it replenished its supply of the Kindle eBook reader, Amazon announced the Simon & Schuster Inc. book publisher will release more than 5,000 additional titles for the popular eBook reader made by Amazon.

"This commitment from Simon & Schuster moves us closer to our vision for Kindle, which is to make any book, ever printed, in any language available in less than 60 seconds," said Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos.

The 5,000 additional titles will mean Kindle owners will have more than 125,000 total titles for download.

Using the device's built-in wireless ability, owners also have the ability to subscribe to select newspapers, blogs or magazines for monthly subscriptions. The EVDO connection also allows U.S. Kindle owners to purchase and download new book titles in about one minute.

Last month, Amazon announced it received a new supply of Kindles after quickly selling out during the 2007 holiday shopping season. The company has not released sales numbers of Kindle units shipped, or the number of eBooks sold through the site.

Amazon also dropped the retail price of the device from $399 down to $359.

The overall popularity of reading books in formats other than printed books remains sketchy, with a Random House/Zogby poll reporting 82 percent of readers polled claiming they prefer printed books over eBooks.  

Bezos announced the retailer ran out of physical copies of "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," a book written by Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary. The site does have electronic copies of the book available for its customers, however.

"That's one of the great things about electronic books," Bezos said during the BookExpo America convention. "They don't go out of stock."

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PDF support
By vijay333 on 6/2/2008 11:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
Native pdf support is a must-have for me - there's no way I'm sending each file over to them for conversion, especially since a lot of it is work-related.

RE: PDF support
By rhuarch on 6/2/2008 11:56:47 AM , Rating: 3
I think PDFs are half the reason people aren't adopting ebooks. PDFs do not scale well to the small screen of an ebook reader or PDA. In fact if you are not viewing them on a full sized monitor they are pretty horible. I wish that publishers would stop considering PDF as a viable format for ebooks. They need to be either LIT, a plain text file, or now the Kindle format. Consequently I think it is a safe bet that there will be some pretty decent converters out there soon if the Kindle doesn't have native support for PDF which I hope it doesn't.

RE: PDF support
By MrBlastman on 6/2/2008 12:06:04 PM , Rating: 5
PDF's are a bane on society. If, perhaps, better utilies were created to read them (rather than Acrobat), my opinion might change.

Acrobat is the #1 application I have crash on daily basis. More than anything else. It is also responsible for countless other programs messing up on occasion.

If someone invented another widespread secure-document format, I'd be first in line to use it. As it is, PDF exists for a reason and that is specifically for contract delivery and other documents you need to have some confort in the end-user can not changing the terms laid out in the document.

For ebooks - I don't see the point in them using .PDF. It is bloated and there are far better solutions.

RE: PDF support
By lealwai on 6/2/2008 12:26:11 PM , Rating: 4
Try using Foxit Reader, just recently converted to it myself. It boots a lot faster than Acrobat and for someone that needs to read a lot of pdfs at a time, it has tabbed browsing, which is really helpful. Most the basic shortcuts and functionality are the same too. And its pretty stable.

RE: PDF support
By Screwballl on 6/2/2008 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
seconded... Foxit is stable, small quick and very easy to use... and is not a massive resource hog like anything with Adobes name on it.

RE: PDF support
By Ringold on 6/2/2008 9:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Vastly more stable than Adobe, but not as stable as I'd like. As far as Adobe goes, just because I have 4gb RAM doesn't mean I want help filling it. :P

I don't blame Foxit, though. Clearly, there is an inherent degree of evil deeply embedded in every .pdf, and Foxit does what it can.

RE: PDF support
By drebo on 6/2/2008 12:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree with that. I read PDFs on my PPC-6800 (HTC Mogul) all the time, and they look just fine.

RE: PDF support
By Denigrate on 6/2/2008 2:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
PDF's work just fine on my Nokia 770. Granted I don't use an Adobe Reader to veiw my PDFs/Ebooks.

RE: PDF support
By tdonahue on 6/2/2008 11:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
According to several reviews, there is no need to send the files to Amazon for conversion, you can use MobiPocket v4.2 Creator (for free) to convert the files to a .PRC file. Native PDF support is not necessary, in my opinion, if there are tools available to do the conversion for me. Amazon is just providing the conversion as a service to you when you may not have another way to load files available or you don't have the technological know-how to do it yourself. See this review ( for more info.

RE: PDF support
By androticus on 6/4/2008 10:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a scientist/grad student, and most of my reading is of scientific articles that are published in pdf. It would be a major pain for me to have to manually convert every pdf I wanted to be able to read on the Kindle.

I love the Kindle
By DrApop on 6/2/2008 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
I've owned a Kindle since Feb 4th and love the device. At $400 it is pricey (now $359) but still well worth it in my eyes.

The price will not likely come down to the $150-$100 level for some time. From what I understand, the e-ink screen itself costs over $100. Throw in production costs, electronic equipment, the cellular evdo portion, the software production, and the completely free evdo connection.....I just don't see the price getting to the $150 level any time soon. When it does, color e-ink will emerge (in about 3 years.

Only the Sony eReader is cheaper at $299. Library is much smaller (about 25K books) and no EVDO.

Still it may not be for everyone. If you only read 4-5 books a year it isn't worth the cost. but many NYT bestsellers are available and the hardbound may cost you $20-$25 while the ebook version is $9.99.

If any company has a shot at establishing an eReader it is Amazon. They have an enormous eLibrary and a well thoughtout device.

Heck I went camping this weekend and took my Kindle...and enjoyed myself.

RE: I love the Kindle
By djc208 on 6/2/2008 3:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Still it may not be for everyone. If you only read 4-5 books a year it isn't worth the cost. but many NYT bestsellers are available and the hardbound may cost you $20-$25 while the ebook version is $9.99.

I think the biggest problem is the pricing, and not just of the player. When it first came out the cumbersome and somtimes extra cost involved in getting personal documents on it was a big downside. Add in that even at $9.99/book, it's expensive when I can't do anything else with it after I'm done. Can I give my e-book to a freind with a Kindle? How about read it at home on my larger computer screen if I wanted? Some of the subscription prices for periodicals and blogs and e-mail was high too.

I think a subscription model would work better. How about $10~15, (even $20)/month to access any of the content they have available? Then I don't care if I can't give it to friends or display it on a shelf, or sell/donate it when I'm done.

RE: I love the Kindle
By DrApop on 6/2/2008 3:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe the majority of people give away or sell their books after they have finished reading them. They most likely end up on a shelf or in the trash (paperback) or in a box in the attic or basement.

Could there be a better model? Perhaps. Is the current model so burdensome that it really effects the not really IMO.

If you are a big book sharer and used book seller or trader...then you might be affected. Me...I just buy a book, read it, and then it sits around.

RE: I love the Kindle
By fic2 on 6/2/2008 5:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of different places that I have worked have a "library" where people bring in their used books so others can enjoy them. One of my current co-workers has an overflowing shelf for this. There are several of us that use it. It is great since I have discovered books I would have never read before.

RE: I love the Kindle
By Screwballl on 6/2/2008 3:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the main thing... you may as well get a cheap (new or used) laptop for $200-300 and use an ebook reader program but also not be limited to only ebooks or specific file types. I have over 1000 scifi ebooks that are all either PDF or LIT format.

RE: I love the Kindle
By littlebitstrouds on 6/4/2008 2:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
Love this argument. Goes up there with the anti-eeepc crowd. You can buy a 15.4 inch laptop for 500 that has dedicated graphics, blah, blah... oh and it weighs 4 pounds more and is clunky. The whole point of this product is to slide into your bag, and read books, with added capabilities to add to it's value. I for one read a ton of books, and getting them cheaper on my Kindle, over the long run, pays for the price of the viewer. I'm not saying this product is flawless, only that comparing apples to apples, it's a solid product. Not to mention, I have no idea how you guys can read books/novels off of an lcd screen, it absolutely kills my eyes.

Go for the gold
By rhuarch on 6/2/2008 11:25:07 AM , Rating: 3
I really hope the Kindle is successful. The only reason I prefer paper books to ebooks is because I often have a hard time finding all the books I want to read in the ebook format of my choice. I can't even communicate how frustrating it is to start a series in ebook format only to find out that the publisher only released 2 of the five books from the series as ebooks and for some reason it was books 2 and 5. I think people would be willing to read ebooks if they could reliably assume that any book they wanted to read would be available in the format.

RE: Go for the gold
By TreeDude62 on 6/2/2008 11:28:34 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I think the readers are still a bit too expensive (at least for me). But if they come down to the $100 - $150 range I would pick one up. Even if it only had USB for loading books.

People don't want to read e-books?
By Ptosio on 6/2/2008 1:45:56 PM , Rating: 3
Speaking of that poll that you linked and which is saying that more than 80% of people prefer reading on paper, I wonder how many of them have actualy seen a Kindle-like device. Some of them have probably heard of the "e-paper" concept, but I guess the majority have never used the real e-reader. If they've tried to read e-books, it was surely on their computer monitors or cell phones which is hardly a good way to read a novel. Had anyone seriously presented them with the Kindle, the numbers would certainly go up.

I vote paper
By straycat74 on 6/2/2008 11:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
I like the feel, the look, be it from a tree, or hemp, or recycled, Paper FTW!

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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