Kindle: Amazon's new wireless reading device

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The Kindle from Amazon

The wily folks at Amazon.com have unveiled what may be this season’s hottest gadget: the $400 Kindle, a 10.3-oz electronic reading device in sexy iPod white that's designed to look and read just like a real book. Consumers shop the Kindle Store remotely, and choice books, newspapers, magazines and blogs are delivered directly to their handhelds. Sounds pretty dreamy, right?

We turned to TONY Books editor Michael Miller for his opinion: "I think it's great; it's comfortable and it's saving paper. I'm always concerned about my vision and I feel like this is very easy on the eyes." Miller also pointed out one of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s golden selling points: The Kindle looks good.

But as our show-and-tell wore on, Miller grew increasingly concerned: "What is the availability of books like? Does it have Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives?"

Uh, no.

“And how much poetry does this thing offer? Very little I suspect. Poetry is great for subway reading."

Right.

"And where are the books that only get printed in runs of 10,000? Or the out-of-print books that are totally amazing and way better than books published in the gazillions?”

Okay, okay. So it doesn’t have every book known to man. But it does have 88,000 picks, and is a decent match for readers on the go. (It even lets you annotate in the virtual margins!)

Besides, nobody appreciates a broadsheet-reading neighbor on a busy commute.

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