"You Are Not Going To Improve Hemingway By Adding Video Snippets"


Amazon unveiled the third generation Kindle last night. There aren’t many new features — it’s slimmer, and the screen is improved, but that’s about it.

The big news from Amazon is that it’s selling a wifi only version for $139, which CEO Jeff Bezos says will make it a “mass market” device. Bezos also expects Kindle sales to speed past paperback sales on Amazon.com in the next 12 months, and then after that book sales altogether.

To announce the new Kindle, Bezos went on a mini press tour. Here’s the best quotes:

  • “For the vast majority of books, adding video and animation is not going to be helpful. It is distracting rather than enhancing. You are not going to improve Hemingway by adding video snippets,” he told the WSJ, in reference to the iPad offering interactive book options.
  • “Internally, we view [the Kindle hardware and Kindle software] as two stand-alone businesses that have to succeed on their own merits.” — WSJ.
  • “We don’t want to compromise the reading experience. Today’s capacitive touch-screen technology is an extra layer on top of the display surface, and it increases glare.” To USA Today about touch screens. 
  • “I predict that at the $139 price, people will buy multiple Kindles.” — USAT
  • “At $139, if you’re going to read by the pool, some people might spend more than that on a swimsuit and sunglasses,” to the NYT.
  • “I hope we’ll be sitting here talking about the 10th and the 20th generation of Kindle,” on how long Amazon will stay in the hardware business to USAT.

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