Kindle gets more titles

I worked for for a few months in 1999. I was just a lowly receptionist, but still was frequently exposed to the Napoleonic philosophy of that nutty, lovable conqueror of worlds, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

"Not just books!" he would proclaim grandly in the all-hands meetings (and here, let it be understood, I am paraphrasing -- don't let the wholly inappropriate quotation marks fool you). "Not just music! By the time we are done, Amazon will be selling everything people need. We will be your one-stop shop on the internet for everything from lawn chairs to groceries, from diapers to caskets!"

Nearly ten years later, Bezos has made significant progress in his all-items all-the-time plot, but he's taking time out from that to return to the original idea: books. In this case, ebooks, in the form of the Kindle. Bezos's vision for the Kindle, he says, is "to make any book ever printed in any language available in less than 60 seconds."

Ambitious? Sure. But this probably won't be Bezos's Elba. (For one thing, it would be hard to fit into a palindrome.) For example, falling in line with Bezos's plan (as is best if you happen to be standing in his way), Simon & Schuster plans to release 5,000 more titles for the Kindle, bringing the total number of S&S Kindle titles up to 130,000. It's not all books everywhere, but it's a decent start.

Meanwhile, denizens of the book industry are googly eyed and freaked over this new destroyer of (publishing) worlds. I cannot speak to the rightness or wrongness of said wiggins, but I will say it won't affect my hard copy habits, just as the initial advent of Amazon didn't stop me from shopping at bookstores, it just stopped me from shopping at crappy mega-chain bookstores. When I one far-off day can afford a Kindle or similar device, it will definitely be my first choice for reading crap-slinging authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, but the Anne Patchetts and Anthony Trollopes of the world will always earn my hardcover, hard-copy dimes.


This is not my CEO.