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Portland Bookstore Swaps Kindles For Paperbacks

February 3, 2011

I read this article yesterday. A bookstore called Microcosm in Portland, Oregon was taking used Kindles for people and offering them a similar amount of value in printed books.

The idea, said Rio Sasari, manager of Microcosm’s Portland store, was born out of the realization that, for many, devices like the Kindle are good in theory, but not so much in execution. This is especially true for people who receive them as gifts. “It sounds like a good Christmas gift, because it’s something new and trendy,” Sasar said.

This is interesting because, working with ebooks myself, I know that there are people who try to use ebooks, who aren’t really all that familiar with electronics in general. This makes the whole experience really difficult for them. Giving a Kindle to a book-lover really isn’t so great an idea if that book-lover is a technophobe. Now, that doesn’t mean that all Kindles or ebook readers are poor in execution.

“There’s is a little bit of pressure to buy these devices,” Sasari said. “It’s pushed very well, and people feel the need to conform a bit and keep up with trends. There are people that feel that pressure, but they just want books,” he said.

This seems like a stretch to me. I wonder if people really do that. I don’t know if Amazon’s marketing is so good that a person would buy a Kindle when all they really wanted was some old fashioned paperbacks. Even if that is the case, it’s really not that useful in the long run, because you end up with a customer who doesn’t know how to use the device and becomes a drain on your support personell.

“We don’t have anything against the technology,” he said. “We’re just trying to make a positive statement for books. We’re just pushing books as something cool, hip and new.”

That is a losing battle, if you ask me. Books are not new by any stretch of the imagination.

I’m not saying this is a bad program. I just think that the reasons set forth are a little shaky. Actually I think it’s a nice idea for people who have Kindles and no longer want them. But the article doesn’t say what this bookstore is going to do with the Kindles that are turned in. Sell them as used? Recycle them? Chop them up into pieces?

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From → eBook News

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