searscatalogueAZAdamCreativeCommons Here’s one thing you can say about the big, thick Sears catalogues of old. They were great sources of toilet paper for outhouses.

Could the Kindle e-book reader be the new Sears catalogue even though it lacks such multi-use capabilities? My belief is that the Kindle is potentially a catalogue for all of Amazon, a way to compare-shop for dishwashers, back-scratchers, you name it. I know this talk of the Kindle as a GPS gizmo is interesting (thanks, Mike), but I suspect there’s a lot more to come.

Why aren’t we hearing about the Kindle as a potential display vehicle for all of Amazon? Or is the news already out? I don’t own a Kindle and will welcome some information here.

If the Kindle won’t let you shop Amazon in general, would you enjoy this capability? And why does the Kindle lack it now, assuming it does? Is Amazon afraid of seeming too crass—preferring to limit the Kindle for the moment to books and what-not? Also, how about the Kindle as a way to shop for music? I don’t see any references in Wikipedia, or on a Kindle-ballyhoo page, to MP3 buying—even though, yes, there is a mention of audio books (the Kindle offers both .MP3 and Audible’s .aa). OK, enlighten me.

Of course, the Kindle’s having Sears-style catalogue features would not be enough by itself to guarantee the machine’s popularity at the same level. In the long run, the real Sears catalogues just might be cellphones instead.

Speaking of Wikipedia and the Kindle: Why does the online encyclopedia say, “Unlike previously existing e-book readers, the Kindle can be used without the need for a computer”? Couldn’t the old Rocket eBooks work without computers, via built-in modems, for example? Shows the amnesia surrounding e-books. It’s too bad that people are also forgetful of the many thousands of dollars that buyers spent to build personal libraries tied to their respective machine. And then many were SOL when the Rockets went kaput.


  1. I realize this is not to your point, but you should not stand on a Kindle to reach a top shelf nor start a fire with one.

    As for on line shopping, the pictures are not all that sharp, are not in color and the browsing experience is very slow. I personally would shop on my computer, but then those that don’t have computers might really welcome this feature.

  2. LOL. Guess the OLPC XO beats the Kindle in that respect. My recollection—please, don’t anyone try it—is that you can stand on the XO or even drop it. Mine’s arriving Wednesday, supposed, and for some reason or another I don’t want test the durability claims. Excellent point about the pictures and shopping, although Amazon could always strip out the text. Remember, people shop for books in part on the basis of the cover. Happy holidays, Al. David

  3. I do all of my Amazon shopping on my Kindles! I prefer using the DX because of the larger screen but, functionally, the Kindle 1 & 2 work equally well. The Kindles come with a number of bookmarks listed for their browser (Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, and others. Users may add their own bookmarks as well.) I use the Kindle’s Amazon bookmark as it is optimized for the Kindle browser’s display. Once on the Amazon site, shopping is the same as from my computer albeit not in color.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail