Amazon announced the release of a Kindle DX the other day. This Kindle has a bigger screen which allows users to view PDF files “natively”, which I guess means you don’t have to scroll as much anymore.  That’s cool.  The release of this larger – and more expensive – Kindle got me thinking about what types of improvements I would like to see on my Kindle 2 and what I would design if I were asked to design an e-book reader.  So here it is, my device of the future:

 

Joanna’s Device Of The Future (aka The Kindle JTM?!?)

I would love to see a multi-platform, interactive device that would allow you to have a continuous experience with a book.  Say you’re on the train reading a novel like, oh, All Unquiet Things on your Kindle-esque reader, wouldn’t it be great if you could plug in your headphones as you near your stop and keep listening to the novel, from the exact point where you stopped reading, as you walk home? And I don’t mean listening to some robotic voice read to you, I mean plug into the wonderfully produced audio edition of your novel. Then, when you got home, you could either unplug your headphones and plop on the sofa to continue your read, or dock your reader into a speaker-set so that it kept reading to you as you started dinner.  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  The agent part of me understands that this is a rights and royalties conundrum, but the reader part of me thinks that really being able to take your book everywhere and anywhere would be pretty amazing.

 

I would be excited to see how book consumption would change if we made the purchase of multiplatform editions affordable and accessible. Would we watch less TV if we could listen to the book we were reading?  Would those of us who worry that we will never read all the books we want to read in one lifetime be able to add more books to our goodreads page?  I, for one, would love to find out!

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