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Kindle is fun but sucks for scholars

I’m enjoying my Amazon Kindle ebook reader, albeit while accidentally pressing the “next page” button as often as everyone else (did they beta test this thing all on the thumbless?), and whining about the rest of the annoyances about which you should not even get me started. Nevertheless, it works fine for pleasure reading and I like carrying a whole bunch of books among which I can switch rapidly. And despite its ugly DRM heart, you can upload books from the Net in PRC, MOBI, or text formats.

But, when it comes to books I read for research, it’s about as effective as it would be as a boat anchor.

First, the note-taking and highlighting are jokes.

Second, it (usefully) lets you repaginate on the fly, but (annoyingly) doesn’t know the original page numbering. How am I supposed to cite a page in a reference? It should let us ask nicely about which physical page the current text came from.

Third, there’s no bibliographic tool.

Obviously, Kindle was not designed for researchers. I understand that, and I would have made the same marketing decision. But for Kindle 2.0, it’d just take some software. (Well, and a change to the Kindle book format to capture the original page numbers.)


There’s a bunch of skeptical Kindle links here.

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