For an organisation which built its empire on books, Amazon really doesn’t know much about those of us who consider ourselves avid readers.
For instance, they measure their Kindle battery life at half an hour’s reading a day. This enables them to claim absurdly, unrealistically, long battery life, which would be dishonest were it not for the fact that they are upfront about their half-hour stupidity.
Nobody reads for half an hour a day, I’m quite sure of it. Not unless all they read is a menu. Hell, 30 minutes a day if, say, commuting, isn’t worth carrying a book for. 15 minutes each way simply isn’t enough time to get bored.
I don’t doubt that there are people who read for such a short span, but they probably stop because their lips get tired. No serious reader, of the sort who would buy a Kindle (or, in my sad case, multiple Kindles – one of each model), does that.
Hell, I’ve seen the time, confined to a hospital bed, when I’ve read for 18 hours a day – that trashes your battery life claim, Amazon – buggerdly thing needs recharging twice a day (Paperwhite 3G). In fact I fear the day when I might be permanently confined to bed – and it’s probably coming – simply because I couldn’t afford enough books to keep me occupied and preserve my sanity.
On a normal day – most of which I spend where I am now, in front of my computer, I still read for between 2 and 6 hours in the evening (I always, ever since I was a little kid and on my then GP’s advice,** wind down every night by reading for at least a couple of hours).
**Because when I was little (3 or 4 y.o. – I could read comics at 3, fluently by 4), I’d have horrendous nightmares if I didn’t.
And then there’s the claim for the current 59 quid Kindle (though they make similar claims for them all), that it holds 1,400 books so “you can take your library with you”. Er, no. My dead tree library runs to over 2,000 books, my Kindle maybe 1,000 more, I haven’t actually counted, but it’s a lot. To take my library with me I need a van, not a Kindle.
You see, Amazon, that’s what we readers do – we amass books and we read a lot. I bought my first Kindle because I’d run out of room for print books, most of which are boxed and stashed but I still have two six-foot by three-foot bookcases full, plus books littering every flat surface including the floor. So I’m a bibliophile – sue me!
So, Amazon, please talk to some readers in the real world, and consider redesigning the next Kindle generation so that it has replaceable batteries in the manner of mobile phones. I think Kindles are the best e-readers there are, but do that and you truly will have a world-beater.