Nothing I have tried online or in a high-tech device has mimicked the experience I have walking into a bookstore and browsing/buying. I love the reviews at Amazon.com, but they are still some how not enough. I want to pick up books that look interesting. I want to read the back cover. I want to wander into an aisle I don’t usually wander down. I want to sit in an over stuffed chair and in 5 minutes of actually reading a section of the book, get a feel for the book and be able to then make a better informed purchasing decision.
I was listening to the MacBreak Weekly podcast this morning on my way to work and they were discussing the new Kindle 2. The killer feature to me is the free download of the first chapter of any Kindle book. This is as close to the book store browsing experience as I can imagine without being there. (It also has advantages such as new releases being $9.99 instead of $25 in hardcover) Think about being able to, for free, download the first chapter of any book you stumble across (browsing with the Kindle or at Amazon.com). You can then read the individual chapters at your own pace at your own time. And then, if you like the book, purchase it with a click (from anywhere with cell reception) and 60 seconds later you have the full text. This may change my reading habits and selections completely. I wish audible would do this with their audio books!!!