I am confused — and betrayed — by the impending release of the Kindle DX.  I’m confused because I don’t really understand why this newer, better, version is being released now only months after the release of the Kindle 2.0; and I’m betrayed by the release of this newer, better version of the two Kindle 2.0s I bought in February.

I have been mad crazy happy about the Kindle since the first version.  I have four Kindles right here: Two of the first version and two of the second version. 

I won’t be buying any DX-es and I also won’t be buying any new Kindles in the future unless and until I wait a few months to see if Amazon will undercut my purchase again with a newer release of something better.

The release of the Kindle DX reeks of disingenuousness and fear.  Amazon obviously knows something bigger and better is coming from their competition — Apple anyone? — and this is a desperate move to cut off any sort of advantage of “bigger is better” a competitor might try to claim in comparison with the tiny Kindle 2.0.

Amazon’s fear is our biting of the dust.  Early adopters — fanbois like my wife and me — are stung by the DX because, if we’d had a choice, we would have certainly picked a larger screen over a smaller one; and so we’re left here with big screen envy and a burning sensation when we used to pee with glee at being a cutting edge Kindle adopter.

I also find the “DX for textbooks” argument a shill game because textbook publishers hate students selling back their books to the university bookstore for 20% of the purchase price because they’re cut out of the resale loop.

Beware the real intention of the Kindle DX:  To rent books, not sell them.  Sure, Amazon and publishers will claim rentals will keep a “fresher” version of a book on your DX, but the evil darkness of the Kindle is really a scheme to rent-but-never-own.

Textbooks on the Kindle DX will be timebomed:  The “books” will be available for a semester of reading and then they’ll “disappear” from your DX unless you renew your subscription for a small fee.  No more textbook sellbacks.  No more resales.  No trace of a tree in the process, but a bounty of a harvest of profit for the publishers — and for Amazon — the gatekeeper of the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t textbook.

Textbook publishers tried this e-bomb approach with e-book publications several years ago in the “course packet” ruse:  Buy now; lose it later — and it was a horrible failure because students realized they were buying something that would never belong to them.

How then, can textbook publishers set the mandate while demanding protection of their work against any sort of rogue Copyright quit claim in re-selling and electronic re-distribution of their content? 

Publishers do it by changing the expectation meme of a “book” from hardcopy to pixels and then they entice universities with the false idols of convenience and cutting edginess and they fold Amazon into their plans with tales of unlimited-updating-for-a-fee for the price of a pre-paid wireless connection that the end user is already forced to pay in the purchase of the DX.

The Amazon Kindle DX is the etch-a-sketch of the modern university experience.  Magical learning appears — but only momentarily — and never again forever in the palm of your hand.


  1. David,
    This is one reason I have always been a few levels away from early adopter – I didn’t leap at the Kindle 2 because my Kindle worked just fine and I didn’t see tremendous advantages to spending another $359 for something that would do a couple of other things. (Also, I didn’t have the money :P)
    It seems like the DX actually is offering something different – a significantly larger screen – but again, I’m still happy enough with my original Kindle to keep on using it. 🙂

  2. Gordon —
    I’d definitely take the DX Kindle over any other Kindle — but offering some sort of “swap up” for current Kindle users — for a small user fee, of course — to the DX line would be much appreciated and the right thing to do.

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