Kindle: Amazon’s electronic book reader

Amazon’s new e-reader has been widely discussed this week. Most of the comments have been unflattering. Critics have gasped at the high price ($400) and commented unfavourably on the slightly dated appearance of the device. Others asked why Amazon thought it could charge for newspapers and blogs that are available free via a computer.

This isn’t the first attempt to market an e-reader. Other pocket readers, such as Sony’s, have failed to make much impression. Will Amazon overcome the early objections and turn Kindle into something worth buying? I think the answer is probably yes, and the impact on CO2 emissions might be more than trivial. Paper and card manufacture is responsible for about 4% of UK emissions. (Much of the UK’s paper is made abroad, so doesn’t show up fully in national accounts.) Getting rid of paper use is a worthwhile carbon-saving aim.

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