Amazon and Penguin Throw Down, CbC Faintly Annoyed

08Apr10

This is actually a musing on two different issues. The first, is my distinct pleasure in owning an Amazon Kindle DX. Yes, the iPad has just come out, and it is the new hotness. I look on those who own it with envy. However, the DX has been spectacular. It’s a pleasure to read with, and hugely portable – it saved me on the holiday travel epic that is the life of two graduate students. And it reads PDFs, which means the various and sundry piles of literature that are normally crammed into file folders can follow me *everywhere*. Whether or not this is a positive development is left as an exercise for the reader.

However, I am currently ever so slightly annoyed. You see, apparently Penguin Publishing and Amazon are having a pricing throw-down, possibly instigated by the release of the iPad and the introduction of Apple’s ebook selling operation. Details here: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100401/FREE/100409996 . What this means is that Penguin has pulled all their new ebook releases, including Jim Butcher’s new Dresden Files novel, Changes. This makes me really, really irked – the local Barnes and Noble is actually pretty far away (everything is pretty far away where I live). Internet generation grad student, looking for instant satisfaction, turns to Amazon. Only to find the book, which one could have pre-ordered (which seemed silly for a Kindle book, what are they going to do, run out?) gone.

Gone.

I suppose the good news is that Amazon, in a stroke of profound corporate chutzpah by lowering the hardbook price to $9.99, the same price as Penguin was objecting for the ebook, down from something like $26. Which strikes me as hilarious. So, while I might have to wait two days for my book, I’m still getting it. But I won’t be getting it in super-portable form.

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