Kindle-schmindle, give me an ebook store with more books!   -   February 12, 2009

I own a PRS-500, PRS-505, and Kindle1. While the PRS-505 is my favorite hardware so far, all of these digital book devices are stillborn by the seriously tiny book selection. My unscientific estimate says that less than 1 in 10 books I try to buy is available electronically for either device. You could put nuclear fusion inside the bookreader so it never needed charging and I would still be reading paperbacks because that is where the content is. I'd like to see fewer press releases about minor adjustments to the technology, and more press releases about massive increases in digital book availability.

There are reported to be possibly 230,000 books in the kindle store as of Feb 12, 2009. Apparently this isn't nearly enough, as after reading two of Asimov's Foundation series, I was left wanting, as only two of the ten books in the series (across multiple authors) are available in electronic form.

I'm familiar with the problem of wanting to buy digitally and failing, as it has caused me to abandon every digital store except iTunes. To be fair, iTunes does not carry every music track. However, their library of over 6 million songs is large enough that they have 95% of the music I go shopping to find.

Sony and Amazon need to stop fighting over who can build the least-sub-optimal ebook reader, and start figuring out how we can get an industry standard ebook store with 95% of the titles consumers go shopping for.

Posted by jeske at February 12, 2009 10:21 PM